MARCH 4 – WORDS OF HOPE, NOT DESPAIR
DEVOTIONAL: We wait in faith. But we do not forget what we have known. And we do not forget what sorrows have brought us here.
Psalm 22 begins with the last words Jesus cried out on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” We hear these as words of despair. But even in despair, the psalmist remembers what God has done and trusts in what will be done. Jesus knew this Psalm. He knew that the last verses contain the great promise of the Messianic age, the kingdom of God when we shall all praise, glorify and stand in awe of God. What Jesus cried out in his last breath would not then have been words of despair, but words of hope.
The promise is great. It is not only that God has rescued us from the trials of our days of waiting. The promise is of a new kingdom. The poor shall eat and be satisfied. We hear this again in the Gospel of John, where Jesus referred to himself as the bread of heaven. And it is the promise in Isaiah 55:1f. All the ends of the earth shall turn to the Lord. All dominion will be the Lord’s. We can praise God and know that God is enthroned in our praises.
This is our hope. Even as we recall the path that brought us here we have hope. We can even be grateful as we wait in faith.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 22:23-31 (NRSV)
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he did not despise or abhor
the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
but heard when I cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
May your hearts live for ever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.
To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
and I shall live for him.
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord,
and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
saying that he has done it.