2/25- Psalm 22:1-2
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
Thoughts: The darkest night is right before the dawn. The coldest part of the evening is usually right before the first rays of light. Jesus quoted these words on the cross (Mt 27:46), and they are words for those who are sick, in despair, without much hope. We can think of the people who have it easier than we do, and then we feel a bit guilty. Perhaps there is someone who has it worse than we do. Certainly Jesus felt forsaken. Here was someone innocent being treated as if they had killed someone. Here was someone who left their palace of heaven to come down to earth and we treated him not with indifference but with torture. This is the cry of someone being tortured with pain. There are times that it is our cry too. I will not forget the band “Guess Who” quoting this in a top 40 album in 1969. There is a part of us that relates to this forsakenness. But the Good Shepherd does not forsake his sheep.
The scriptures are full of examples of our forsaking Him. They also have examples of people feeling forsaken by God (this verse, Lam 5:20; Ezek 8:12). But never does it say that God has forsaken them (though their are implications that when the wicked leave God He leaves them to their own devices). In fact, there are promises that God will not forsake the needy or the righteous-ever. Hebrews says, "Never will I leave you nor forsake you." (Deut 31:6,8; Josh 1:5; Ps 9:10; 27:10; 37:25; Isa 41:17, 42;16; Heb 13:5). Some say Jesus felt forsaken because he was taking our sin upon himself- and our sin separated him from the Father. This may be true, but it clearly illustrates he fully experienced our humanity- feeling forsaken by the Father- though Jesus knew the Father had not left him. His quoting this verse on the cross reminds us he understands. Yet, even on the cross the Father was present, working, and leading to the resurrection. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Prayer: Lord, when I feel forsaken, hear my cry for mercy.