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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 22

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Verses 1-5

Introduction

With this psalm a series of three psalms begins in which we see the Lord Jesus as Shepherd:
1. Psalm 22 speaks of “the good Shepherd”, Who gives His life for His sheep (John 10:11).
2. Psalm 23 speaks of “the great Shepherd”, Who was brought back by God from the dead (Hebrews 13:20-Ecclesiastes :) and Who leads, feeds and protects His own.
3. Psalm 24 speaks of “the chief Shepherd”, Who will appear in power and reward all who have done a service as a shepherd among His people (1 Peter 5:4).

We see the following aspects in the order of these psalms:
Psalm 22 – Psalm 23 – Psalm 24
Past – Present – Future.
Savior – Shepherd – Ruler.
Cross – Staff – Crown.
Golgotha – Green pastures – Zion.
The demand of God’s holiness – The distress of His own – The glory of the Son.

Psalm 22 is unmistakably a Messianic psalm, as evidenced by its quotation in Hebrews 2 (Psalms 22:22; Hebrews 2:12). The entire book of Psalms refers to Him (Luke 24:44), with the Messianic psalms overwhelmingly doing so. Although it was written by David, it is not about David, but about Christ. David, as a prophet, speaks of Him (cf. Acts 2:29-Amos :).

This psalm is about the Savior’s death on the cross. We find here an elaboration of what we have already read in Psalm 20 about “the day of trouble” of the Messiah (Psalms 20:1). We hear Him speak of His inner feelings, of what went on inside of Him during the hours He hung on the cross. In the Gospels we read mainly about His visible sufferings.

Some of the features mentioned in the psalm show that we are not primarily hearing the experiences of David, but those of the Lord Jesus. When we read in Psalms 22:16 “they pierced my hands and my feet”, this is not something that David – at least in a literal sense – experienced. This was done to the Lord Jesus when He was crucified. Death by crucifixion did not yet exist when David wrote this, approximately 1100 BC. The dislocation of the bones also points to crucifixion (Psalms 22:14), as does the counting of the bones, which could be done because the crucified person was (mostly) disrobed, while His body was dehydrated (Psalms 22:17-Job :).

The psalm can be divided into two main parts.
1. The first part (Psalms 22:1-Ecclesiastes :) deals with “the sufferings of Christ” (1 Peter 1:11).
2. The second part (Psalms 22:21-Obadiah :) deals with “the glories to follow” (1 Peter 1:11).

The Lord Jesus speaks of these two aspects when He explains to the Emmaus disciples what is written of Him in all the Scriptures: “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26-Daniel :). We see this reflected in this psalm: the psalm changes from a lamentation to a song of praise.

Why Have You Forsaken Me?

For “for the choir director” see at Psalm 4:1.

The feelings that David expresses in this psalm are the result of a severe ordeal, about which we know no further details. Yet, as far as we know, there is no event in this psalm that can correspond to actual experiences from his life. What he says transcends his feelings and experiences. The Holy Spirit has led him in such a way that here he prophetically describes the feelings of the Lord Jesus on the cross.

Again, this psalm is not about feelings with which a believer can identify and express his own feelings because of similar experiences. Singing this psalm together is done to sing of the sufferings of the Messiah and to express a deep admiration for Him. It is an expression of feelings aroused by the psalm, not out of feelings of past own experiences.

Certainly a person can feel unutterably miserable and even abandoned by God. This will also be the feeling of the believing remnant during the great tribulation. Many psalms speak of the Savior’s suffering in a way that also reflects the suffering of the remnant. Therein lies a comfort for the believer. But in this psalm the suffering is connected to the Savior’s work of atonement in which He is alone.

The singing of the psalm is done “upon Aijeleth Hashshahar” which means ‘the hind of the dawn’. While the psalm describes the deep darkness of the Savior’s unique suffering on the cross, we also find in this heading the loveliness of the hind as the dawn of victory glows. The first rays of sunlight, just before dawn, resemble the horns of the hind. It is here an indication of the beginning of redemption.

