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Summary: THIS IS PART OF A BIBLE STUDY SERIES THAT I HAD ON THE PSALMS

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PSALM 22

THE SUFFERING KING

INTRODUCTION:

YOU MAY RECOGNIZE THE OPENING WORDS OF THIS PSALM AS SOME OF THE WORDS THAT CHRIST CRIED WHEN HE WAS ON THE CROSS. IT COULD BE THAT BY REFERENCING THESE OPENING WORDS OF THE PSALM THAT JESUS WAS DIRECTING US TO STUDY THE WHOLE PSALM, AND TO APPLY IT TO THE CROSS.

THERE IS NO GREATER CRY OF DESOLATION ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD’S GREAT LITERATURES, NOR IS THERE ANY GREATER INDICATION OF DIVINE GRACE FOR IN CHRIST’S DESOLATION IS OUR SALVATION.

WHAT IS THE OVERALL EFFECT OF THE PSALM – THE MACROCOSIM

PSALM 22 RUNS THE GAMUT OF EMOTIONS, FROM EXTREME DESOLATION TO PROFOUND JOY. IN MESSIANIC TERMS PSALM 22 EXPRESSES CHRIST’S AGONIZED SEPARATION FROM GOD WHEN THE FATHER POURS THE SIN OF THE WORLD ON CHRIST AT HIS CRUCIFIXION, AND THE PROFOUND JOY THAT COMES TO US FROM CHRIST’S SACRIFICE.

FOR DAVID, THE ANSWER LIES IN THE FACT THAT HE IS UNDER ATTACK ((V.6-8), YET HE IS ENCOURAGED BY GOD’S PAST FAITHFULNESS TO TRUST HIM AGAIN (V.3-5). FOR JESUS HIS GREATEST AGONY OF ALL IS HIS SEPARATION FROM GOD WHILE ON THE CROSS (V.1-2; 14-18), AND HIS GREATEST JOY IS THE ETERNAL KINGDOM THE FATHER PROVIDES BELIEVERS THROUGH HIS DEATH (V.22-31). MESSIAH IS BOTH THE SUFFERING SERVANT (V.1-21) AND THE GREAT KING OF AN ETERNAL KINGDOM (V.22-31). PSALM 22 BEGINS IN THE CDEPTHS OF DESPAIR AND ENDS IN THE GREATEST HOPE EVER OFFERED.

WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE PSALM?

PSALM 22 IS AN INDIVIDUAL LAMENT PSALM, FOR ITS PRIMARY EMPHASIS IS PETITION TO YAHWEH FOR BLESSINGS ONLY HE CAN BESTOW. IN THIS CASE IT’S RESCUE FROM ENEMIES AND SALVATION FOR THE LOST.

PSALM 22 DOESN’T FOLLOW THE TYPICAL PATTERN FOR A PSALM OF LAMENT. THERE ARE NO CURSES OR CONFESSIONS AS ARE IN TYPICAL LAMENT PSALMS. PSALM 22 ALTERNATES BETWEEN SECTIONS OF CONFIDENCE AND PETITION AND CONCLUDES WITH AN EXTENDED VOW TO PRAISE GOD THAT IS MUCH LONGER THAN THE CONCLUSION IN MANY LAMENT PSALMS.

PSALM 22 CAN BE BROKEN DOWN IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER:

VERSES 1-2: LAMENT ONE: THE SPEAKERS DESOLATION

VERSES 3-5 CONFIDENCE ONE: YAHWEH’S FAITHFULNESS IN THE PAST

VERSES 6-8 LAMENT TWO: THE ENEMIES’ ATTACKS

VERSES 9-10 CONFIDENCE TWO: YAHWEH’S CARE FOR THE SPEAKER

VERSE 11 PETITION ONE: A PLEA FOR DELIVERANCE

VERSES 12-18 LAMENT THREE: ATTACKERS ON ALL SIDES

VERSES 19 -21 PETITION TWO: A SECOND PLEA FOR DELIVERANCE

VERSES 22-31 VOW TO PRAISE YAHWEH: YAHWEH’S GRACIOUS SALVATION

THE STRUCTURE OF VERSES 1-21 ALTERNATING LAMENTS WITH STATEMENTS OF CONFIDENCE AND THEN WITH PETITIONS, SERVES TWO PURPOSES:

FIRST: IT INTENSIFIES THE EXTREMITY OF DAVID’S VULNERABLE POSITION BECAUSE HE KEEPS RETURNING TO THE OVERWEALMING FEAR HIS ENEMIES EVOKE IN HIM.

SECOND: IT SERVES TO KEEP A DOUBLE PERSPECTIVE BEFORE THE READER. THAT IS, AT THE SAME TIME WE EXPERIENCE DAVID’S FEAR, WE ARE REMINDED OF YAHWEH’S FAITHFULNESS AND SOVEREIGNTY. THE PATTERN KEEPS YAHWEH AND DAVID CENTRAL IN THE PSALM.

THE PSALM CONSTANTLY ASSURES US OF GOD’S PROVIDENTIAL CARE FOR DAVID AND IN MESSIANIC TERMS, FOR CHRIST, AND THROUGH HIM TO ALL BELIEVERS.


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