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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 22

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-31

  1. Intro:
    1. The Cross(Ps.22); The Crook(Ps.23); & The Crown(Ps.24)!
    2. The Psalm: Parts of this Psalm could be about David himself, but he never suffered the agonies that were described here.
      1. David may have felt “forsaken by God” when Saul about had him pinned down in a cave, but was rescued in the nick of time by a Philistine invasion on the other side of the country, so Saul had call off his dogs & give up the hunt.
    3. Outline: we see a definite change in vs. 22.
      1. Vs.1 starts with a Prayer. - Vs.22 changes to Praise.
      2. David moves from Prayer to Praise, from Suffering to Glory!
      3. Note an alternating pattern: (Boice, pg.193, Ps.22)
        1. 1-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-18, 19-21.
        2. The 1st, 3rd, & 5th sections describe the sufferings; intensity decreasing, at least becomes only physical not spiritual & psychological)
        3. The 2nd, 4th, 6th are prayers (note: “But you…” vs.3,9,19)
  2. THE PRAYER! (1-21)
    1. (1-2) Forsaken!
      1. Jesus 4th statement on the cross!
        1. 1st, middle, & last statement, was a prayer! (name them)
        2. {Father forgive them…; My God my God..; Father into your hands…}
        3. 1st 3 sayings were between 9-noon – Silence between noon & 3 – last 4 statements about 3pm.
      2. Forsaken” - Here the horror of the crucifixion reaches its climax (This is the crucifixion w/in the crucifixion)
      3. It’s a question, the only question from the cross!
        1. Q: Was He really forsaken? (yes…This was the very essence of the Atonement!…but why the forsaking?)
    2. (3-5) 1st Prayer – The Father was faithful to our fathers!
      1. Q: Why the forsaking!
      2. He was saying, “since the Father has always been found faithful in the past. Then he will also be faithful to me…even though I am forsaken now!”
      3. The mystery decoded in vs.3 – Because God is Holy!
        1. Hab.1:13 “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness.”
      4. Also because God is Just!
        1. The wages of sin must be death! God has some unchangeable laws. If man breaks them, a just God must mete out justice!
        2. “This was Jesus bearing our hell in order that we might share His heaven!” (Boice, pg.194, Ps.22)
        3. “To be forsaken means to have the light of God’s countenance & the sense of his presence eclipsed, which is what happened to Jesus as he bore the wrath of God against sin for us.” (Boice, pg.194, Ps.22)
      5. Also because Jesus was the Sin Bearer!
        1. Jesus is our ScapeGoat! Lev.16:22 “The goat shall bear(carry) on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.”
        2. Is.53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
        3. Also note: “My God, My God…” (Jesus never wavered in his faith)
      6. Jesus was forsaken that we might not be forsaken!
        1. God the father forsook his Son on the cross when He was made sin for us.
      7. 2 Cor.5:21 “For He(Father) made Him(Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
        1. “God treats Christ like He lived your life; God treats us as if we lived His life!” (John Macarthur)
        2. (www) We cannot be forsaken because the Savior was forsaken in our Place. - We cannot be forsaken because of his Promise to never leave or forsake us. - We cannot be forsaken because of His abiding & eternal Presence with us. - We cannot be forsaken because of His Purpose to make things all work together for good to those who love Him.
    3. (6-8) A Worm!
      1. (6) “a worm” – the Tolath!
        1. Translated usually “crimson or scarlet”.
        2. Is.1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”
        3. The insect is very small, about the size of plant lice, to which it is related. (Zondervan, worm.)
        4. TWOT – “In ancient times a brilliant scarlet or crimson dye was obtained from the female bodies of the Kermes insect (arabic quirmiz, hence our word crimson)
          1. “The dye was highly prized (Lam.4:5) & as such was employed to color cloth used in the tabernacle & by those who worshipped there…The permanent quality & deep red color of the dye made it suitable for use in the striking figure in Is.1:18.” (Theological Workbook of the O.T. Pg.972 Vol.2)
        5. Explain how it was used to “blot out” the prisoner’s sentence that was over his cell door before release.
          1. These words & gestures were reproduced precisely at the crucifixion 1000 years later.
    4. (9-11) 2nd Prayer – The Father was faithful to me!
      1. “He will also be faithful to me…even though I am forsaken now!”
    5. (12-18) The Devil’s Zoo & The Crucifixion!
      1. Our Lord was on the cross & people were acting like animals!
        1. {Bulls, lions, dogs, wild oxen}
        2. This still happens today when man leaves God out of his life, they descend to the level of the animals.
      2. “Can you imagine bulls & lions & dogs & oxen…chasing a worm? Oh, how our Lord humbled Himself for us!” (Warren Weirsbe)
        1. When we are saved we move from acting like a wild animal, and become one of the Shepherds domesticated gentle sheep.
      3. Crucifixion, execution of a criminal by nailing or binding to a cross. It was a common form of capital punishment from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD. The Roman practice of crucifixion was abolished in 337 by Constantine the Great out of respect for Jesus Christ,…. (Encarta® 98 Desk Encyclopedia © & 1996-97 Microsoft Corporation.All rights reserved.) [Note: here David is writing 10 cent bc.]
    6. Since David was a Prophet (Acts 2:30) He prophesied here in detail, of a cruel form of punishment that hadn’t been invented yet…the crucifixion!
    7. Note the accuracy of it!
      1. ​​​​​​​(1) His cry to the Father!
      2. (Mt.27:46) "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
      3. (2) The period of darkness!
      4. (Mt.27:45) “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.”
      5. (6-8)The ridicule of the people!
      6. (Mt.27:39-44) Read
      7. (14,15)His thirst & pain!
      8. (Jn.19:28) “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!"
      9. (16)His pierced hands & feet!
      10. (Lk.24:39) "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."
      11. (18)The gambling of his clothes!
      12. (Jn.19:23,24) “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things.”
    8. 3rd Prayer – The Father was to answer me!
      1. “you have answered me” is part of vs.21!
      2. This is the cry of triumph! From darkness to light. From despair to hope. From alienation to awareness of His presence, once again!
  3. THE PRAISE! (22-31)
    1. ​​​​​​​(22-24) My Brethren! (The Jews)
      1. Note Jacob & Israel(23), which restricts the general meaning of “brethren”.
      2. In Hebrews 1 & 2 it teaches the superiority of Jesus to the angels.
      3. Heb.2:12 specifically quotes Ps.22:22 thus pointing this Psalm to Jesus!
    2. (25-29) The Great Assembly! (The Gentiles)
      1. “The great assembly” & “All the ends of the world”.
      2. Q: Who will come to worship the Lord?(29a)
        1. The Poor (26); The rich & prosperous (29a); The crushed & oppressed(29b "those who go down to the dust"); & Those who are dying(29c “cannot keep himself alive”)
    3. (30,31) The Next Generation!
      1. ​​​​​​​“the next generation”, “who will be born”.
      2. This is You & I folks! – We were in His thoughts on the cross!
      3. “They” – Those who believe will also be witnesses!
        1. That is our task…trust & tell others until Jesus returns!
      4. “he has done this” - “It is finished!!!!!!!”
        1. ​​​​​​​What was finished? The atonement, by which the righteous demands of God for sin’s punishment had been fully satisfied, & the righteousness of God was now able to be freely offered to all who would believe on Jesus!
        2. Rom8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
    4. End: Story A. W. Pink (Boice, Psalms, pg.204)
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Psalms 22". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/psalms-22.html. 2017.
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