David poems this psalm for the choir director. The intention is that others will experience something of the content of this psalm by singing it. The melody is named ‘hind of the dawn’. It reminds us of what is written in Song of Songs 6: “Who is this that grows like the dawn?” (Song of Solomon 6:10). She represents His bride, appearing on the scene on that morning without clouds. Christ, on the cross in the fearful God forsakenness, always thought of her whom He would possess as the fruit of His work. It was an essential part of the joy that was before Him.

It is a gloomy song, but not without hope. This psalm provides the answer to the mystery of why, after the long night of sin and suffering, God allows a new day – the dawn – to come: it is because the Lord Jesus was made sin on the cross.

For “a Psalm of David” see at Psalm 3:1.

The psalm begins in Psalms 22:1 at the deepest possible point with an exclamation that is also, as it were, a summary of all the sentiments expressed further on. The Lord Jesus exclaimed the words “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me” at the end of the three hours of darkness, after He had completely emptied the cup of God’s anger over sin (Matthew 27:45-1 Corinthians :; Mark 15:33-Nahum :). This is something that no human being, and certainly no believer, has ever experienced, including David.

Christ calls out to God, whom He addresses as “My God”. He does it twice in a row in this verse, which increases the intensity of His cry. He is the only Man Who can in all truth call God “My God”. This has been so throughout His life, from the womb (Psalms 22:10) to the first three hours on the cross. He has always gone His way in fellowship with God. There has never been a whisper of discord in that fellowship.

And that God, with Whom He lived in such close fellowship, had forsaken Him. He did not ask His question about the “why” because He did not know. He knew better than anyone that God cannot have fellowship with sin. God had to leave Him because He made Him sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Christ was the true sin offering in these three hours of being forsaken. God had awakened the sword of His judgment against Him, Whom He calls “My Shepherd” and “My Associate” and with Whom He had perfect fellowship in His life on earth (Zechariah 13:7). What is incomprehensible to us happened in those three hours: “The LORD was pleased to crush Him” (Isaiah 53:10). This happened as punishment for sin, not His own sin, but substitutionary for the sin of others who accepted His sacrifice.

People in hell will never be able to ask “why” God has forsaken them, because they have never had a living relationship with God. They will also know why they are there. The Righteous One asks “why” God had forsaken Him, so that all who know Him as the true sin offering would answer, “It is because of me. Christ knew it, but the question should appeal to us.

It is important to remember that the Lord Jesus as Man was forsaken by His God. As the eternal Son, He was not forsaken by His Father. Nowhere do we read in God’s Word that the Father has forsaken Him. On the contrary, we read that the Father was with Him (John 8:29; John 16:32; cf. Genesis 22:6; Genesis 22:8). Never can the eternal Son be forsaken by the eternal Father. Even in the three hours of darkness, when God left His Son as come in the flesh, that is, the Man Christ, the eternal Son had perfect fellowship with the eternal Father. We are dealing here with a mystery which we cannot understand, but which is accepted and admired by faith.

That it concerns the Lord Jesus as Man, we also see from the seven last words He spoke on the cross. The first and last words He introduces with “Father”. Here, in Psalm 22, is the fourth of the last words, the middle one of the seven. In it He speaks not to His Father, but to His God.

It is a special exclamation. This verse is uttered here in Hebrew by David. In the quotation in Matthew and Mark it is in Aramaic, together with the translation into Greek (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). This means that this verse appears in all three languages used to write the Bible. This is the only verse in the Bible where this has happened. It emphasizes the importance of this exclamation. Also, that this psalm begins with it makes the importance clear.

After His question of why God has forsaken Him, He asks a second question. That question is why God is far from His deliverance. That God was “far” from His “deliverance” meant for the Lord a fathomless depth of suffering. When there is always a close fellowship with someone, it is immediately felt when there is some distance in that fellowship. Between the Lord Jesus and His God not only some distance had come, but a deep rift through which the distance had become far and unbridgeable. The words of His lamentation sounded like the roaring of a lion [“groaning” is literally “roaring”]. These words, the expressions of one in deep trouble and suffering, were not heard because of the unbridgeable distance. There was no hand to deliver and no ear to hear.

