4. What It Cost God
My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and You lay me in the dust of death. (Psalm 22:15)
This last phrase is not simply laying someone down in the dust; it literally has to do being laid in a fire. The word dust can mean ashes, powder, debris and rubbish. But this is a death that is fiery and debasing, perhaps like being laid out in a burning garbage dump.
There’s a place just south of Jerusalem called the Valley of Hinnom, where Old Testament Israel sacrificed their children in fires to Molech and Baal. It eventually became a collection place for all the city’s refuse, and its fires were always kept burning. This became the New Testament picture for hell.
Note Who it was that has placed Christ in this situation: The LORD Himself—You lay me in the dust of death. How great the Father’s sorrow must have been to place the sins of the world upon His Son, then put Him to death, so that He would be the sacrifice offered for those same sins. Yet as great as the Father’s sorrow, how much greater is His love for us. And it was this same love that Christ Himself exhibited as He willingly went to the cross.
This love should stop us in our tracks. Just because The LORD is the Sovereign Creator, Ruler, and Sustainer of All, we must never think that His love for us cost Him nothing. It’s not like the federal government, where you simply print more to pay your debts. Our salvation cost God dearly, personally and intimately.
One more thought. The depravity of man can reach such depths. Consider what God said to Jeremiah, concerning this Valley of Hinnom: “They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.” (Jeremiah 7:32)
Although there are some things that do not come into the mind (or heart) of God, embrace the wonder knowing you were on His heart and mind even before He created the foundations of the world.