Psalm 22 – The Psalm of the Cross The first two stanzas of Psalm 22 describe the intensity of Jesus’ suffering. The third stanza describes the redemptive impact of the resurrection. The unexpected and abrupt turn to praise and witness pivots on an answer from God that remains hidden. All we know is that “as suddenly as resurrection” (Waltke) the psalmist “is in the house of God” leading the saints in worship.
Psalm 21 – Answered Prayer This psalm is not only about David and his victories, but about Jesus and his victory over sin and death. Matthew Henry, the British nonconformist Presbyterian, said that there is more in Psalm 21 about the Messiah than about David. First horizon hyperbole becomes second horizon reality. For in Jesus Christ, the ultimate strength of the Lord is revealed.
Psalm 32 – Songs of Deliverance Augustine claimed this penitential psalm of thanksgiving was his favorite psalm. He read it frequently and had its words inscribed on the wall by his sickbed. He was both challenged and comforted by its message: “the beginning of knowledge is to know oneself to be a sinner.” The freedom to make such a claim rests in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The contrast between silence and speech create a tension in this psalm. The painful inertia of quietude must be overcome before there can be wisdom and understanding. The acknowlegment and confession of sin is required before the songs of deliverance can be sung.
Psalm 20 – Praying for Answers When we see Jesus in this prayer it is difficult to see anyone else, but until then, it is easy for the self to be distracted by the name it and claim it promise that the Lord will give us the desires of our heart and make all our plans succeed. We are tempted to read God’s promise as a blank check ready to be exchanged in the currency of our personal desires.
Psalm 19 – Listen to Jesus We find a power in the clarity and beauty of this psalm that is sufficient to silence the otherwise deafening noise of the information age. Against the din of crunching data and the sensory overload of special effects, we are called to listen to primary communication – the language of our mother tongue. One short poetic prayer to the Lord as Creator and Lawgiver refutes the world’s materialism and relativism and leads us in worship.