The Lord Jesus cried “by day”, but God did not answer (Psalms 22:2). He cried “by night”, but He had no rest. He continued to cry. He said this during His suffering on the cross. We can think by “by day” of the first three hours on the cross, which is from 9-12 am, and by “by night” of the three hours of darkness on the cross, which is from 12-15 pm. In these hours on the cross, an eternity is compressed.

Despite the fact that God was far from the Lord and did not deliver Him and did not hear Him, the Lord had no doubt about the holiness of God (Psalms 22:3). On the contrary, He confirmed it. He justified God in His forsaking of Him precisely because God is holy and therefore could have nothing to do with Him whom He had made sin.

God is enthroned, that is to say, established His government, on the praises of Israel. The praises of Israel were sung in the temple, in the court near the altar. The praises came from the mouths of those who praise Him for Who He is to His people. They were in the place where He had fellowship with them. The Lord Jesus was outside the city, outside the sanctuary where He was made sin.

Three times the Lord reminds God of the trust the fathers had in Him and that they were delivered by Him (Psalms 22:4-Deuteronomy :). This proves that God has always been faithful and has always been able to deliver! Never had anyone appealed to the faithfulness and help of God in vain, not even David (Psalms 9:10). God never disappoints anyone who appeals to Him in sincerity.

With the fathers – and also with us – being forsaken by God means only that in the trouble of suffering and persecution we have no prospect of salvation, which makes us feel forsaken by God. Nevertheless, we cry out to God. And God always answers such cries for help in His time and His way. A believer will always experience the nearness of God in the midst of suffering. It was not so with the Lord Jesus.

What the Lord Jesus experienced was unique. The Lord always called to trust in God and always did so Himself. And now He Himself was forsaken. This was because in those hours He was the object of the wrath of God, because of the fact that God had made Him sin. Therefore, God could not answer His call for help then.

With these verses, which deal with the three hours of darkness during which the Lord Jesus was made sin and God did not deliver Him from His enemies, the psalm begins. The feelings of suffering inflicted on Him by men follows hereafter, although it actually preceded the suffering inflicted on Him by God.

Verses 6-10

Mocked and Challenged

In His complaint, the Lord Jesus compares Himself to a worm (Psalms 22:6; cf. Job 25:6; Isaiah 41:14). He feels Himself to be “not a man”, as someone that people don't care about. There is nothing in Him that would allow Him to count on any respect as a Man. In addition, a worm is the deepest expression of defenselessness. A worm has no legs to run away with, no teeth or horns to defend itself with. He also has no thick skin or spines for protection.

It is also noteworthy that the Hebrew word for worm is related to crimson, the blood red color, which is made from this worm. To obtain this dye and to feed the young larvae and keep them alive, the mother crimson worm (a type of scale insect) must die. It reminds us of the blood for atonement that He shed.

The Lord Jesus was despised and sneered at on the cross because of His trust in God (Psalms 22:7-Ruth :). He was despised by the people, His people. What He says here is found in the account given of His crucifixion in the Gospels (Matthew 27:39; Matthew 27:43; Luke 23:35). The sneering was expressed through words and gestures. In the first half of the psalm, we hear only the vain cries of the Righteous One and the scorn and ridicule of evil men, while God remains silent. In the second half, we hear songs of praise.

The Gospels show that the Jews understood well what the Lord always pointed out and what He Himself always did. He has always stressed that they should trust in God, or, as it is translated here, commit everything to God. He demonstrated this in His own life as well. This the bystanders at the cross were now using against Him, making His suffering that much harder. God seemed to be on the side of sinful man. The Lord repeated the mocking words. He did this not to reproach God for it, but as confirmation that it was true, despite the appearance He had against Him.

