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Lament: devotions for today

Scripture: Psalm 22

A Psalm of Lament

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? 2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. 4 In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

Reflection:

Laments are only one type of Psalm, but there are more laments (60+) than any of the other six types. Why so many? Perhaps because they express deep trust in their Lord, while at the same time bringing the people’s sufferings, struggles, and disappointments to their God. God’s people wrote laments in times like these, of which there were many.

Like all Psalms, laments have an identifiable structure:

  • An Address: (Who is being addressed) My God, my God

  • A Complaint: (Suffering, disappointment) Why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me?

  • Trust: (Where help is coming from) Yet you are enthroned as the holy one. You are the one Israel praises.

  • Deliverance: (The cry for help) My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,

  • Assurance: (Confidence in the One in whom trust is expressed) In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.

  • Praise: (Honoring God for past, present and future blessings) To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

Like God’s people of the Old Testament, we too live in “lamentable” times. Take heart! God honors an honest expression of disappointment, a sincere complaint about the way things are. What Father doesn’t? So go ahead; tell God how you feel! David did, and he was a man after God’s own heart. But after the address and the complaint, don’t forget what God loves best—the expressions of trust and deliverance, the recounting of your blessings, the praise and honor due his name.

 

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