I love that God included David’s psalms of lament in scripture. I love the honesty and transparency in David’s cries to God. It shows me that God knows and cares about what we go through mentally and emotionally. He isn’t afraid of or offended by our feelings. It is okay to take our frustrations, hurts, anger, and sadness to God. It is okay to ask Him why things are happening to us that are painful and that we can’t understand. It is okay to go to Him with our depression and grief. But we must do so with reverence and with open hands, not in indignation or with clenched fists.
He can handle our asking why. We must be able to handle that His answer might be “because.”
And we must always, always, always remember that no matter what He brings us to in our lives, He will always be right there with us as we go through it. And we must always, always, always remember that He has a purpose for everything, even if we can’t see it at the time. Everything we experience is for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory.
From Suffering to Praise
For the choir director: according to “The Deer of the Dawn.”[a] A Davidic psalm.
1 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Why are You so far from my deliverance
and from my words of groaning?[b]
2 My God, I cry by day, but You do not answer,
by night, yet I have no rest.
3 But You are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in You;
they trusted, and You rescued them.
5 They cried to You and were set free;
they trusted in You and were not disgraced.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by people.
7 Everyone who sees me mocks me;
they sneer[c] and shake their heads:
8 “He relies on[d] the Lord;
let Him rescue him;
let the Lord[e] deliver him,
since He takes pleasure in him.”
9 You took me from the womb,
making me secure while at my mother’s breast.
10 I was given over to You at birth;[f]
You have been my God from my mother’s womb.
11 Do not be far from me, because distress is near
and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me;
strong ones of Bashan encircle me.
13 They open their mouths against me—
lions, mauling and roaring.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are disjointed;
my heart is like wax,
melting within me.
15 My strength is dried up like baked clay;
my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You put me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded me;
a gang of evildoers has closed in on me;
they pierced[g] my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones;
people[h] look and stare at me.
18 They divided my garments among themselves,
and they cast lots for my clothing.
19 But You, Lord, don’t be far away.
My strength, come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver my life from the sword,
my only life[i] from the power of these dogs.
21 Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued[j] me
from the horns of the wild oxen.
22 I will proclaim Your name to my brothers;
I will praise You in the congregation.
23 You who fear Yahweh, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him!
All you descendants of Israel, revere Him!
24 For He has not despised or detested
the torment of the afflicted.
He did not hide His face from him
but listened when he cried to Him for help.
25 I will give praise[k] in the great congregation
because of You;
I will fulfill my vows
before those who fear You.[l]
26 The humble[m] will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the Lord will praise Him.
May your hearts live forever!
27 and turn to the Lord.
All the families of the nations
will bow down before You,
28 for kingship belongs to the Lord;
He rules over the nations.
29 All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down;
all those who go down to the dust
will kneel before Him—
even the one who cannot preserve his life.
30 Their descendants will serve Him;
the next generation will be told about the Lord.
31 They will come and tell a people yet to be born
about His righteousness—
what He has done.