In Psalms 22:9-2 Samuel : the Lord turns away from His mockers and turns to His God. He speaks of His earliest Childhood and of Mary. From His earliest existence as a Man He was “cast” upon God“, He was completely dependent upon Him, upon His care and protection. Immediately after His birth there were already attempts to kill Him. The poor conditions in which He grew up also strengthened this position of dependence. All the care and protection He had always enjoyed were completely gone.

He calls God “my God from my mother’s womb”. With this the Lord Jesus says that from His birth on earth He had a relationship with God and that therefore there was no reason to forsake Him.

Also, we see here that He calls God “my God” only from the moment He became Man. Previously, this was not the case either. Before He became Man, He was Himself God (John 1:1), which, of course, He also stayed when He became Man. Since He became Man, as Man He assumed a position of submission to God. When we read that God is the Head of Christ, it is of Christ as Man (1 Corinthians 11:3).

He lay at the breasts of His mother, a place identified in Psalms 22:9 as a place of trust. This place is of great importance to a child from its earliest days. Breastfeeding is important not only for nourishment, but also, as shown here, for providing the sense of security, trust, and acceptance.

Verses 11-18

The Trouble

In these verses we hear expressions of the Lord’s trouble. He found Himself in it because God had forsaken Him, although according to Psalms 22:9-2 Samuel : there was no reason for that. Instead of being in the presence of His God, God was far from Him, for He had forsaken Him (Psalms 22:11; cf. Psalms 22:1). In contrast the trouble is near, the distress of death, the being separated from God.

He is all alone in suffering, with no prospect, “for there is no helper”. This loneliness is beyond our comprehension. We do not know what the enormous contrast is between perfect, undisturbed, uninterrupted fellowship with God and being forsaken by God, having no fellowship with God, and instead having to suffer the strokes of God’s sword.

Added to that, He is surrounded by “many bulls” (Psalms 22:12). Bulls are clean animals and can be seen as a picture of the Jews, who considered themselves clean (cf. John 18:28). They rejected the Lord Jesus with many, a great multitude. They are also “strong [bulls]”. This points to the pride, the unbending proudness of the Jews, which has been evident in their attitude toward the Lord Jesus.

These are strong bulls “of Bashan”. Bashan was a very fertile area. The Jews are also compared here to well-fed, unfeeling animals. The prosperous, substantial religious leaders rejected Him. They boasted of being God’s people, but were like these animals, who also have no connection with God.

Then we hear the complaint from His mouth that they had opened “wide their mouth” in enmity at Him “as a ravening and a roaring lion” (Psalms 22:13). This means that they displayed the character of their father, the devil (John 8:44), who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan stood behind those who are described as bulls.

In Psalms 22:15, the suffering Messiah begins to speak of Himself. He feels how His life has flowed away. He compares Himself to water and His heart to wax. Water and melted wax are without form and have no power and offer no support. They are pictures of fear and death (Ezekiel 7:17; 1 Samuel 7:6; 2 Samuel 14:14). Enemies become as wax by the anger of God (Psalms 68:2). That is also the thought here, for the Lord Jesus was in the heat of God’s anger. Wax melts in the heat (cf. Joshua 2:11). Again, it is clear that above David we hear of the Lord Jesus.

His strength was broken to pieces by desiccation like the sherds of a broken pot (Psalms 22:15). A dried-up sherd can easily become grit. Another consequence of dehydration was His unspeakable thirst, which caused His tongue to stick to His palate.

In the last part of Psalms 22:15 the Lord turns to His God and speaks plainly of His death. He accepts His death from the hand of God. He says to God: “You lay me in the dust of death.” His physical death was an act of Himself after the three hours of darkness, when He “crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT”. Having said this, He breathed His last” (Luke 23:46). Certainly, His own people killed Him (Acts 2:23), but He died at the time God had determined, surrendering His Spirit into the hands of the Father.

But not only the Jews are guilty of Christ’s death. The nations also have their share in it. We see this in Psalms 22:16, where the Savior speaks of “dogs” that has surrounded Him. Dogs are unclean animals that we can see as a picture of the nations, represented in the Romans at the crucifixion (cf. Matthew 15:21-Hosea :). The dogs referred to here are probably African wild dogs. These dogs are known to march in groups, surround their prey, and in a short time tear it apart and devour it completely.

