Ps 22:1-2 My God, my God, why have you abandoned (forsaken) me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.
David gives an amazing description of what would happen to the Messiah hundreds of years later. Jesus spoke the first part while he hung on the cross. At either time, day or night, were these words spoken in hopelessness or in hope? David was going through a great test or trial, but with suffering, he gained victory. Feeling hopeless but praying in hope is the key to that victory.
David felt hopeless. Sometimes Christians are taught we will never endure hopelessness and if we do, it is because of failure, sin in our lives or lack of faith. David demonstrates here, that believers do hurt. Sure, we may have a problem with sin or lack of faith, but if Jesus endured feeling forsaken and hopeless, why shouldn’t we? From experiences, David knew God would fulfill his promises.
Just as verse, one and two express the hopelessness of life, verses 3 and 4 validate all the hope that we can receive. David realizes that God already answered his prayer because our ancestors had received the answer. Therefore, hope was alive and he held onto that hope throughout his life. Can we do any less? Jesus died for us all and gives us hope every day.
Ps 15:4-5 Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts. Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.
David asks the question in verse one, “who can live in your presence”? (Paraphrased) Desiring and then committing to walk in fellowship with God in a God-honoring life sounds easy but keeping the promise of our commitment is difficult. Temptation is everywhere. The little white lie, choosing the path that benefits us, wasting time or even putting a negative “spin” on a situation. However, remember your promise to God to change your life.
This Psalm provides insight and instruction in skillful living with the Lord. David also reminds us that worshippers need to live in such a way that pleases God. Moral uprightness shows when we mark our lives by the holy character of the God we serve. We all need to strive to be the person God wants us to be to fulfill his purpose in our life. These key points will help and link back to the Ten Commandments. Integrity, doing right, truthfulness, guarding our words, kindness, no negative comments about others, discernment, faithfulness, generosity and no corruption.
Hard to live by. You would need to be perfect to live like that. Obviously, we all fall short of the goal. Every time I miss that goal, I ask God’s forgiveness and help, start over and keep trying. As a young Christian, I saw no problem with watching “soap-operas” on TV. On my day off, I would view hours of recorded shows and “catch up”. Then God reminded me of my promise to change my life and serve him. I finally comprehended that those hours belonged to him and should be for his glory, not the “soap stars”.
It took time but one day at work, I realized that I had no idea what the others were discussing and felt out of place. It was who did what and who slept with whom on TV. I was free and that was liberating. After keeping my promise, I had so much more time to spend with family, friends and God. Now, years later, I don’t miss all the TV drama. Life is all the drama I want and with God it is so worth it.