Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Psalmist

We learned about King David last week a bit.  While last week we focused on covenants, this week we'll look at the poetry attributed to King David.  If you are looking for the Bible's Hymnal, look no further than the Psalms.  Although we may not know the tunes, these poems were to be SUNG!  They were an important part of worship, something people knew!  

In Friday's post, I asked a trivia question.  Several of you had heard it from me--but the answer is twice that I can find.  1) With the disciples at the last supper (See Mark 14:26).  They probably sang Psalm 114-118, the hymns for Passover.  2) On the cross.  If someone said, "Amazing Grace how sweet the sound", we would look at them like they were crazy.  We automatically SING those words.  In the same way, when Jesus quoted Psalm 22 in Mark 15:34, he probably sang it!  More, he probably sang the WHOLE THING.

So, lets look at Psalm 22.  

Here's this week's suggested Methodology:

1) Pray--God of Light--Open our eyes to your truths.  Show us your vision.  Let us see with your eyes.  Let us remove all distractions and focus instead on your word.  We know you are speaking, let us listen and hear.  Amen
2)  Read the Psalm Through twice.
3) Take notes on what jumps out at you, and then put it down!
4) Come back to it later, and answer these questions!

The Questions!

1) What in this Psalm jumps out at you?  
2) If you were a Jew at the cross when Jesus was singing this, what would you be thinking?
3) What clearly doesn't point to Jesus?
4) What points to Jesus?
5) What else needs to be said?

Looking forward to this!

Pastor Emily 


Lynne Watts said...

Many things in this psalm relate to the crucifixion, the many references to suffering, garments being divided by lots, pierced hands and feet etc. Some things don't seem relevant especially the references to the wild animals. Reading it today though I really was caught by the ending verses... given the extreme suffering in the beginning, it is amazing the positive note that it ends on. Not only does the person suffering praise and honor God, but the whole world will ultimately do so. In a way this is also reflective of the crucifixion. Christ suffered so that the whole world could be reconciled. I especially like the last verse: They (posterity) will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn for he has done it... I must say, imagining Jesus singing this has put a whole new spin on this for me. Thank you Emily!

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

The "He has done it" reminds me of "It is finished". Verses 27-31, I believe, are referring directly to Jesus coming into the world to save us, descending to the dead to reconcile them with God, and ruling all the nations for generations to come.
And, like Lynne, I so appreciate the imagery of Jesus singing!

Lindsay said...

On my first times reading this, the imagery of Jesus jumped out at me... the pain, piecing of his body, casting lots for his clothing, and the calling out to God. With this in mind, I interpreted the wild animals to be those insulting him as they walked by him on the cross and those mocking him... tearing apart their prey as they watched him die. Matthew 27:39 (Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads) is almost exactly as Psalm 22:7 reads. This all takes me to Good Friday.

As Lynne points out, there is so much praising in this psalm, and that jumped out to me the more I read through it. While searching youtube for a video of this being sung, I found this clip... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO2oajaiUck (it's only part of the scripture)... and then I saw the praising and relying on God that develops through the psalm:

You aren't answering my cries... but you are God, enthroned whom my ancestors trusted. I am being made fun of and criticized for believing in you... but you created me to be yours. I am physically falling apart and in so much pain... but I will praise you and declare the greatness of your name. Although you seemed so far away God, you have listened to my cry and all who believe will live forever!

The pain the Jesus endured that stuck out at first, makes me cry. I cannot even fathom the pain He endured on that cross. But the praise in this psalm reminds me why he died, so that my heart can live forever, so that I can bow down before my God, so that I can tell the future generations about my God... indeed, God has not forsaken us, but he is near!

Mary said...

Jesus, all-knowing God, knew this song before it was written. He heard it as a child, sang it as a young man, all the time knowing it was his future. Being God he knew what it meant and what happened afterwards and being human he must have had strong feelings about it all. So much love God has for us, for me! I am the posterity that will serve him and tell future generations about the Lord.