I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will praise him—may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the LORD. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it! Psalm 22:22-31
 

Psalm twenty-two begins with the Psalmist being far from God and feeling forsaken by God. Jesus quoted verse one when he was on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It goes on to explain the troubles and challenges of the Psalmist and then his deliverance from those. This Psalm was prophetic about Jesus on the cross but can be applied to our lives as well.[1]

Our reading picks up after the troubles have subsided in verse twenty-two. A different note of proclamation and praise is struck at this point. “I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you” (v. 22). There is something powerful and special that happens when we worship God with other people. This can happen at church, a Bible study, a campfire, or in other places. There is also something exhilarating about declaring who God is corporately that is different from our personal time with God. In those moments we realize we are part of a larger group of followers and worshippers of God. We rejoice with those who are rejoicing and weep with those who are weeping (Romans 12:15).

This Psalm reminds us that God responds and helps those who are suffering and in trouble. “The LORD is close to the brokenheartedand saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). I remember praying for someone in a group setting who was going through a divorce at the time. Something welled up inside of me; tears of compassion started flowing out for this person. Perhaps I got just a glimpse of the love and compassion that Jesus has for us-especially in our times of need.

The end of this Psalm reminds us that people will worship the Lord from all over the earth. There will come a day when every knee will bow before him. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:10). We get the privilege of willingly doing it now with other people. We should proclaim who God is with our families, our churches, at work, and everywhere we go. He is the King!
 
Reflection Questions
 1.       Have you experienced the joys of living, worshiping, and serving in community with others? What was it like?   
 2.        Have you ever been overwhelmed with Jesus’ compassion for a person or group of people? What did you do as a result?
 
Lord, I thank you for the privilege of worshipping you in community with other people. I am grateful that you are compassionate and close to us when we are in need. Help me to proclaim your greatness to everyone around me today.
 
[1]    Matthew Henry, Psalms. Matthew Henry
             Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete).