My God, My God (part one)

My God, My God!

Part One  (The Words of Jesus from the Cross, pre-series sermon)

 

Starting next week, I will begin speaking about Jesus’ Words from the Cross.

Jesus’ statements from the cross reveal God’s love and plan for us, and how we should respond to adversity

One of the statements that Jesus made is identical to a statement that David made in Psalm 22.

So, before beginning the series, let me look at what David said and consider what it meant to him and means for us.

Psalm 22 is long with 31 verses. Rather than reading all 31 verses, however, I’ll read the first eight and share several more verses as I continue.

It is my privilege to share what I can from this psalm today.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

 Psalm 22:1-8

Tanrım, Tanrım, beni neden terk ettin?

Niçin bana yardım etmekten,

Haykırışıma kulak vermekten uzak duruyorsun?

Ey Tanrım, gündüz sesleniyorum, yanıt vermiyorsun,

Gece sesleniyorum, yine rahat yok bana.

Oysa sen kutsalsın,

İsrail’in övgüleri üzerine taht kuran sensin.

Sana güvendiler atalarımız,

Sana dayandılar, onları kurtardın.

Sana yakarıp kurtuldular,

Sana güvendiler, aldanmadılar.

Ama ben insan değil, toprak kurduyum,

İnsanlar beni küçümsüyor, halk hor görüyor.

Beni gören herkes alay ediyor,

Sırıtıp baş sallayarak diyorlar ki,

“Sırtını RAB’be dayadı, kurtarsın bakalım onu,

Madem onu seviyor, yardım etsin!”

Mezmur 22:1-8

Pray

  1. The Reality: Life Hurts
    1. Painful Reality

This psalm reveals a painful reality: People who follow God can also suffer.

No one wants to suffer

and sometimes people mistakenly follow Jesus because they were told that they would have no more problems if they did (how many of us know that sometimes we have problems because we DO follow Jesus?)

There are some who think that David was not writing about himself here, but about another person whom he knew.

Others claim that David was solely prophesying about Jesus.

I believe that this psalm is prophetic about Jesus, but I believe it was also about a person at David’s time: David himself.

 

I believe this for many reasons, and one is that the “accusers” in the psalm actually refer to one of David’s other psalms:

“…he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

Psalm 18:19b

Kurtardı, çünkü benden hoşnut kaldı.

Mezmur 18:19b

 

“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

Psalm 22:8

“Sırtını RAB’be dayadı, kurtarsın bakalım onu,

Madem onu seviyor, yardım etsin!”

Mezmur 22:8

Psalm 22 begins with one of the most desperate of cries that David ever wrote.

David followed God closely.

He wrote beautiful psalms and hymns of praise and worship to God, yet, here we read David crying out,

“Where are you God?”

Even more painful than that, he cries that he has been abandoned and forsaken by God.

He remembers that his ancestors cried out to God and God answered them, but he is crying out and not hearing an answer.

Psalm 22 is a psalm of lament…a crying psalm, and there are many like this in the Bible.

There are psalms of

praise

thanksgiving,

history

liturgy,

wisdom

and royal psalms,

but about 43% of all of the psalms can be classed as laments.

That’s a lot of crying and God is saying to us, “It’s OK to Cry to Me.”

Most of the psalms of lament were composed after a crisis was solved.

When I consider psalm 22, I think David wrote it before his problem was resolved.

In other words, David was still suffering while he wrote this psalm.

Maybe that helps us understand something of what Jesus was meaning when he said these words from the cross…but more about that, later.

 

So often I remind myself and others that it is OK to cry out to God and ask, “where are you?”

 

David brings charges against God much like Job did,

….why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
…. you do not answer,

Psalm 22:1, 2

…beni neden terk ettin?

Niçin bana yardım etmekten,

Haykırışıma kulak vermekten uzak duruyorsun?

…yanıt vermiyorsun,

Gece sesleniyorum, yine rahat yok bana.

Mezmur 22:1-2

God is silent at times and although I wish He were not, I can’t change God.

I must learn from Him and try to understand Him who by definition is greater than I can understand.

 

As he cries out, David makes his appeal to God.

  1. David Appeals to God

Then he describes God positionally and historically:

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

Psalm 22:3-5

Oysa sen kutsalsın,

İsrail’in övgüleri üzerine taht kuran sensin.

Sana güvendiler atalarımız,

Sana dayandılar, onları kurtardın.

Sana yakarıp kurtuldular,

Sana güvendiler, aldanmadılar.

Mezmur 22:3-5

By position, God is the object of worship.

As well, historically, God is the One who answers people when they call.

 

I find it interesting that David says,

“to you they cried out and were saved,”

as if it had been immediate.

 

The truth is, people often waited days, months, years even centuries for God’s answer.

 

This psalm was written, I believe, before God answered David’s crisis, thus he sounds a bit impatient, as we can be, too.

 

When I consider those who in their frustration commit violence against others or against themselves,

I think, if only they could have been more patient.

 

The speaker we had last week, Mark, said that his friend pastors a church in California where the late comedian, Robin Williams had recently been attending. I cannot begin to assume I understand what Robin Williams was thinking when he took his life, but I do believe that had he waited a bit longer, the message of the Gospel could have taken root and changed his life.

I’ve had many occasions in which I have seen God answer prayers.

Sometimes I’ve prayed for only a day, other times only a month, and other requests have been for decades and I’ve seen God answer the prayer.

