Quiet waters, hard times

Have you ever heard or read Psalm 23? In The Message translation of the Bible, Psalm 23 begins:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

Psalm 23 assures us of God’s provision, even in hard times. The imagery of the shepherd who leads his sheep points directly to Jesus. Jesus described himself as “the good shepherd” in John 10:11.

Now let’s take one step back to Psalm 22. It begins quite differently.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

This also points to Jesus. Let’s look forward hundreds of years to Matthew 27:46 with Jesus hanging on the cross for our sins.

46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

Amazing. David is writing about his own difficulties and predicting Jesus’ death at the same time. We can move back and forth between Psalm 22 and the Gospels to see that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were planned in response to our rebellion from the beginning of time.

Psalm 22

All who see me mock me;
    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
    “let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

Matthew 27

41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Psalm 22

16 Dogs surround me,
    a pack of villains encircles me;
    they pierce my hands and my feet.

18 They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.

Mark 15

24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.

Psalm 22

31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!

This is where we join the narrative. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, we are made righteous. The price for your salvation is paid. God bless you my friend!

About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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