When it comes to seeing God through the eyes of another, the book of Psalms is one of the most vivid places to go, and it is where we find ourselves today, as we spend time reading the word of God together. The chapters chosen for today are like several found in Psalm, they reveal the strain of humanity in a broken world and the sometimes-desperate need for man’s need to keep God in focus. Part of today’s reading goes further, for it also speaks of the Messiah to come and the challenges He would be faced with as well.
Our first reading for today is Psalm 22 and it opens with words we are familiar with, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Jesus cried out these very words as He gave Himself on the cross (Matthew 27:46). This feeling of God’s absence is spoken of in Psalm 10:1 & 13:1-2, as well as many other places in the book of Psalm, something we can all relate to. Here though, the future work of Christ in His humanity and the brutality of His last days are almost too difficult to read. In the midst of such tragedy, the writer still sees God as his strength (v19) and worthy of praise (v25). “For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations” (Psalm 22:28).
The second reading comes from Psalm 23:1-25:15. Once again, we find ourselves in a familiar place when it comes to chapter 23. The sufficiency of the Lord is seen through words like these, “He makes…” (v2), “He leads…” (vv2, 3), “He restores…” (v3), “You prepare…” (v5) and “You anoint…” (v5). This is what our good Shepherd, Jesus Christ (John 10:11), seeks to do for us daily. This is followed by Psalm 24, which exalts the Lord “for He has founded” the world; that is, He is creator of all things and deserves glory. It ends emphatically, “Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory” (Psalm 24:10). The last part of this reading is found in Psalm 25:1-15 and here depicts one who seeks God’s mercy and forgiveness. Do not “remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions” (v7); but rather, remember me “according to Your mercy” (v7).
The final reading for today picks up in Psalm 25:16 and goes through chapter 27. Chapter 25 closes with a call for God’s continued forgiveness and help in times of distress. Chapter 26 speaks of the writer’s walk with God. The commitment he has made in his life is seen in v11, “But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; redeem me and be merciful to me.” His integrity does not blind him from realizing his need for God’s mercy. This leads into our final chapter, Psalm 27. In v3 he writes, “In this I will be confident.” The “this” in which he speaks is the Lord. His confidence, both in dealing with his own battle against sin, as well as battling against the world around him, is in the Lord! Consider the last verse for today, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (v14)
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus Christ, Your only Son and our Messiah, to give us hope in a world that is, at times difficult, to live in. Thank You for being so merciful towards us and providing all that we need. Give us strength, Lord, to faithfully wait on You. And as we wait, strengthen our hearts that we may walk with integrity, until we see You one day, face to face. In Jesus name, amen.