Psalm 22: Anguish leading to Confidence & Amazing Prophecy
the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.”
A psalm of David.
Comments: This psalm is unique in its clarity AND confusion,
in its profundity AND simplicity. On one hand it shows David in
a state of great anguish because of his enemies threatening his
very life, calling on the Lord, but on the other hand there are
things that, if applied only to him, seem a little over the top.
It is only when we realise that we are hearing the prophetic cry
of the Christ on the Cross does it truly make sense and give us
a far deeper understanding of what the Son of God went through
at Calvary. For this reason we will adopt main subheadings and
then in the notes that follow each section, apply them first as
for David and then, second, for Jesus. As we will see the first
18 verses are expressions of anguish, interspersed with two sets
of regaining perspective verses. In the remaining verses the tide
of faith has turned and we see constant declarations of confidence
in the Lord.]
ONE: v.1-18: ANGUISH
David cries out to the Lord from a position of anguish
God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
Feels a time where Gd is distant, not turning up for him in his
time of need. He cries out but seems to get no answer.
The cry on the cross Mt 27:46 as sin overwhelms him and blots
out the vision of the Father.]
Yet he makes what he knows of the Lord his anchor
you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put
He falls back on what he has known, that God reigns, the One who
delivered Israel and had ben there for them throughout their past
In the blackness of the Cross he too declares the truth.]
He feels utterly opposed by others
I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the
who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
trusts in the Lord
,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”
His enemies have demeaned him and he feels a nobody. It has the
feel of what some would have been saying when he fled from Absalom.
Physical pain fuels emotional anguish but is added to by the derision
he received while hanging on the cross – see Mt 27:39-44]
So yet again he regains perspective – God with him throughout
you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my
birth I was cast on you;
from my mother's womb you have been my
not be far from me,
for trouble is near and there is no one
seeks to hold on by remembering the relationship he has had with
the Lord since a child.
reminds himself of who he is, the Son of God from the beginning.]
His enemies surround him to destroy him
bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
lions that tear their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
his enemies surround him and his life is under severe threat.
no doubt screamed and shouted at by the invisible demonic hordes
of Satan, seeking to get him to cry out denying God.]
Physically he feels terrible
am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my
you lay me in the dust of death.
he feels a physical wreck.
hanging on the cross in agony is aware of every bone and every
joint and his mouth dries up so he cries, “I am thirsty” Jn 19:28]
His enemies bring him down
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.
Again the emphasis is on his awareness of his enemies seeking
to attack hm in every way possible, and his self-awareness of
feeling utterly down and having his life stripped away.
A threefold summary of what has happened – the harsh soldier pierced
him with thorns and nails, he is hung out on display and his clothes
are taken – see Jn 19:23,24)
TWO: v.19-31: ASSURANCE
Yet the Lord will be his deliverer
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
Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns
of the wild oxen.
Fourfold prayer request for help.
possibly the same and in what follows.]
Yet he is assured that the Lord will help
will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
who fear the Lord
, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
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.
Despite everything he will praise the Lord and remain true to
Before God he will praise, knowing God is there even for the poor
you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you I will fulfill
poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the Lord will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!
He holds to the truth that God is to be praised by His people
for He will be there for them.]
All the earth will realize God reigns and is there for 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,
dominion belongs to the Lord
and he rules over the nations.
Continues to declare the truth: the Lord rules and all will bow
The Great & the Poor will worship, continuing through all
the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
will serve him;
future generations will be told about
will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!
Whether rich or poor, all will eventually come and bow before
Him who has provided for them, now and in future generations.]
Thoughts: For David, even though prophesying about the
Messiah (without realizing it), he is obviously going through
a most trying time himself, a time of anguish and desperation
– not uncommon in his writings! Again and again he seeks to regain
perspective (see v.3-5 & 9-11) in the midst of his anguishing
which is general in v,1 & 2, specific about those who oppose
him [v.6-8, 11 & 12, 16 to 18], leaving him physically worn
then the psalm takes a turn and in the remaining verses faith
pours forth a variety of declarations of the Lord greatness and
goodness. In he midst of troubles, the truths about the Lord remain
to Psa 23