1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent. (Psalm 22:1-31)
This psalm presents David’s readers with a great contrast in mood. Lament characterizes the first 21 verses, while praise and thanksgiving describe the last 10 verses. Prayer accounts for this dramatic shift from lament to praise. It is the story of first being God-forsaken and then God-found and filled. It was applied immediately to David and ultimately to the Greater David, Messiah. The NT contains 15 messianic quotations of or allusions to this psalm, leading some in the early church to label it “the fifth gospel.”
There are a number of commentators who have outlined the Psalm somewhat akin to the following:
- The Psalmist’s Hopelessness (22:1–10)
A. His Hopelessness and National History (22:1–5)
B. His Hopelessness and Natal History (22:6–10)
- The Psalmist’s Prayer (22:11–21)
A. A No-Help Outlook (22:11–18)
B. A Divine-Help Outlook (22:19–21)
- The Psalmist’s Testimonies and Worship (22:22–31)
A. An Individual Precipitation of Praise (22:22–25)
B. A Corporate Perpetuation of Praise (22:26–31)
Note that David makes reference to “The Deer of the Dawn” in the Title… This unique phrase in the superscription is probably best taken as a tune designation. There are several other Psalm that have similar (though not identical references as well. Having referred, it seems to the leader of a group of musicians or the chief group itself, it makes sense that David would refer to the tune to which he wished the content placed.
We can also think about the flow of the Psalm is wonderful, speaking, as it does, of Christ’s sufferings and coming glory.
- The sufferings, 1–21, are a graphic portrayal of crucifixion (cf. Mt 27:27–50),
- And are followed by the glory, 22–31 which is a bold statement of the glory that is our Lord Jesus’ alone.
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