What God Won’t Do
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (v. 1). Those words are familiar, aren’t they? We heard the Lord Jesus say them from the cross (Matthew 27:46). But, remember, these words were first spoken by David. He said them at a time when he was going through a severe trial.
Jesus Christ was forsaken that you and I might not be forsaken. God the Father did forsake His Son on the cross when Christ was made sin for you and me (II Cor. 5:21). But our Lord was forsaken so that we might never be forsaken. That’s the whole thrust of this passage. David, however, was saying, “Our fathers trusted You, and You took care of them; now I’m trusting You, and nothing seems to happen” (see Psalm 22:4-6). ?You can just hear David saying, “I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people” (v. 6). He did go through that. Of course, our Lord went through it to an even greater degree, didn’t He? Can you imagine the Lord Jesus, who said, “I am the Good Shepherd. I am the True Vine. I am the Way. I am the Light,” saying, “I am a worm”? But He became a worm for us so that we might become the very children of God.
You cannot be forsaken, because the Saviour was forsaken in your place. You can’t be forsaken because of His promise. “I will never leave you nor foraske you” (Heb. 13:5). You cannot be forsaken because of His presence. “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). You cannot be forsaken because of His purpose. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). And what’s His purpose? That we might be conformed to the image of His Son (v. 29). David became a beautiful type, or picture, of the Lord Jesus Christ. And he had to suffer to do it. In spite of your circumstances, in spite of your feelings, remember, God will not forsake you.
The Devil’s Zoo
Are you an animal lover? I must confess that, though I have a certain sympathy with cats and do like friendly dogs, I don’t really care much for animals. My wife enjoys going to the zoo, and I dutifully go along, but I would much rather be in the library.
Has it ever dawned on you that God uses animals to teach us about sin? You may say, “Where’s that in the Bible?” It’s in Psalm 22:12-21. When you read these verses, you meet the devil’s entire zoo. “Many bulls have surrounded Me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me” (v. 12). Our Lord was on the cross, and people were acting like animals. That’s what is wrong with the world today. When you leave God out of your life, you descend to the level of an animal. Here wsa our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, and bulls had surrounded Him. “They game at Me with their mouths, as a raging and roaring lion” (v. 13). Then the lions showed up. “Dogs have surrounded Me” (v. 16). “Save me from the lion’s mouth and from the horns of the wild oxen!” (v. 21). That is quite a zoo! When men put Jesus on the cross, they acted like animals. And here was the Lord on the cross, saying, “I am a worm” (v. 6). Can you imagine bulls and lions and dogs and oxen chasing a worm? Oh, how our Lord humbled Himself for us!
Don’t act like an animal today. You were made in the image of God. Let the Holy Spirit turn you into one of His gentle sheep. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Shepherd, is glorified and honored when you and I don’t act like vicious animals but like the children of God.
Our Lord Sings
The last half of Psalm 22 is an expression of praise. The first half is a picture of our Lord on the cross. But in verse 22 there’s a change. You go from prayer to praise. You go from suffering to glory. “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You” (v. 22). We are on resurrection ground when we move from verse 22 to the end of the psalm.
In this passage we find the Lord Jesus Christ singing in the midst of the congregation. Have you ever thought of our Lord Jesus Christ singing? We think of Him preaching and doing miracles and teaching and counseling. But singing? Well, He’s singing here. “I will declare Your [God’s] name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation [the Church] I will praise You” (v. 22). “My praise shall be of You in the great congregation” (v. 25). The meek shall praise the Lord (v. 26). All this praise is starting to spread now. When you and I start to praise the Lord, it’s contagious, and other people start to praise Him.
We are on resurrection ground here, and we find worship and praise. We also find fellowship with the brethren. “I will declare Your name to My brethren” (v. 22). And we find a witness to the whole world. “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord” (v. 27). You and I are living on resurrection ground. I hope you’re not living between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. That’s a miserable place to live. I hope you’re living from Easter Sunday on. How can you tell if you’re on resurrection ground? Are you worshipping and praising the Lord? Are you fellowshipping with God’s people? Are you witnessing to others? Are you serving others? “A posterity shall serve Him” (v. 30). We are on resurrection ground. Let’s live like it.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).