For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? 2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. 4 In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
Though this is a psalm of David you can tell right from the first verse it is a prophetic psalm foretelling of things to come.
Martin Luther says this about this psalm,
“This is a kind of gem among the Psalms, and is peculiarly excellent and remarkable. It contains those deep, sublime, and heavy sufferings of Christ, when agonizing in the midst of the terrors and pangs of divine wrath and death which surpass all human thought and comprehension."
There are many seasons in David's life that he experienced great danger and deprivation, so we can certainly see him uttering these words of desperation. As we have said before, Jesus would have memorized the psalms as a young boy. Perhaps he was meditating on this psalm during his suffering and saw his crucifixion as a fulfillment of it.
I think we have all experienced times where we felt God was not answering our prayers. Even the sense of feeling a complete absence of His presence. Worse yet, an unanswered prayer can be a sense that God has abandoned us. Or, that he doesn't care. Some have called this the "dark night of the soul". It is an intense time of testing. If you read to the end of the psalm, you will see David's exasperation turn into hope in a God who is faithful in the end. And when David's sees this deliverance, he promises to give God glory in the assembly.
Again these verses are foretelling the ultimate deliverance Jesus came to bring. David's feeling forsaken and then ultimately being delivered is a microcosm of what Jesus did to save all of us.
Question: Where have you felt deserted by God? What are you praying for where God seems to be silent? David believed that God would be faithful and that he would give God praise in due time. Can you commit to that?