I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him. – Psalm 22:22-24 ESV
If you were to only read verses 22-24 of Psalm 22, you may walk away thinking it to be a happy psalm, praising the Lord for His good deeds. Well, it is that, but it’s not simply that. Psalm 22 is also filled with David’s rich petitions to the Lord, pleading that the Lord would hear his prayers and be gracious to him. In verses one and two, David cries, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.” David is distraught. He knows he is weak and needs the Lord’s help. In verse 11, he says, “Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.” The cries continue until the start of today’s passage.
So why is David saying he will tell others of the Lord’s great name? Why would someone so abruptly turn from petitioning to thanksgiving? David praises the Lord because God’s goodness isn’t dependent on David’s situation. The Lord is good regardless of whether David’s life is comfortable or difficult. So, David says, praise Him. Praise the Lord amid the congregation! Praise the Lord as you stand before Him! Praise the Lord, for He hears your cries for help.
Whenever you are feeling like David at the beginning of Psalm 22, you’re not alone. The good news is that the Lord cares deeply for you and gives an ear to your prayers. There were times when the Lord allowed David to struggle. The Father even allowed Jesus to suffer on the cross! He allows you to struggle too, but He is with you always. Do all you can to help the next generation understand this truth: The basis on which we praise the Lord is not our prosperity but His existence and goodness. Praise Him today through your actions because He is worthy of our devotion.