My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? Psalm 22:1
Psalm of the Forsaken
The psalmist cries out in deep anguish, feeling himself forsaken by God and despised by his fellowmen. He graphically describes his anguish and begs to be delivered from death. With rescue assured, the psalmist praises God and foresees God’s blessing of the whole world.
Psalm 22 is a profound lament psalm that concludes as a triumphant psalm of praise for God’s deliverance. Although this psalm speaks of David’s own distress and the Lord’s deliverance of him, it also prophetically describes in remarkable detail Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The language David uses to describe his own predicament is prompted by the Holy Spirit. Thus it could span a thousand years to describe precisely the experiences of the Savior Jesus – both His excruciating death and victorious resurrection. See also Ps. 69, which predicts the emotional and spiritual suffering of Jesus. The title of Psalm 22 indicates that it was sung to the tune “The Deer of the Dawn.” This lengthy poem has two main sections: 1. A description of the agony of impending death – an interplay of lament, confession, and petition. Vv. 1-22 2. An ecstatic celebration of great victory – a series of vows to praise God in the congregation vv. 22-31.
Key concepts. Fulfilled prophecy, Trust, Forsake, Abandon
A messianic vision. Psalms 22, 23, and 24 are viewed as a messianic trio portraying Christ’s suffering, intimate relationship with God, and His ultimate triumph. Psalm22’s first words were uttered by Christ on the cross (cf. Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). Other references to Ps. 22 in the NT include:
v.7 with Matt 27:39-44 vv. 18 with Matt. 27:35
v. 8 with Matt. 27:42 v. 22 with Heb. 2:12
v. 16 with Luke 24:39-40 and Heb. 5:7
“Why?” (22:1) David merely felt forsaken by God, but Christ was literally abandoned by Him. In history’s most awesome moment God the Father withdrew His presence from the Son; the Holy One isolated Himself from one who at that instant in time became sin for us.
1 To the Chief Musician. Set to ‘The Deer of the Dawn.’ A Psalm of David. My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?
God has listened (22:24). The psalm’s anguish ultimately is replaced by a triumphant note of praise. God has heard the prayer of the sufferer for deliverance (cf. vv. 19-21). The victim who is the true subject of this psalm died – and was raised to life again.
Out of that death and through a now endless life Christ, once a victim but now Victor, satisfies the deepest need of all who seek the Lord, and will surely cause all nations to bow down to God in an endless kingdom He will rule.
24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard.
The meek shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! Psalm 22:26
⇒ God reveals the truth to godly people. David uttered the words of prophecy of the coming Messiah without understanding it. He was crying out to God about his own distress but ended his prayer with the triumpant assuarance. Being led by the Holy Spirit is like that. You start with your immediate situation and God leads to you a new place.