The Romans were in charge in Israel and had pierced His hands and His feet in that land. When the Lord Jesus returns, the remnant will ask: “And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will say, ‘[Those] with which I was wounded in the house of my friends’” (Zechariah 13:6). The house of His friends is the land where Israel lived. When He returns, “every eye” – of Jews and Gentiles – “will see Him, even those who pierced Him” (Revelation 1:7).

That the Lord Jesus could count all His bones (Psalms 22:17) means that He was hanging on the cross at least with His upper body bared. It also means that His body was emaciated and had been stretched by hanging on the cross. It aroused no pity in those who stood around it or past by it. To all of them He was a spectacle, they observed it and looked at Him who was so broken, so miserable (cf. Isaiah 52:14).

His garments had been taken from Him, as was customary with people who were given the death penalty on the cross (Psalms 22:18). The soldiers who had taken His clothes from Him divided them among themselves. For one garment they cast lots. That was the tunic which was seamless woven, in one piece in its entirety from the top. That we have here a scene that took place at Christ’s cross, and that it involves His clothing, the evangelist John tells us, for he quotes this verse in his account of the cross (John 19:23-Jeremiah :).

Verses 19-21

Cry for Salvation

One last time, the Lord turns with all His trouble to God, His God. God, His only Support and Relief, has forsaken Him. All men, incited by Satan, are full of mockery and hatred against Him. In His trouble He cries out and asks if God, Who is now so far off, will not remain far off (Psalms 22:19). He asks that God as His help will come to His assistance soon, with haste, to deliver and save Him. Here faith in God Who has forsaken Him speaks. Despite the reality of being forsaken He continues to trust in His God.

He asks God to deliver “My soul”, that is He Himself in His deepest feelings, “from the sword” (Psalms 22:20). That sword weighs heavily upon Him. His unspeakable and indescribable loneliness He expresses by presenting Himself to God as “My only [life]”. Because of that loneliness He feels “the power of the dog”, the heathen powers, all the stronger.

He feels Himself in “the lion’s mouth” (Psalms 22:21). Satan, he is that lion, and all His demons have stirred up the wicked mass of the religious people and brought them to the grossest expressions of mockery and defamation. Christ sees the people as “wild oxen” who have taken Him on their horns (Psalms 22:21).

We see in these verses the demand for a threefold redemption:
1. From the sword (Psalms 22:20; cf. Zechariah 13:7), that is from God’s side.
2. From the violence of the dog (Psalms 22:20), which is from the side of man.
3. From the mouth of the lion (Psalms 22:21), which is from Satan’s side.

Christ’s demand for salvation is not the demand not to die. He had come to do the will of God and He fully knew what that meant. His question is not to be saved of death, but to be saved out of death, that is, that He would be raised (Hebrews 5:7). That question was answered, as we hear in the last line of Psalms 22:21. Here comes the great turn in this psalm.

The Lord’s prayer is answered in the resurrection (Psalms 22:21; Psalms 21:4). In what follows, all of man’s sin is gone, for it has been judged in the three hours of darkness. The complaint has been changed into a song of praise. The lamentation has been changed into a psalm of praise. The suffering is forever behind Him. What follows in the next few verses shows that God dwells on the songs of praise of Israel. It is one great song of praise to God in the midst of an ever-widening circle, until from the whole earth one great song of praise rises to God. The grain of wheat that fell into the earth and died is now going to bear much fruit (John 12:24).

The suffering inflicted on the Lord by men results in judgment for men. The suffering done to Him by God results in reconciliation and blessing for man. Christ in this psalm is the sin offering, the sacrifice for sin. He was made sin, meaning that God made Him the very source of sin and judged it in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). What results from this is nothing but pure grace and blessing to man. He accomplished the work all by Himself, but in the results countless millions of redeemed share (John 12:24).

