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Psalm 22

22:0We do not know when David wrote Psalm 22. He was very ill, or he was hurt badly. He writes about his suffering. But he also writes about the sufferings of other people. Here is an example. People often torture other people. Torture means hurt very much. Near Judah was a place called Tyre. In Tyre, this is how they tortured people: they fixed them to wood with nails. The nails went through their hands and feet. A nail is a piece of sharp iron, a few inches long. Psalm 22:16 talks about this.

In Acts 2 is something that Peter said. He said it 7 weeks after Jesus died and rose again. In Acts 2:30 Peter said, ‘David was a prophet. He wrote about Christ.’ A prophet says what will happen in the future.

The Suffering Servant

Part 1 – David is Suffering

The leader must use the music of ‘The hind of the Morning.’

This is a song of David.

1 My God!

My God, why have you left me by myself?

Why is my help far away?

I am crying out in agony!

2 My God!

I cry out for help all day long.

You do not answer.

I cry out all through the night.

You send me no peace.

3 But you are the Holy God!

The praise of Israel is like a throne for you.

4 Our fathers trusted in you.

They trusted in you and you made them safe.

5 They cried out to you and you saved them.

They trusted in you and you did not disappoint them.

22:5Psalm 22: 1-5: This is a very sad psalm until verse 21. We do not know when David wrote this psalm. Verses 1 and 2 tell us that David was in agony. We do not know where the pain was. Perhaps it was all over his body. He asked God for help. God did not answer. ‘You send me no peace’ means ‘I am still crying because you give me no help.’ David thinks that God has forgotten him! But David remembered in verses 3-5 that God always gave help. He gave help to the fathers of Israel. This means all the Jews that lived before David. This made David sad. God always gave help to his people. Why did God not give help to David? So the psalm begins, ‘Why have you left me by myself?’

Part 2 – Men Hate David

6 But I am a worm. I am not a man.

People scorn me. Everybody hates me.

7 Everyone that sees me mocks me.

They say bad things. They shake their heads.

8 (They say) If the LORD likes him so much

perhaps he (the LORD) will save him.

Perhaps he will rescue him.

9 But you, LORD, you:

· brought me from the womb

· made me trust you at the my mother's breast

10 I trusted you, LORD, from the womb.

From the womb of my mother, you were my God.

11 Do not stay far from me. Trouble is near.

There is nobody to give me help.

22:11Psalm 22: 6-11: As in verses 1-5, there are 2 parts here:

– In verses 6-8 people say bad things about David

– In verses 9-11 David tells God that he still trusts God

In Psalm 22:1-5 it was God that made David sad. God did not answer David. Here, it is people that make David sad. They say bad things about him. It makes David feel very small, like a worm. People say, 'He trusted in the LORD. The LORD can give him help'. People do not mean it. They are really laughing at David. They are mocking him. But David does trust in God. He has trusted in God since he was a baby! Isaiah wrote about the suffering servant. He wrote the book of the Bible that we call Isaiah. We now know that Jesus was the suffering servant that Isaiah wrote about. In Psalm 22, it was Jesus also, though part of it was true for David.

Part 3 – Trouble is All Round Me

12 Many bulls are all round me.

They are strong bulls of Bashan.

They make a circle with me in the middle.

13 They open wide their mouths towards me.

They are like lions that tear their food.

They roar while they do it.

14 They are pouring me out like water.

All my bones have become separate.

My heart is becoming soft like butter.

It is changing to milk inside me.

15 My mouth is dry, like a bit of broken pot.

My tongue is sticking to the roof of my mouth.

You laid me down in the dirt of death.

16 A lot of bad men have made a circle round me.

They are everywhere like dogs.

Sharp points are in my hands and feet.

17 I can count all my bones.

They look at me all the time.

They mock me.

18 They took my clothes.

They threw dice for my coat.

19 But LORD, do not stay far away!

You can make me strong, so hurry to give to me help!

20 Save my life from the sword.

Save everything that I love from the dogs.

21 Save me from the mouth of the lion.

You heard me from the horns of wild bulls.

22:21Psalm 22: 12-21: Again there are two parts:

– In verses 12-18 there is trouble round David

– In verses 19-21 David prays to God about it

Here we find 2 ideas. There are things that happened to David. Also there are things that happened to other people. There are many pictures of suffering. The important part is ‘you heard me.’ David has ‘prayed through.’ This means that he prayed until he knew that God heard him.

Part 4 – David Praises God

22 I will tell your name to my brothers.

I will praise you in the congregation.

22:22Psalm 22: 22: From here to the end the psalm changes. It is not about suffering. It is full of praise. This is because God heard when David prayed. This psalm is not only about David. It is also about Jesus. Near the end of the Bible is a book called Hebrews. In it, Jesus says: I will tell your name to my brothers. I will sing praises to you in the church. (Hebrews 2:12) This is wonderful! Jesus sings praises to God with us in church.

23 Everyone that is in awe of the LORD – praise him!

All the seed of Jacob, honour him!

22:23Psalm 22: 23: People in awe of God love him, but also know how great he is. They do not become too friendly. Seed is a special Bible word. In the Old Testament it sometimes means the Jews. In the New Testament it often means Christians.

24 All the seed of Israel, worship him because:

God did not hate or forget the man that suffered

God did not hide his face from him

God heard him when he prayed

22:24Psalm 22: 24: ‘the man’ and ‘him’ mean David. David suffered. David prayed. God answered David. This is also true of Jesus. Jesus suffered when he died for us. But God raised Jesus from the dead. God answered when Jesus prayed. Jesus died for us so that God would save us!

25 I will praise you in the great congregation.

I will keep my promises.

The people that are in awe of you will see it.

22:25Psalm 22: 25: Jesus will keep his promises to us. We must believe!

Part 5 – The Congregation Thanks God

26 The poor will eat. They will have plenty.

The people that look for the LORD will praise him.

Your heart will always be alive.

27 People everywhere will remember.

They will turn to the LORD.

Families from every country will worship you.

28 The LORD rules over every nation

because he is king.

29 All the rich people on earth will eat well.

They will worship God.

All that die will bend in front of him.

Nobody can keep himself alive.

30 Our children will become his servants.

They will tell their children about the Lord.

31 They will say that the LORD is righteous.

They will say this to people that are not yet born:

GOD HAS DONE IT!

22:31Psalm 22: 26-31: There is a book in the Bible that we call Leviticus. It is full of rules. One rule is in Leviticus 7:16. It says, 'Eat your sacrifice on the day that you make your promise'. A sacrifice was an animal that the Jews killed. They burned part of it. This was God's part. They ate the other part. Verses 26 and 29 are about this. The rich and the poor will eat the sacrifice. As a result, people will praise God (verse 26) and worship God (verse 29).

On the evening before he died, Jesus ate supper with his friends. To us, this was Thursday evening. To the Jews it was the start of Friday! We call this supper the Last Supper. On that Friday, Jesus was the sacrifice. He went to heaven, where God lives. That was God's part. Our part is the LORD's Supper. When we eat the LORD's Supper:

– We remember that Jesus died for us

– We tell everybody that Jesus died for us

– We remember that Jesus will come back to the earth

Psalm 22: 26-31 gives us help to remember all this. It is very important to tell our children. What do we tell them? We tell them that GOD HAS DONE IT! Jesus was God. Jesus died for us. Psalm 22:1-21 is about this. But Jesus rose from the dead. He is alive today. He is alive in Heaven. He is alive in the Church. Psalm 22:22-31 is about this.