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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On Psalm 22:1 and the work of the Holy Spirit

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking at Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 with regard to a discussion at my church in the coming weeks on the prophecies about Jesus, of which these two chapters are among the most obvious. In reading over those passages, the idea that struck my spirit most greatly is in Psalm 22:1. David wrote this while on the run from Saul, we believe, and the first sentence, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" was quoted by Jesus while dying on the cross. David, for even being guided to write this for scripture (however that worked), apparently felt forsaken. We understand that Jesus, in the process of dying for our sins, albeit being God in human form, had a level of His all-powerfulness unavailable to Him during that time, and repeats the statement. This tells us something about the work of the Holy Spirit upon us in that, no matter how much I might allow my spirit to wander, or feel depressed as in the "long, dark night of the soul" time, I have never felt forsaken. When I think of "God forsaken", I think of some other planet that is impossible to live upon, but even then, somehow, its minor gravitational pull somehow does something to make this planet more habitable. Being not a scientist, I don’t understand too much about that, although what little I know is more than most other people of past generations.

God hasn’t forsaken me. He is watching over me. Maybe I’ll be forgotten (or never known) by almost everyone on this planet shortly after I die, and I’ll probably never do anything famous or infamous (and in this sinful world, if I was allowed by God to be the vessel of doing anything significant, to far more it would be infamous), God is watching and caring. Conversely, much of what passes for what is important or news today to the world, while not uncared about by God, doesn’t necessarily stand out in importance in the same way, as God sees the hearts of the people involved. That’s hard to get either my head (intellect) or spirit around.

I’m not forsaken. God knows my heart. He has a better idea of why He puts things into my spirit than I ever will. This I am learning to a greater degree as I move into a part of my life in which my physical stamina is limited. I think of the line from "If I Were a Rich Man" which Tevye pleads, "Would it change some great eternal plan,…?" Yes, it would.   This tells us something of the way the Holy Spirit works in the believer's life and in the world, but, as usual, in a way that defies our western way of dissecting something.

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