Coming down the slope of yesterday’s “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer,” the worshipper in Psalm 20 rejoices, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”
Listen for the stories embedded in these Psalms, especially in 20 and 21. Psalm 20 is a word of encouragement from one to another, like a letter from one who knows that his friend is in trouble. Psalm 21 remains in the second person, but now the author speaks directly to God Himself. It’s even possible, given their sequence, that Psalm 21 is a response to the situation that spurred the exhortation in Psalm 20.
Psalms 22, 23, and 24 form a triumvirate of well-known verses that stand on their own and are bound in a unique unit. Psalm 22 is deeply personal and emotive: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me…?” The writer blames God for not answering, for not asserting Himself while he is “poured out like water…for dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me…” He is no more afraid to complain to the LORD than he is to remind Him that “In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.”
Notice also in Psalm 22, as you will in numerous other Psalms, that lament, even anger toward the LORD, is intermingled with gratitude and worship. If the Jewish writers thought themselves unfaithful for expressing disappointment and fear, it is not reflected in their writing. Indeed, listen closely to these prayers: when disappointed, even accusatory, the Psalmist is so not because the LORD is powerless, but because the LORD is Sovereign, yet chooses, for His own reasons, not to act.
Our verses for this week are Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Psalms 20 through 25. Now let’s read it!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.