After Christ’s victory over sin, world and death, there is no judgment on the enemies, but blessing for His own. The ultimate result of the work of reconciliation is blessing for all mankind in the realm of peace and for all believers in eternity (Colossians 1:20-Song of Solomon :). He is the Lamb of God Who, by virtue of His atoning work, will take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

We must remember that between the transition from complaint to praise is a period of about 2000 years now. What is described up to Psalms 22:21 took place at the first coming of Christ. What is described from Psalms 22:21 onwards moves us to His resurrection and its consequences at His second coming. We move, so to speak, from the hill of Golgotha to the Mount of Olives.

Verses 22-27

Heard and Song of Praise

After His resurrection, His first thought is to tell the Name of His God to His brethren and then to praise God together with those with whom He is in the midst (Psalms 22:23). He is the Son Who knows the Father and reveals and declares Him (Matthew 11:27; John 1:18). His brethren are His disciples to whom He lets Mary make known their new relationship with His Father and His God (John 20:17).

Because He is risen, He can give His disciples His resurrection life (John 20:22), placing them in the same relationship to His Father as He Himself has. Yet He does not make them fully one with Himself in His position before the Father, but maintains a distinction therein. He does not speak to them of ‘our’ Father, but of “My Father and your Father” and “My God and your God” (John 20:17). On resurrection morning we see Him appearing in the midst of them (John 20:19) and again a week later (John 20:26).

His disciples are prophetically the remnant of Israel, the true Israel in the future. In our time they form the core of the church that originates on the day of Pentecost. The church is a mystery in the Old Testament. Through the quotation of this verse in the New Testament, ‘the church’ acquires the higher meaning of the New Testament church (Hebrews 2:11-2 Kings :). ‘In the midst of the church’ then is the New Testament church (cf. Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:20). He reveals His presence where the church gathers. He starts the song of praise in the hearts of His own. That is why it is so important that every believer be present, because He is present there.

Then we hear about “all you descendants of Jacob” and “all you descendants of Israel” (Psalms 22:23). Here the Lord Jesus says to the believers from Israel that they will honor and fear the LORD. They are not merely hearers of the praise of David, but are called to join in this praise. Those who honor Him, fear Him. Reverence and awe go together.

The Lord Jesus speaks of Jacob and of Israel. The name Jacob recalls failure, the name Israel refers to what God made of Jacob. We will also never forget what we were and always honor Him in awe for what He has done for us and made of us.

In Psalms 22:24, the remnant speaks. What they say proves that they are aware that they owe all blessing to Him, Whom they here call “the afflicted” They have an understanding that God “has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted”, which His people did. God did have to hide His face from Him, but He did not keep it hidden. He heard the Afflicted when He called to Him and raised Him from the dead (Hebrews 5:7-Ruth :).

In Psalms 22:25, He who was the Afflicted speaks. All the praise He utters with His own to the glory of God comes from God, He says. Even after His resurrection, He gives all glory to God, as He always did in His life (John 7:18; John 17:4). The “great assembly” is the earthly people of God in the realm of peace after the period of the New Testament. In that great assembly, Christ will fulfill all the vows He made in His trouble.

His vows included praising God after His salvation from His affliction. These vows of praise to God He fulfills “before those who fear Him”. His vow is a peace offering in the form of a votive offering. It may, unlike the ordinary peace offering, also be eaten on the second day (Leviticus 7:15-Nehemiah :). The afflicted are invited to do this (Psalms 22:26).

Those who fear God are “the afflicted” or better “the humble”. They are believers who have been burdened by injustice in the hard times, but have set their expectation on God. The word “humble” has the meaning of being “humble in spirit” (Isaiah 57:15) because they tremble before God’s Word (Isaiah 66:2). Precisely those who have suffered much hardship because of their faithfulness to the Savior are given abundant food and will be satisfied. They inherit the earth with Him (Matthew 5:5) and, like Mephiboseth, may eat from the King’s table (2 Samuel 9:13).

