Summary: God doesn’t always seem close, but it’s okay to tell Him.
Text: Psalms 22:1-11
Theme: God doesn’t always seem close, but it’s okay to tell Him.
Need Analysis: So many people feel abandoned by God, yet hold it in because they fear it means distrust.
o For Christians: God is alive and real, and it’s okay to tell Him when we have pain and feel abandoned. It must be combined with trust though.
o For Non-Christians: God is a God of help for all Who call on Him. Placing trust in Him will lead to the ability to trust Him in all situations.
Introduction: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” How great must have been the Psalmist’s pain to open up in such blatant manner to the God of the Heavens. Surely this meant a time of doubt and deafening hopelessness in a time of terrifying grief. Why then did Jesus issue the same from the cross so many years later?
o Transition: So many questions lie within these words. Many preach this sermon as a prophecy of what Jesus would say. That seems to give religious justification for being placed in the Bible at all. However, Jesus experienced the same pain and questioned in the same way.
I. The Yell (1-2)
o Exegesis: The Psalmist was going through some terrible moment in life and came to the point of feeling completely out of touch with God, when He was needed most.
1) The difficulty was so bad the Psalmist was praying day and night.
2) He undoubtedly petitioned God over and over for the same thing, but felt no response.
o Application: How many times have we lay awake at night questioning why something has happened and wondering why God was taking a vacation? We used to have a joy, but it was lost long ago as the battles began and we slowly got beaten back. It seems we are yelling with all we have to get help from God, but He’s not coming. If God allowed it in the Psalms, and Jesus repeated it from the cross, it is not wrong to weep to God, asking Him why.
o Illustration: In my own life, I’ve had such a situation. Just when it seemed like life was the best, every strand of hope and joy that I had was taken. Two years later I lay asking God why He had deserted me and if He hadn’t, to allow me to die so I didn’t have to face living. Even then it seemed God didn’t listen.
o Transition: We know that problems will happen and do. But when it seems they become more difficult than average, more extended than usual, it is then we come questioning God.
II. The Motivation (6-8)
o Exegesis: The writer gives us a glimpse of what was causing His pain. He looks at himself like a worm. He walked along kicked and hunted by others, fighting for his life. It also says he was scorned by those who persecuted him because he trusted in the Lord.
o Application: Too many difficulties exist to comprehend them all. The war in Iraq, death in the family, loss or divorce of a spouse, financial difficulties.
o Illustration: Job also felt in such a position. Seemingly abandoned by God, his wife suggested he curse God and his friends told him to get the sin out of his life. Undoubtedly he lay on the floor wanting to know what had happened to His God.
o Transition: Nothing is better to a terrible story than a good ending. And nothing gives greater hope in the time of distress than knowing the ending.
III. The Knowledge (3-5,9-11,19)
o Exegesis: The Psalmist recounts with joy how God delivered his fathers from their pain. He also admits that He was given to the mercy of God since birth, and even relates to being a baby.
o Application: There is no greater trust or need for another in the world than a baby has. The baby must rely in trust for its mother for everything from protection to nourishment. The Psalmist ends his lament by admitting that it was God who satisfied those needs in His life ever since birth. He was proclaiming faith that He would do it again.
o Illustration: Read the well-known “Footprints.”
o Transition: God knows we have trouble. It is inescapable. Even Jesus Himself felt the sting of not feeling God when He came to the most difficult part of His life. However, unlike Jesus’ situation, God has not abandoned us. The Psalms let us know that it’s okay to let the agony flow, only when we accompany it with the knowledge that God holds our greater interests and will not abandon us. We can look to Him and trust.
Conclusion: Call to any who have felt the devastation of hopelessness and need a touch of God. Point out that such salvation is only available to those God calls His children and make salvation call.