Psalm 22:25, 27-28 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfil my vows. … All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations.

Let us thank God for Psalm 22!  It is such a clear and detailed foreshadowing of the crucifixion of our Saviour, with all the pain and anguish he was willing to suffer for our salvation – but it also helps us to embrace everything that Christ’s ‘obedience unto death – even death on a cross’ (Philippians 2:8) means to, and for, us in our mission to a lost world.

In writing this psalm, King David was encouraged to persevere with his positive godly witness to his people in spite of all the adverse circumstances that surrounded him, and in spite of his FEELING of discouragement and rejection (cf verse 1).  He was determined to remain faithful to his commitment to the LORD BECAUSE he trusted in the LORD’s sovereign POWER to achieve the promised salvation of the Elect in ‘all the ends of the earth’ and all ‘the families of the nations’, over which the LORDexercised ‘dominion’ and ‘rule’.  The LORD’s saving GRACE was IRRESISTIBLE!

Psalm 22 is a great psalm to read when I’m wondering how the Lord’s Church will survive the subtle but vicious attacks that are being made upon it in these testing days.  It helps me to affirm with the Apostle Paul: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16), and to press on in the face of opposition and discouragement.  If David could write the verses I’ve quoted today, just after writing, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, we, too, must remember how important it is for us all to stand firm in our faith in God’s sovereign saving power, to sing about it, and thus to encourage one another as we walk by faith.

“For my sake and the Gospel’s, go  and tell redemption’s story; his heralds answer: ‘Be it so, and thine, Lord, all the glory!’  They preach his life, his death, his cross, the love of his atonement, for whom they count the world but loss, his Easter, his enthronement.  Still on and on the anthems spread, of hallelujah voices; in concert with the holy dead the warrior Church rejoices; their snow-white robes are washed in blood, their golden harps are ringing; earth and the Paradise of God one triumph song are singing.” (Edward Bickersteth).