Psalms Chapter 22 Verses 1-10

Psalms Chapter 22: My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

Do you remember that outcry?

(Unless otherwise stated all Scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible.)

Context

Although Christians all over the world will recognize the agonizing words of David in this same as synonymous with the Crucifixion of Christ this psalms is a song/prayer of Lament. Longman provides readers with a description of the integrity of the psalm and the emotional state of mind of the writer. “The psalm is a prayer by an individual who feels abandoned by God in the midst of the vicious attack of his enemies, and the historical books of the Old Testament record more than one occasion in David’s life that could have produced such a composition. That said, as usual, the psalm is devoid of specific historical references, because it was written not to create a historical record, but for use by later worshippers in a similar, though not necessarily identical, situation.” (Longman 2014, 128).

Have you felt the type of desperation and abandonment that Christ experienced on the cross? Then you will relate to this Psalm. I will not provide an outline for this Psalm because it is quite lengthy.  However, I may combine verses that demonstrate the continuation of a thought.

1(To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.) My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

When A Christian read this psalm, they immediately visualize Christ on the Cross. The intensity of David’s emotions in both verses 1 and 2 is evident. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” He is no longer praying to God. He is “roaring.”  His prayers were relentless! Do you ever feel like giving up, because your prayers are, or so we think, not being answered? Christ pleaded with His Father too. He experienced godforsakenness (See this paper on this topic!).

  1. Matt. 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
  2. Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Verse 2 David states “O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.” At this juncture, David is confident that God did not hear his prayer/lament.

Remember that Jesus prayed 3 times in the garden!

  1. Matthew 26:39 “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [have planned/according to your will be it so Father!].
  2. Matthew 26:42 “He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”
  3. Matthew 26:44 “And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.”

But when we compare what Christ said in John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.” 

David needed that assurance when he started this psalm. Do you need that assurance right now? Call on Jesus! Every day, this week I have made that call, and He has answered me in a mighty way.

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

David remains confused because he knows that God’s people pray and praise His name because He [God] is Holy! No one else is holy! Not only is God Holy He lives [for His people] in their praise!

Lawson (2004) states “[Davis sense of being forsaken] was exemplified by the fact that the fathers put their trust in God. The psalmist remembered the faithfulness of God from his past witness when dealing with Israel” (127). Do you remember the saints of old, your parents or forefathers and how much they trusted YHWH to hear and answer their prayers? Just look at what Jeremiah and Paul declare…

  1. Jeremiah 33:11 “The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD [is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever: [and] of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.”
  2. Hebrews 13:15 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.”

David continues with his memories in verse  5They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

Daniel 3:28 ” [So] Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, [He is now beginning to understand who is God] Blessed [be] the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.” 

Yes, He continues to inhabit the praises of His children. It is through trials and challenges that we learn to trust in the name of the Lord our God.

6But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

Right now, David is beginning to sound like Job. [Job 25:6 “How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?”]  It appears that because God is absent, even David’s enemies are demeaning him.

Where have we seen this type of description before?

  • Matt. 27:39 “And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
  • Matt. 27:43 “He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”
  • John 19:28 “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.”
  • Isa. 53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” David was in great company. Was he granted permission to see into the prophetic future of our Lord? We don’t know!
  • Despised of the people,” This statement parallels what Christ experienced before HE was crucified. See Hebrews 11:26 “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” Hebrews 13:13 continues with a warning to  Christians “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.” Christ did not promise that our lives will be a bed of roses. But He did promise that He would hear every prayer that we prayed. He is our protector. 

8He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

Poor David! Can you imagine his enemies wagging their fingers at him and deriding him with this statement? “He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.” That is hitting below the belt, isn’t it? Well, let’s see what was said to our Lord!

Matthew 27:39-43 “And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,” “And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest [it] in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” “Likewise also the chief priests mocking [him], with the scribes and elders, said,” “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” “He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.” 

Now it is interesting to note that the people were actually quoting the words from the book of psalms, but were at the same time denying the promised Messiah. Just remember this though, although Christ cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” God did not leave him in the grave. He is our victorious. See the citing above. No matter how desperate our situation may seem-God is still on the throne!

9But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. 10I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.

David is referring to his origins here. He knew God from the day of his birth! Longman proposes that “He [David] feels sub-human (v. 6), even though he has had a relationship with God since birth” Longman 128) Can we state that?  Remember my friends that it is not over until “the fat lady sing!” It is not over until God’s hand is finished His work of molding us into the persons He wants us to be. Isa 68:8 “But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” Have you ever seen the work that is involved in molding and shaping pottery? It is hard work! The clay becomes an entirely different object! David was learning this, and so are we. This devotional continues tomorrow!

 

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Grace and peace to you!

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References

Cayce, Ken. 2017. “Books of the Bible.”  http://www.bible-studys.org/About%20Me.html. Accessed August 29, 2018

Lawson, Steven. 2004. Holman Old Testament Commentary – Psalms. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group. Accessed August 29, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed September 5, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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