Fourteen generations between David and Jesus. Each time I read over psalm 22, I saw more and more of Jesus.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish? (Psalm 22:1, NIV)
Many other books of the Bible read like a recounting, a history, a letter, or a conversation. But something about the psalms feels like a heart’s cry in anguish or in praise. Sometimes they feel vulnerable and exposed. Sometimes strong and confident.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. (Psalm 23, NIV)
All the generations that have passed, these enduring words still profess God’s faithfulness, a comfort to so many of us. Words to lift up in praise. Words to whisper in uncertainty.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
5 They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob. (Psalm 24, NIV, emphasis added)
Years ago, I remember a conversation with a friend about the land that was for sale behind my house. She said something that I never forgot, about it being God’s land, and he would put who he wanted there. Her words completely reframed my perspective, and still do when I encounter people: the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
Yesterday as I swept down a portion of the driveway, I wrestled with the question, “How do I want to show up in the world?” And the answer came: like I am the Lord’s.