Scripture: Psalm 31:9-16
9 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress.
Tears blur my eyes.
My body and soul are withering away.
10 I am dying from grief;
my years are shortened by sadness.
Sin has drained my strength;
I am wasting away from within.
11 I am scorned by all my enemies
and despised by my neighbors—
even my friends are afraid to come near me.
When they see me on the street,
they run the other way.
12 I am ignored as if I were dead,
as if I were a broken pot.
13 I have heard the many rumors about me,
and I am surrounded by terror.
My enemies conspire against me,
plotting to take my life.
14 But I am trusting you, O Lord,
saying, “You are my God!”
15 My future is in your hands.
Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
16 Let your favor shine on your servant.
In your unfailing love, rescue me.
This psalm of David has shadows of Golgotha. It is not hard to read it from the perspective of our Savior as he transverses his final steps and hours. It could easily be read as his prayer in Gethsemane pouring out his heart to his Father. This is a true and honest psalm of lament, something that is often overlooked in our walk of faith. Not everything is rosy in life and turns out well. There are dark moments to be expressed and here David helps us.
There is an interesting phrase in the latter part of verse ten. “Sin has drained my strength.” No doubt sin is draining and weighs us down. But have you ever thought of Jesus’ carrying the sin of the world as he went to the cross? Jesus suffered enormous physical torture and exhaustion to be sure. But even of greater significance, he bore the total weight of the sin of the whole world since the beginning of time; all the sin ever committed by humanity through thousands of years was borne by one man, the Son of God, at one point in time! Such a truth is beyond our comprehension. Yet Jesus did it out of love for those he created.
The wrath of God toward sin was poured out in full in those moments. Such wrath is not anyone’s; it is that of the holy God, the uncreated Creator. We cannot possibly comprehend the draining on Jesus’ life. He took the full force of God’s justice being served. As the song says, “It was our sin that nailed him to the tree.”
A little later in the psalm we read “even my friends are afraid to come near me. When they see me on the street, they run the other way . . .” These lines remind me of the Garden of Gethsemane . . . and all too often, me. The loneliness of that drain Jesus bore alone in the Garden as his three closest friends slept, the very time he could have used their encouraging prayers. Yet, he prayed alone. Despite the horror of bearing sin as a man without sin and being betrayed by those closest to him, our Lord responded with, “My future is in your hands . . . into your hands I commit my spirit.” Let us take up our cross daily praying his words, “Father, my future is in your hands . . . into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Music: “Were You There?”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz_kvFjQqaU Moses Hogan Singers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4Aktws3V0s Annie Moses Band
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKEboH3cGNo Collin Raye
Gracious Lord, in truth I do not often think of the horror of sin. Too often it is simply a “mistake” or “bad judgment.” When I read and begin to grasp the horror of what Jesus accepted, what he willingly took on, I am sobered. Too often it seems minor and just not that significant. For the most part, our world has lost all sense of sin, so it is not surprising that there is little attention paid to its devastating effect and impact. Holy Father, help me to see more clearly the horror of my own sin and not simply think that since Jesus paid the debt long ago, my sin is not of that great of concern today. Thank you, Father, for your Son through whom is my cleansing and salvation. Quicken my heart to recognize the seriousness of sin as I bow before my Lord in gratitude for his redeeming work. In the name of the Savior who suffered, bled, died, rose, ascended to the Father, and even now, intercedes on my behalf. Amen. –Daniel Sharp