Psalm 22 Commentary

Psalm 22 Commentary

Crucifixion. What else? The unanswered prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ to have the cup of suffering waved; the mocking and dividing of clothes; and the insults of the unbelievers. It is an appropriate distraction imposed by the messianic message to the original context.

We cannot be wrong. In reality, the original is here, in the Garden of suffering and at Calvary. David is a shadow seed holding on to the scepter until the rightful owner comes. Regardless, we can only increase, and not reduce, as we look at the original from the image that the LORD appropriately provided. David is that image.

He is in real trouble. He cannot reconcile the fact of God’s care and his present circumstances. Why have you forsaken me? David feels the pressure of apparent abandonment. This cannot be part of the script! His ancestors had been here before. The LORD delivered them when they cried out to him. So David becomes confident.

For the LORD 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.

The transition in usage from the future tense to the present tense is very interesting. David started his prayer by crying out to the LORD over what he thought was abandonment. He ends the prayer with the declaration that the ‘LORD has done it.’

At the start of the prayer, his account is empty. Midway, there is the confidence that his account will be credited. By the end of the psalm, not only has his account been credited but also his deliverance becomes common knowledge to all. The future generation will look to this very moment and praise the LORD for it.

This is an important function of prayer. The LORD changes the tense of our problems. They become past events. The saint who begins his prayer session in tears often leaves the throne room smiling, wondering what the fuss was all about. The problem is no longer there.

By looking at the original context of this psalm, as recorded in the Gospels, we now understand why the saint walks away smiling. Angels come and attend to the saint. They bring comfort and encouragement; strength and courage regardless of what the LORD says about the cup. We also understand that eventually all of it comes up good as the Creator God works through time and space.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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