I will praise Him!
Reading: Psalm 22
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,
for dominion belongs to the LORD
and he rules over the nations.
All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it! (NIV)
This final portion of Psalm 22 signals the ultimate triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the first half of this psalm Christ’s humiliation, suffering and death by crucifixion are vividly portrayed. With stunning accuracy and detail, David depicts these events from Christ’s perspective. Only God-breathed prophetic insight could reveal such truth through a human vessel. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).
With today’s reading we discover the worldwide impact of Christ’s redemptive death and resurrection. 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, for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations.
Christ’s gospel—the good news of the Kingdom—has been voiced abroad. Death, hell and the grave have been conquered. Jesus Christ is Lord over all! Keep in mind that this turning to the LORD by all the families of the nations was an alien concept to the people of Israel during David’s time. Yet again, David spoke prophetically of the time when the gospel message would burst forth from its Jewish cocoon and be declared and received by ready hearts all over the world. Our Savior’s commission will be fulfilled. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
We have the promise of the world-wide spread of the gospel from generation to generation. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!
Response: Father, thank you for the good news of the gospel. Jesus is alive and reigns forever. Help me to do my part in bringing the message of your love and redemption to the world. I want to see people from all nations turning to you in repentance and faith. Amen.
Your Turn: How can we spread the good news? What are you doing to tell His story?
Final Note: This concludes our meditations on Psalm 22. This psalm is ideal for consideration during Lent and Easter, but currently we are beginning Advent. Nevertheless, I believe it is appropriate at any time of year to reflect on the redemptive purpose for Christ’s mission to our corner of the cosmos.
Be blessed as you look forward to His second coming.
Reading: Psalm 22
I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
For 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.
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the LORD will praise him—
may your hearts live forever! (NIV)
In this ongoing discussion of Psalm 22 we hit a critical turning point with yesterday’s scripture reading. The humiliated, pierced and tortured Christ prays, “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” (Psalm 22:19-21).
God the Father answered the prayer of his suffering Son, not immediately, but three days later Jesus arose from the dead. Now he reigns triumphant over death, hell and the grave. The opening words recorded here are the resurrected Christ’s song of triumph: I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
And why should we praise the LORD? Here is the answer: For 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.
In the context of this psalm, Christ is the afflict one. The prophet Isaiah declares, “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Yes, praise Him! We have a Savior who can fully identify with every aspect of our humanity because he was fully human. He suffered just as we suffer and in his body he experience severe loss and pain. God incarnate knows all about the human condition because He lived as a human. But in all this Jesus is the victor. May your hearts live forever because of Jesus Christ who conquered death and lives now and forever.
Response: Father, thank you for victory over death, hell and the grave through your Son Jesus. By faith his victory becomes my victory. Hallelujah! I praise you my Lord and Savior. Amen.
Your Turn: Does the knowledge of Christ’s suffering help you in times of personal pain or loss?
Reading: Psalm 22
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 (NIV).
The title notes to Psalm 22 state, “A psalm of David.” But while this is David’s psalm, it’s entirely about Jesus—about our Savior’s personal thoughts and experience—about his suffering and death. Nowhere is this expressed more clearly than in the opening lines posted above: Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.
On the rock hill called Golgotha, surrounded by his taunting enemies, Jesus is stripped naked. His hands and feet are pierced as he is nailed to the cross and lifted up for the whole world to see. The helpless Christ silently laments, “All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.”
All four Gospels record what happens next. The soldiers divide up Jesus clothes and gamble for his seamless garment. “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” So this is what the soldiers did (John 19:24).
Thoughtless Roman soldiers fulfilled what David penned nine centuries earlier. But was Jesus truly helpless? If he was helpless, he was helpless by design. If he was forsaken by his Father, he was forsaken by choice—his choice. This was a course of action that Jesus willingly chose. He lay down his life. The Lamb of God suffered and died that our sins might be atoned, that we may receive a full pardon. Redemption has come; the price has been paid in full—paid in blood.
The turning point in this psalm is found in the last stanza above. With unvoiced words Jesus cries out to be rescued and delivered from death. Three days later his prayer was answered through his bodily resurrection. Ultimately, Jesus triumphed over death, hell and the grave. By faith his suffering brings our redemption and victory.
Response: Lord Jesus, my thanks flows to you. You were forsaken that I might have eternal life. Thank you for thinking of me rather than of yourself. You deserve all praise. Amen.
Your Turn: What is the right response to the love Jesus showed?
Reading: Psalm 22
Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
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 (NIV).
As we continue this meditation on Psalm 22, it is essential that we bear in mind that prophetically this is the crucifixion psalm. As stated in my previous post, the crucifixion is portrayed from the victim’s point of view—Jesus’ point of view. Through the poetic medium of this psalm, Jesus is speaking. He is describing his thoughts amid the horror of his excruciating affliction.
I recently read an account of the disastrous Dieppe Raid of 1942. In one scene from the carnage on the Normandy beach, a horribly-mangled, mortally-wounded young man is trapped in coils of razor wire. With his last desperate breaths what does he do? He cries out for his mother. In the pain of death the thoughts of grown men often turn to the soothing remembrance of their mother’s love. For our Savior it was no different. But from birth Jesus put his trust in God. Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
As Jesus hangs pinned to the cross, he is encircled by his accusers—strong bulls of Bashan—who hurl insults at him. Peering down at his mangled and bleeding body he laments, 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.
As the heat of the day builds, the trickle of blood continues and severe dehydration sets in. He cries out, “I thirst!” (John 19:28). This is our Savior’s confession—his stark reality—a reality he endured for our redemption. 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.
Response: Father God, thank you for sending your Son Jesus to this cruel world to suffer on my behalf. Your unconditional love for me was demonstrated on the cross for all to see. I thank you. Amen.
Your Turn: What does Jesus suffering mean for you?
Reading: Psalm 22
For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.”
A psalm of David.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the LORD,” they say, “let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him, since he delights in him” (NIV).
Do you believe in prophecy?
Psalm 22 is the most graphic description of Christ’s crucifixion found anywhere in the Bible. Yet here it is—tucked away among the Psalms—written roughly 900 years before the birth of Christ. How can this be? During David’s time, crucifixion as a form of execution had not yet been invented. Furthermore, crucifixion is portrayed from the victim’s point of view—Jesus’ point of view.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” These are the words of Jesus on the cross and they form the opening line of this psalm. Of course, Jesus knew he was quoting this psalm when he cried out in anguish.
But did his arrogant mockers know that they too were fulfilling scriptural prophecy as they hurled their insults, “He trusts in the LORD,” they say, “let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” These words from Psalm 22 find an uncanny parallel in the verbal abuse thrown at Jesus in Matthew 27:43 where we read, “He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
Remarkably, David saw it all. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he beheld the cross nine centuries in advance. I believe in prophecies to come because of prophecies fulfilled.
Response: Father, thank you for sending your Son Jesus to this cruel world to suffer on my behalf. Thank you that I can put my trust in Your Holy Word. It was, is and will be forever true and trustworthy. Amen.
Your Turn: Why do you have confidence in God’s word?