September 30

Psalms 22:1, 16, 18 1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?

16Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.

18They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

One thousand years before Jesus was born, the shepherd king David wrote this prophetic song. We don't know the details surrounding it. Was he going through some similar circumstance, such as the attempt to murder him by King Saul? Or was he lying on the grass while watching his sheep when the Spirit of God came upon him and he began to sing this song? We can only guess.

What we do know is that a millennium in the future, Jesus would be nailed to a Roman cross and begin to quote this psalm so full of the details of that moment. If God could inspire a shepherd to pen the details of that horrible moment, then surely God is sovereign over it. Though Jesus did not sense God's presence, He did have His Word in His heart that assured Him that the Father knew exactly what was happening and what would happen.

God had forsaken Jesus because the sin of the world was placed upon Him. The Father is of purer eyes than to behold evil (Habakkuk 1:13). Jesus knew the answer, but the psalm was voiced for us. Dogs were the term that the Jews used for Gentiles. In typical Hebrew style David repeated the expression in different terms, "a band of evil men." The Roman Gentile soldiers surrounded the scene. Crucifixion, in which the hands and feet were pierced, was invented shortly before Jesus was born. This prophetic word was truly a glimpse into the future.

Clothing in the first century was very expensive. Many people had only one main robe and a cloak for colder weather. Jesus robe was made of one solid weaving and therefore even more valuable. The soldiers divided up the smaller articles of clothing, but to keep the value intact, they decided not to divide the robe. Instead they put each of their names on a stone, put the stones in a jar, and shook the jar until one stone fell out. The person whose name was on that stone won the robe, not knowing that he had just fulfilled the words of an ancient prophecy.

Consider: If God knows the details of every trial His children endure, we can trust Him to see us through trials and into a greater victory than we can imagine, just as He did with His only begotten Son. Trust Him! He knows your future.