The Cry of Despair Struggling with the Cry of Faith
Psalm 22:1-10
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?…

The writer was' apparently an exile, still in the hands of his heathen captors. His extreme peril, the obloquy and scorn to which he was exposed as a professed worshipper of Jehovah, his imminent death, are touched on with a tenderness and a power which have made the language familiar to us in another application - as used by Christ in the agonies of the cross. It is the cry of despair struggling with the cry of faith.

I. THE CRY OF DESPAIR. That God had forsaken him.

1. Had forsaken him for a long time. (Vers. 1, 2.) It was not a temporary eclipse, but seemed a permanent desertion.

2. That this abandonment was somehow consistent with God's faithfulness. (Ver. 3.) There was no doubt it did not arise from caprice, but from holiness. That made the darkness very dark.

3. It arose from his personal unworthiness. (Vers. 4- 6.) God had rescued his fathers; but he was a worm, and not a man, unworthy of deliverance, despised of men. "Fear not, thou worm Jacob."

4. A contrast to God's former care of him. (Vers. 9, 10.) Not easy to analyze the contents of such a consciousness. But in general, "It is the sense of the Divine mercy, care, and support gone!"

II. But there is in the background, FAITH STRUGGLING AGAINST THIS DESPAIR.

1. He still can say, "My God." Repeatedly (vers. 1, 2). No unbelief could dissolve that tie.

2. Faith will not let go its hold upon his "holiness," however dark its aspect towards him now. (Ver. 3.) God cannot be far from a man who retains the sense of his holy faithfulness.

3. He is suffering in the righteous cause - for God's sake. (Vers. 6-8.) As Christ was. There is more than a gleam of hope for him here.

4. God had brought him into the world, and cared for him in helpless infancy. (Vers. 9, 10.) These are the grounds of persistent faith battling against the sense of desertion and despair; and they are all-sufficient for us in our darkest hours. "We can but trust; we cannot know." - S.

Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.} My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

WEB: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?

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