This is the company of “those who seek Him”. There is every reason for them to praise Him exuberantly. They have prayed much to Him in their distress and they too have been heard. Now they praise Him to Whom they owe all blessing. They do not do this just for a moment or for a period of time, after which their praise weakens and disappears again. No, their hearts, which are full of praise, will “live forever!” This means that they will have eternal fellowship with the One Who is “alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:18) and Who has so miraculously turned everything to good.

After the remnant and the whole people have joined in the song of praise begun in Psalms 22:22 by the Lord Jesus in the midst of the assembly, the circle becomes even wider: all the ends of the earth are now included (Psalms 22:27). Here the promise of Genesis 22 is fulfilled (Genesis 22:18). The fulfillment takes place because the Lord Jesus has become King over the entire earth. The votive offering also appears to be a peace offering for the nations to inaugurate the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Also among the nations Christ has fruit on His work, also there people will turn to God. They “will remember” that the LORD is the Most High “and will turn” to Him. The “families of the nations” had forgotten God and served their idols. Therefore, “in the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways” (Acts 14:16). This has now come to an end. Of them, the remnant says to God that they will bow down in worship before Him. Then the promise made to Abraham is fulfilled, that in him all the generations of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3; Genesis 18:18Genesis 22:18; Genesis 26:3).

Verses 28-31

The Messianic Realm

The final verses of the psalm describe the general reign of the Messiah, “for the kingdom is the LORD’s” (Psalms 22:28). After the suffering and deep humiliation comes the glorification in the realm of peace. We see here again the wonder that the Messiah and Yahweh are the same Person. Kingdom is attributed to the LORD, while the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, is the King. Christ does not exercise the kingdom on behalf of God, for He is Himself the true God (Hebrews 1:8). He asserts His absolute right over the nations, for “He rules over the nations” (cf. Daniel 7:13-2 Chronicles :; Daniel 7:27).

In Psalms 22:29, three categories of people are mentioned which include all classes of persons.

1. “All the prosperous of the earth” are the rich people, those in esteem. Although it is difficult for them to be saved, it is not impossible, for with God all things are possible (Luke 18:25-Daniel :; cf. Matthew 27:57; 1 Corinthians 1:26). They “will eat and worship”. This seems to refer to the eating of the peace offering, the fellowship meal of God’s people, of which all who were clean were allowed to eat (Leviticus 7:11-Ecclesiastes :; cf. Isaiah 25:6). It is a meal at which God was given thanks and people worshiped before Him.

2. The second category is that of “all those who go down to the dust”. These are those who have been oppressed, who have been in trouble and sorrow. They have despaired of life, of which “go down to the dust” speaks. They felt “the dust of death” as very near.

3. The third category, which has much in common with the second, are those who “cannot keep” their souls “alive”. They lacked the most necessary necessities of life and had nothing with which they could keep themselves alive. They are the poor, the weak, the sick, the helpless.

The second and third categories, like the first category, will share in the blessing of the realm of peace as a result of the work of the Lord Jesus. For this they will “bow down before Him” in worship.

The blessing of the realm of peace, in which all the generations described above share, will be passed on to “posterity” (Psalms 22:30). That posterity “will serve Him” (cf. Isaiah 59:21). It will be “told of the Lord to the [coming] generation”. Every coming generation born in the realm of peace will be His. This makes clear the name by which God is mentioned here. The name “Lord” is Adonai, which means the Commander, the sovereign Ruler. The posterity spoken of here belongs to Him and will not be sacrificed to idols, as was done in earlier generations (Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2-:; 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 21:6; Jeremiah 7:31).

All who have passed through the terrible time of the great tribulation will declare the impressive salvation of God and His righteousness to those who are born in the time of the realm of peace (Psalms 22:31). They will speak of what the Lord Jesus has performed. We may also tell it to our children.

Each generation “will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born”, that is, the next generation. The realm of peace is founded on the righteousness of God fulfilled by the Lord Jesus on the cross. The declaration that is passed on is: “He has performed” it. It recalls the Savior’s last cross word: “It is finished!” (John 19:30). This last word on the cross will resound throughout eternity (cf. Revelation 21:6).

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 22". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/psalms-22.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
 
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