21.They also gave me gall for my food And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
29.But I am afflicted and in pain ; May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high.
30.I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving.
31.And it will please the LORD better than an ox Or a young bull with horns and hoofs.
32.The humble have seen it and are glad ; You who seek God, let your heart revive.
33.For the LORD hears the needy And does not despise His who are prisoners.
34.Let heaven and earth praise Him, The seas and everything that moves in them.
35.For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah, That they may dwell there and possess it.
36.The descendants of His servants will inherit it, And those who love His name will dwell in it.
I read this psalm just after a chapel during Holy Week, in which we had been focusing on Jesus. My attention was drawn to verse 21 of this psalm, which is fulfilled at Jesus’ death. So as I read this psalm, I was thinking of Jesus and the work He did for me on the cross. This emphasis ties in perfectly to my theology class, where I am studying about the doctrines of salvation. One of the interesting concepts I have learned about this semester is that Jesus Christ became our Pioneer in death, burial, and resurrection. He has gone before us and made the way for us to have new life in Him. In addition, I am finding in Scripture and in my own life that Jesus is my pioneer in suffering. David wrote this psalm out of his own experience of suffering, but his words were fulfilled in Jesus’ life. Jesus suffered unto death to bring about my salvation.
We suffer too, as David reflects in verse 29, “I am afflicted and in pain.” What is comforting is that Jesus is our Pioneer in suffering. He knows and understands our pain. Even better, He can redeem our pain by using it for His good purposes. And even better than that, by His suffering Jesus provided salvation for us. Knowing that we have salvation in Jesus gives us security (vs 29). Because of our salvation, we can praise God even in the midst of suffering (vs 30-33). God will revive our hearts (vs 32), He will hear us in our time of need, and He will not reject us (vs 33). We have reason to praise Him.
Verses 35-36 reflect a type of salvation. God promised to give Israel a home and a land that they could live in and possess. They could pass on this home from generation to generation and live securely there. This reminds me of the salvation Jesus secured for us by His suffering. It reminds me that God cares for His people. He knows our needs and desires, and He wants to fulfill them. We can praise God because He has made a way for us.