by Dr. Matt Friedeman
There is a thought among some that the song on the heart and lips of Jesus during His experience on the cross included Psalm 22 through Psalm 31:5. The former begins with “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (the fourth of Jesus’ “last words”). The latter verse is “Into your hand I commit my spirit…” (the seventh–and final–of Jesus’ last words).
Jesus would have sung this song his whole life in personal and corporate devotions. Unquestionably he had it memorized. So the thought pattern of this and other hymns of the Jewish faith would have been indelibly part of the neural pathways of the Son of God.
Get this third verse of Psalm 22 (almost assuredly on the mind of Jesus while on the cross):
Yet you are holy,
Enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Apparently, according to the ESV Study Bible, “enthroned on the praises” could be rendered “dwelling in the praises.” I like both word pictures.
God enthrones Himself on, and lives in, our praise.
Is His throne, therefore, tall enough? Stable enough? Beautiful enough – with our praises and adoration and professed love as the building material?
Or, is His living space ornate enough? Comfortable enough? Spacious enough – with our praise as the “brick and mortar” of the residence?
Most undisciplined models of prayer rush to ask God for things – safety, provision, healing, etc. Few prayer lives linger long in praise and adoration.
The verse before our featured verse goes like this:
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
And by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy…
All His life Jesus practiced singing this song in preparation for this moment on the cross. He would cry out in his last moments with no seeming answer from the Father, no rest in the weariness of suffering. Yet even then Jesus wants to build a throne of praise, a domicile of adoration, for His Abba Father.
No matter our situation today one of the very best things we could do–surely greater than asking God for our needs and desires–is to declare His holiness and build a throne and dwelling place of praise for Him.