Psalm 22

DSC03460My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?  O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou answers not; And in the night season, and am not silent.  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.  Our fathers trusted in thee: They trusted, and thou didst deliver them.  They cried unto thee, and were delivered: They trusted in thee, and were not put to shame.  But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people.  All they that see me laugh me to scorn: They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, Commit thyself unto Jehovah; Let him deliver him: Let him rescue him, seeing he delighted in him.  But thou art he that took me out of the womb; Thou didst make me trust when I was upon my mother’s breasts.  I was cast upon thee from the womb; Thou art my God since my mother bare me.  Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.  Many bulls have compassed me; Strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gape upon me with their mouth, as a ravening and a roaring lion.  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; it is melted within me.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaved to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: A company of evil-doers have enclosed me; They pierced my hands and my feet I may count all my bones; They look and stare upon me.  They part my garments among them, and upon my vesture do they cast lots.  But be not thou far off, O Jehovah: O thou my succor, haste thee to help me.  Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling from the power of the dog.  Save me from the lion’s mouth; yea, from the horns of the wild-oxen thou hast answered me.  I will declare thy name unto my brethren: In the midst of the assembly will I praise thee.  Ye that fear Jehovah, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and stand in awe of him, all ye the seed of Israel.  For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.  Of thee cometh my praise in the great assembly: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise Jehovah that seek after him: Let your heart live forever.  All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto Jehovah; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.  For the kingdom is Jehovah’s; and he is the ruler over the nations.  All the fat ones of the earth shall eat and worship: All they that go down to the dust shall bow before him, even he that cannot keep his soul alive.  A seed shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord unto the next generation.  They shall come and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done it. (ASV)

As one reads and studies this psalm the main theme that should be considered in this psalm is the prophecy concerning the afflicted one.  This is the afflicted one that the eunuch, the official in charge of all the treasury of the queen of the Ethiopians, asks Philip about in Act chapter eight.  His question to Philip as he was reading Isaiah chapter fifty-three was if Isaiah was writing about himself or another.   Philip then began with that very passage of Scripture and told the Ethiopian eunuch the good news about Jesus.  I can see Philip also referring to Psalm 22 as he told the eunuch about Jesus.  This psalm of David from the past points to the future coming of the afflicted one and the promises of his future kingdom.  This chapter now points us to the past of the suffering one who ministry was recorded for us in the gospels.  This psalm outlines the gospels for us.  However, when reading this psalm we must remember that there is still the later part that must still be fulfilled.

After losing a loved one the words of verse 26 “they who seek the LORD will praise him may your hearts live forever” and verse 29 “all who go down to the dust will kneel before him those who cannot keep themselves alive” bring extra comfort from reading this psalm.  In a way the life that we live on this earth is also a life that seems to have a lot of things in common with this psalm as we walk in God’s ways.  For we also have Satan as our enemy, and the key to winning our daily battles is not in our strength, but our faith in our Lord.  As we study Ephesians six we see that our struggles are not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  However, God has given us an armor to wear that we may stand against the evil one.  This armor: the belt of truth buckled around your waist, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of the gospel of peace which are fitted with the readiness to be presented to a world in need of the truth, the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and a prayer life in the Spirit for the purpose of praying for all the saints.

Therefore; as we walk on our journey through life we must realize that we must be Christ-like in our walk.  And if we walk in this way we will face some of the issues that David and Christ faced in his psalm.  Remembering this one theme as we journey through life that Christ came to save sinners and give them eternal life.  Eternal life is not depended upon how I lived my life on this earth, but on what Christ did on Calvary for all who believed on him.  However, my walk should have one purpose in life and that is to be more Christ-like in everything I do.  This is the type of walk that should bring the people who come in contact with me to a greater understanding of this psalm and a deeper understanding of Christ.  If this is not the purpose of my life, then I will become as one that at the time of my death my life would have been saved but will have my life’s works on this earth destroyed.

I Corinthians 3:10-15

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,

his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.

If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.

If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

This passage from I Corinthians helps us understand and even comfort us when those who knows Christ but does not live a life that is worthy of him dies.  Our justification for our salvation rest in his works alone while the receiving of this justification from our sins in our faith in him alone.  As I John 5:12 puts it best “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  Yes their rewards will be lost, but they will be saved.  What a wonderful God.

As I study David’s life I realize that God’s plan for us in much deeper than we can imagine.  In I Samuel 27 we are given a picture of David’s heart after his running from Saul for several years. In verse one we see a change in David’s desire for his future “And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me any more in all the borders of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.”  He was tired of running from Saul.  The words found in verses one through eighteen this psalm could have set the stage for David’s decision found in I Samuel 27:1.  But God did not have this in his plans for David.   Read I Samuel 29:1-11 on how God intervene to keep David from fighting against Israel.  It is amazing how God used David (the one who Samuel anointed king) to write about the events in his life that would point to the events and sufferings of the future Anointed One (Christ).  It is also amazing how we can look at the events in David’s life to help us live a more Christ-like in our own lives.   This is the principle that Paul puts forth for us to live by in Philippians chapter three.

As I study David’s life I have a problem searching for events in his life where he made the wrong decision and because of that decision events happened that could have been prevent.   I base this belief on I King 15:4 “because David did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”  David was a man after God’s own heart, in other words his thoughts and actions where Godlike.  David realized the sinful nature within himself, but he also realized that all men had this sinful nature.  However his knowledge went one step farther, and that he also knew the loving-kindness of the Lord and he reflected this in his actions to other.  He also knew that wickedness and evil came from a rejection of God’s kindness and forgiveness (grace) just as wickedness and evil comes from the rejection of our kindness and forgiven to others.  As I reflect upon the words of this Psalm I can see how the life of David and Christ are reflective of the same type of sacrifices that we must reflect in our life.  They left judgment to God, and made their duty to proclaim the righteousness of God to their brothers.  This too is the life I must pursue.