  1. David Considers His Situation

This is how David saw himself:

But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

Psalm 22:6-8

Ama ben insan değil, toprak kurduyum,

İnsanlar beni küçümsüyor, halk hor görüyor.

Beni gören herkes alay ediyor,

Sırıtıp baş sallayarak diyorlar ki,

“Sırtını RAB’be dayadı, kurtarsın bakalım onu,

Madem onu seviyor, yardım etsin!”

Mezmur 22:6-8

 

We don’t know how much of this was David’s imagination.

Often when we are in a frantic state we see things more confused and magnified than they really are.

In David’s situation we see that he was despised by his enemies and everyone around him.

This may have been when his son had rebelled against him.

The reality is that God has helped people in their suffering, and David, like all of us who follow God, occasionally suffered.

  1. The Action: Cries for Help

David not only accuses God, but he also cries out to Him for help.

I recall a BBC movie (you know BBC is an acronym for “British Biased against Christians”🙂 that I watched a few months ago that was called “God on Trial.”

It was about Jews in a concentration camp who were facing imminent death.

These men held a “trial” in which they brought charges against God.

It was based on a true story of a troubling time in history, and it was a troubling film.

I am sure that some who watched the film came no closer to putting their faith in God through Jesus,

but for me, I found something astonishing:

 

The very men who had been so outspoken against God later cried out to Him in prayer as they faced death.

 

I, too, find myself frustrated with situations and I’ll call out to God and ask “Why?”

If someone could hear me they might get concerned that I am about to lose my faith,

but what I notice time and again is that I continue to go to God even when I am frustrated and feel that He is far off.

So David, too, accuses God of forsaking him, and yet calls out for help.

11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

Psalm 22:11, 19-21

 

11 Benden uzak durma! Çünkü sıkıntı yanıbaşımda,

Yardım edecek kimse yok.

19 Ama sen, ya RAB, uzak durma;

Ey gücüm benim, yardımıma koş!

20 Canımı kılıçtan,

Biricik hayatımı köpeğin pençesinden kurtar!

21 Kurtar beni aslanın ağzından,

Yaban öküzlerinin boynuzundan.

Yanıt ver bana!

Mezmur 22:11, 19-21

 

Throughout Scripture and throughout history, people have called out to God.

Sometimes it seems as though God has not heard them, but when they can walk to God in death and trust in Him,

then I believe that God has heard them and is with them.

 

As David said in his most famous psalm, number 23:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;

Psalm 23:4

Karanlık ölüm vadisinden geçsem bile,

Kötülükten korkmam.

Çünkü sen benimlesin.

Çomağın, değneğin güven verir bana.

Mezmur 23:4

 

The promise is not always deliverance but presence.

 

Jesus told his apostles what also applies to us who follow Him:

 

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”                     Matthew 28:20b

İşte ben, dünyanın sonuna dek her an sizinle birlikteyim.”   Matta 28:20b

 

These words of Jesus are actually an echo of David’s words further in this psalm.

For he who cried out, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” is also the one who cried to God for help, even though he saw God as far away.

And even before David was delivered, he made these statements

 

  1. The Reality: We are not alone

 

At verse 22, David changes his tune from a lament to a statement of praise.

 

Although David most likely had not been delivered yet, it seems that his heart has caught up with the reality that God has not forsaken him after all.

He predicts that he will praise God in the congregation and he tells those listening to and reading the psalm to praise God, as well.

 

I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

Psalm 22:22, 23

22 Adını kardeşlerime duyurayım,

Topluluğun ortasında sana övgüler sunayım:

23 Ey sizler, RAB’den korkanlar, O’na övgüler sunun!

Ey Yakup soyu, O’nu yüceltin!

Ey İsrail soyu, O’na saygı gösterin!

Mezmur 22:22,23

 

On several occasions I have chosen to praise God rather than to sit in despair.

This seems odd at times, but it truly is a freeing moment when I choose to not look at the problems surrounding me

but instead praise God.

David gives his reasoning behind this action in the next verse:

24 For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.

Psalm 22:24

24 Çünkü O mazlumun çektiği sıkıntıyı hafife almadı,

Ondan tiksinmedi, yüz çevirmedi;

Kendisini yardıma çağırdığında ona kulak verdi.

Mezmur 22:24

The reality is that even if we feel as though God has left us at times, He does not despise us, nor does he hide from us, but he hears and listens to our cries.

That is what David learned before he was delivered, and later he was.

From the cross, Jesus offered up prayers to God the Father and, according to the Scriptures he was heard

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

Hebrews 5:7

Mesih, yeryüzünde olduğu günlerde kendisini ölümden kurtaracak güçte olan Tanrı’ya büyük feryat ve gözyaşlarıyla dua etti, yakardı ve Tanrı korkusu nedeniyle işitildi.

İbraniler 5:7

 

He was heard on our behalf.

When I consider the cries that go forth from people in times of crisis, as we have in bordering countries of Syria and Iraq,

I remember that Jesus’ cries for us were heard,

Jesus is with us and he will be with us.

We can let go of fear and hold on to Him

We, too, when we are at our end or in a crisis that is out of control, let us remember that God does hear us and listens to us.
He has not despised us.

He is with us.

He promises to be with us, and he promises to give us strength.

He promises to give us rest and restoration.

 

Let’s pray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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