Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
Roaring lions that tear their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.
But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
Deliver me from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
I have posted some heart-rending artist’s depictions of Christ on the Cross … but these words are more horrifying, by far, this narrative picture of His suffering.
I will say only this today. Think of someone pierced in soul, someone hanging between heaven and earth emotionally or spiritually, someone standing in a place of sacrifice or one who is tormented by evil thoughts and insinuations, and pray these words for them.
I just did so, for someone I care about. I’ve never prayed this Psalm for another before, but I will in future. So much of it expresses the despair of those oppressed and overwhelmed.
Agnolo Bronzino, circa 1545, by permission, Wikipedia