Psalms and Prophecy

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, “Is this the one who relies on the LordThen let the Lord save him! If the Lord loves him so much, let the Lord rescue him!”  Psalm 22:7,8 NLT

Our sovereign God, not only reveals His plans of redemption but provides amazing details of actual events related to the Messiah’s life and His redemptive work.

We are familiar with the prophecies fulfilled at Christ’s birth. “A virgin shall be with child…” Bethlehem foretold as the place of His birth; Nazareth as His home town; the flight to Egypt. “Out of Egypt I have called my son.” 

Even more vivid are the details that relate to Christ’s death on the cross. These are not found in the words of the Old Testament prophets, but in the psalms, written by the one whose distant and heaven-sent “son” would fulfill at the end of His life.

Luke records the actual event with these words, “The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” (Luke 23:35 NIV)

We read in the gospels, “And they divided up His garments by casting lots.” (Luke 23:34 NIV) David spoke thousands of years earlier,They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.” (Psalm 22:18 NLT)

Matthew records Jesus’ cry from the cross, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46 NLT) David spoke of the event as well, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Psalm 22:1 NLT)

David spoke of the intensity of Jesus’ suffering, My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within me. My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth….I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat.” (Psalm 22:14-15,17 NLT)

When David wrote these words, he was not speaking with the coming Messiah in mind. He was uttering prophetic words of the Messiah’s suffering without realizing. The words that he wrote, were word that described how he felt and what he experienced. We don’t have historic record of why David wrote what he did, or what he had in mind when he wrote these words. (Perhaps we can find out in heaven!)

We can believe that the Holy Spirit was the source of David’s inspiration, even as he wrote words that he, himself did not understand.

But just as Christ and His life reflected back on the history of Israel, so we find words that reflect back on the life and words of David. He was to be known after all as “The Son of David.”

My “take-a-way” thoughts are these. I am reminded that prophetic words come to pass in God’s way and in God’s timing. It may take thousands of years, but they do occur. What is an eternity for us is not with God. The scriptures that foretold of Christ’s birth and death were fulfilled and the ones that speak of His return will be fulfilled.

The other lesson, is that Christ came to identify with us in our struggles and in our weaknesses. The writer of Hebrews declares, “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18 NIV) We see the promised work of the Holy Spirit, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26 NIV)

The psalms provide great words of comfort and they reveal a God who cares for us and knows the beginning from the end. That should compel greater trust and confidence in our walk of faith.

Prayer for today…. Lord we pray for greater grace to trust You more. We recognize Your greatness and stand in awe of who You are and Your ways.