Psalm 22:19-28 (NRSV)
Verse 19But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid!
Verse 20Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!
Verse 21Save me from the mouth of the lion! From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.
Verse 22I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
Verse 23You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
Verse 24For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.
Verse 25From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
Verse 26The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord. May your hearts live forever!
Verse 27All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
Verse 28For dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.
Psalm 22 opens with the familiar words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (v. 1) and verses 19-28 continue this psalmist’s desperate cry. He pleads for God to choose to deliver him from hostilities. He bargains with God saying that, if God chooses to deliver him, he’ll respond by publicly praising God.
For me—and perhaps for you—I most fervently choose God when I’m afraid and want God to help me. Like the psalmist, I might even bargain with God. However, with or without our pleading and bargaining, God is ever-present saying, “Here I am” (Isaiah 65:1). This psalm reassures us that our loving God hears us, faithfully responds to our cries, and restores us back into God’s community. There, with our siblings of every nation, our cries of suffering are transformed into our songs of praise. We choose God, but God has already chosen us.
Loving God, remind us that you always hear our cries to you. Unite us in praise and service with our siblings in your family no matter where they live throughout all the earth’s nations. Amen.