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Sunday, 25 March, 2018

Psalms 22

“All the ends of the world, Shall remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations, Shall worship before You.” - Psalm 22:27

Psalm 22 is a profound lament that concludes as a triumphant psalm of praise anticipating God’s deliverance. Although the psalm speaks of David’s own distress and God’s deliverance of him, it is prophetical in its remarkable detail of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. It has 2 main sections: i) a description of the agony of impending death – an interplay of lament, confession and petition (V1-21); ii) a jubilant celebration of great victory – a series of vows to praise God in the congregation (V 22-31).

The Psalm starts with “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”—David’s expression of a painful sense of separation from God at a time of great trouble (Ps.38:21), are the very same words quoted by Jesus while in agony on the cross (Matt. 27:46). On a close study of the life of David, the psalm refers to some event in his life, probably when he was being pursued by Saul. But prophetically, it pinpoints a death by crucifixion beforehand. The details of the psalm were fulfilled by the Son of David, Jesus, about 1,000 years after they were written. As we read on, we see David’s suffering makes him feel like a worm and no longer a man (V6). At the lowest point of his life, David’s enemies ridiculed his faith in the Lord.  But, we see a tremendous faith build up- coming to V9: “You made Me trust ….”  Troubles and taunts buffeted his life, still David places his trust in the Lord, reaffirming his lifelong faith in the Almighty! Repeating his plea in V11 – “Be not far from Me” he tells the Lord he cannot endure this suffering without Him.

David is depicted as an ideal king as well as an ancestor of the future Messiah and many of the psalms are ascribed to him. Historians of the Ancient Near East agree that David lived around 1000 BCE, still David explicitly predicts the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.  In Verse 16 we see, “They pierced My hands and My feet.” These words may have been merely a figure of speech for the terrifying experiences of David, but as a prophet (Acts 2:30), David spoke accurately of the sufferings of Jesus. Verse 18 says, “they divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots”. It is true that the soldiers at Jesus’ crucifixion gambled for His garments (Matt.27:35) in fulfilment of this scripture.  Here we see a God who reveals His plans through history and through His chosen ones.

Though this psalm describes David’s pain, it prophesies Jesus’ suffering on the cross.  The psalm begins with a sense of desperation based on a feeling of separation from God but ends with praise and gratitude.  In a nutshell Psalm 22 speaks of Christ’s suffering (22:1-21) and His glory (22:22-31). The verses point to how Christ suffered on the cross for our salvation, but it gains power through the victory of the resurrection and the glories which follow.

So what shall we do for Him, who delivered us from the kingdom of darkness?—Put God’s heart for the lost as the bottom line of our walk with God! He wants all the ends of the earth to turn to Him and worship Him (V27). That means that if I’m not actively focused on world missions, I’m too self-focused and not in tune with God’s purpose to be glorified in all the earth. We have His command to go and the promise: “And all the families of the nations Shall worship before You.” (V27). How can they worship Him if they’ve never heard? How will they hear if we don’t give, send, and go? Let this become a great challenge and priority in our life!

*Reference: NKJV Study Bible Notes

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, enable us to carry the torch of Gospel in this world as our mission on this earth so that the people who walk in darkness will see Your light. Amen

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