Abandonment is most often viewed in a negative way, often for good reason. No one wants to be forsaken or deserted. It brings a sense of emptiness and despair.
When we think of children who've been abandoned, our hearts go out to them. Some of us may have abandonment issues and fear being left alone.
And then, there are those who abandon and forsake others.
For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of Dawn.” A psalm of David.
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? You seem far from saving me, far away from my groans. My God, I call to you during the day,but you do not answer. I call at night; I am not silent. You sit as the Holy One. The praises of Israel are your throne.
Our ancestors trusted you; they trusted, and you saved them. They called to you for help and were rescued. They trusted you and were not disappointed. [vss 1-5]
But I am like a worm instead of a man. People make fun of me and hate me. Those who look at me laugh. They stick out their tongues and shake their heads. They say, “Turn to the Lord for help. Maybe he will save you. If he likes you, maybe he will rescue you.” [vss 6-8]
You had my mother give birth to me. You made me trust you while I was just a baby. I have leaned on you since the day I was born; you have been my God since my mother gave me birth. So don’t be far away from me.
Now trouble is near, and there is no one to help. People have surrounded me like angry bulls. Like the strong bulls of Bashan, they are on every side. Like hungry, roaring lions they open their mouths at me. [vss 9-13]
My strength is gone, like water poured out onto the ground, and my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it has melted inside me. My strength has dried up like a clay pot, and my tongue sticks to the top of my mouth. You laid me in the dust of death.
Evil people have surrounded me; like dogs they have trapped me. They have bitten my arms and legs. I can count all my bones; people look and stare at me. They divided my clothes among them, and they threw lots for my clothing. [vss 14-18]
But, Lord, don’t be far away. You are my strength; hurry to help me. Save me from the sword; save my life from the dogs. Rescue me from the lion’s mouth; save me from the horns of the bulls. [vss 19-21]
(Psalm 22:1-21 NCV) [Context– Psalm 22]
Key phrase— My heart is like wax; it has melted inside me
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Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
Who is the psalmist crying out to, and how would you describe his emotional plea?
What does King David base his trust on? What does he say about what others say about him?
What are some of the ways David describes his situation and condition?
What does he ask to be rescued from and from who? How does he express confidence in God?
Jesus cries out on the cross with the opening line of this psalm. Several lines of this psalm were fulfilled as Jesus hung on the cross, suffering and dying. [Matt 27:35-46; Mark 15:27-34; Luke 23:34-37; John 19:24, 32-34]
Jesus experienced a sense of abandonment by His Father on the cross, in His role as savior of the world. And yet, he willing abandoned Himself to His Father, as seen in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:36-46).
Prophetically, King David's passionate prayer looks ahead to the final hours of the Lord Jesus on the cross. This psalm reveals how intimately God understands humanity's struggle with sin.
God has heard the deep cries of the human soul through Jesus—God clothed in humanity (John 1:1, 14)—as He uttered them on the cross.
The first half of this psalm expresses the anguish of the Lord on the cross. The second half reminds us of His victory over death through His resurrection (next week).
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
Have you ever felt (or been) abandoned? Can you relate to the passionate prayer of King David?
Are there times when you've felt far from God? If so, how did you draw near to Him again?
Are you able to see how God understands the struggles you go through?
Do you or can you trust God beyond what your emotions tell you?
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?