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Sermon 10/17/04
The Worm –
Psalm 22:6

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The Worm

But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people” (Psalm 22:6)

Do you want a friend?  It’s pretty clear that, at some point, EVERYBODY wants one.  Even the “loner,” down deep inside would like a friend, though likely on strict terms and conditions of their own choosing.  A “loner” is often just a person who has been hurt and is afraid to try anymore – they might be hurt again!

People want their friends to listen, to accept them no matter what is revealed, and to understand completely.  If you have suffered, there is a deep need to share that suffering with someone who knows exactly what you’ve been going through.

The problem is that other people usually DON’T understand, and the person who needs to share becomes angry, withdrawing from others even when the need is there.

Someone sent us a short article called “The Little Earthworm.”  I don’t know who wrote it and don’t recall who sent it.  If you want credit for it, we’ll give recognition to the first ten people who make such a claim.  Here’s “The Little Earthworm” –

One of the most harmless, gentle little creatures that you can think about is the earthworm. It has no teeth, no bones and no hard body parts. It has no arms or legs and cannot slap or kick. It cannot bite, sting or scratch or put out poison or a bad odor. It does not carry disease germs. The tiniest baby could hold one in his hand without harm. This little creature never fights even when others try to kill it. It may be chopped in two, but it does not scream or make the least fuss. The earthworm can leave its snipped-off tail and quietly begin to grow another one. The earthworm eats nothing or uses nothing that another creature would like to have. It does nothing that another animal or plant does not like to have done. It kills no plant or animal to take care of its own needs, but it is very useful to man and also to animals and plants.”  The writer continued, “This is a simple, wonderful picture of the character of Christ.”  Our Lord is gentle, not unlike that earthworm.

The Gospel accounts of our Lord Jesus Christ give us His actual words so clearly that it’s like hearing them directly from His lips.  We even have some of the words He uttered while on the cross dying for our sins.  A lot of people don’t realize that sections of the OLD Testament also contain His words, written hundreds of years before He was on earth.  Many know from the New Testament that while He was on the cross He gasped in the Aramaic language, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which translates into English this way: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).

David, the shepherd boy, warrior, king, poet and song writer, was God’s man who wrote the prophetic Psalm 22, just as the Holy Spirit encouraged him to do.  The Psalm begins with, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1), and then it continues with the actual FEELINGS of Jesus, an x-ray of the THOUGHTS He would feel while on the cross.  Included is today’s look at this incredible thought: “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people” (Psalm 22:6).  He felt like a worm.

Have you ever felt so embarrassed, so ruined, that you felt like a worm?  Have you felt rejected by others to the point where you were a laughingstock?  Have you ever been hated by the very people you love?  Jesus felt those things and more.  His thoughts while He was on the cross, included: “All those who see Me laugh Me to scorn” (Psalm 22:7).

Have you been threatened by a bully, whether in a schoolroom or in a corporate boardroom?  Jesus knew that feeling, and felt this way about it: “Many bulls have surrounded Me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me” (Psalm 22:12).  He was surrounded by vicious enemies who were harming Him terribly, and there was no one to help.  His human body was being publicly ruined by those who reviled Him.

He understands your pain from personal experience.  He knows what it means to be misunderstood and embarrassed by those who hate you; by those who should love you.  He has known helplessness, anxiety and depression first hand.  He knows what it feels like to call out to God and apparently receive no answer: “They (His enemies) shoot out the lip (they sneered at Him), they shake the head (mocking Him), saying, ‘He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him” (Psalm 22:7-8).

They even took away His clothing and played a child’s game to see who would “win” what little He had: “They divide My garments among them and for My clothing they cast lots” (Psalm 22:18).  And yet, as Jesus cried out in His heart, the Father HEARD Him, and knew His suffering: “For He (the Father) has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from Him; but when He cried to Him, He heard” (Psalm 22:24).  God the Father HEARS your cry.  He KNOWS you are troubled by the suffering of this world.  He knows how it feels when your child is crying in the night.

The Lord became like a “worm” in the sight of mankind, so that all might KNOW “What a Friend we have in Jesus.”  He became LOWLY, so that when you cry out to Him, you can be certain that God not only hears, but He also UNDERSTANDS your need.

Jesus said many things to His disciples, and through them He spoke to us; but much of what He said has not been understood.  At one point He urged, “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am GENTLE and LOWLY IN HEART, and you will find REST for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).  HE is the gentle Friend who hears and understands.

God LIKES you.  He actually LOVES you.  Oh, you may do and think things that are a problem.  God IS concerned about it and will heal the destructive thoughts within - He LOVES you at the core of your being.  The Son of God became a “worm” for us, so that you and I might become sons of God.  He created you for a good purpose and when His intention is realized in your life, you will LIKE what you have become.

Lord Jesus, thank You for being my Friend, for listening when I pray.  I TRUST that when an answer is delayed, there’s a good reason.  I love You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

Tel: (562) 688-5559
PO Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)


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