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                         "THE BOOK OF PSALMS"

                   Psalm 22 - The Victorious Sufferer

OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS PSALM

1) To note the messianic nature of this psalm fulfilled in the
   crucifixion of Jesus

2) To be impressed with its literal fulfillment, and the insight it 
   gives us into how Jesus must have felt as He hung on the cross

3) To see what gave the psalmist confidence that God would hear his cry
   for deliverance

SUMMARY

This psalm of David could be called "The Psalm Of The Cross", as much of
the suffering described in it was literally fulfilled in the crucifixion
of Jesus Christ (though it may also relate to sufferings experienced by
David).  Where the four gospel writers provide a description of Jesus'
sufferings from the viewpoint of witnesses, this messianic psalm reveals
His suffering from the viewpoint of Jesus Himself.

The heading indicates the psalm was set to "The Deer of the Dawn".  No
one really knows what this refers to, though it may be the name of a
tune known by the Chief Musician.

The psalm begins with a cry that was uttered by Jesus on the cross (Mt
27:46).  The first half of the psalm depicts a sufferer surrounded by
enemies who feels forsaken by God.  While much of the suffering is
described figuratively ("Many bulls have surrounded me"), some of it was
literally fulfilled.  Not only the words of Jesus in verse 1, but also
the very words of the chief priests and scribes who mocked while Jesus
hung on the cross (Mt 27:43).  There is also the piercing of the hands
and feet, the dividing of the garments (Mt 27:35).  As the psalmist
cries out for deliverance, he also expresses hope based upon God's
faithfulness in the past.  At the end of the first half, the psalmist
declares that God has answered him (1-21).

The second half of the psalm expresses the joy of "The Victorious
Sufferer".  He will gladly praise God for hearing him and providing
deliverance.  He encourages all those who fear God to praise and glorify
Him, confident that God's blessings will extend to many nations and to
people not yet born.  This is because the kingdom is the Lord's, and He
rules over the nations (22-31).

OUTLINE

I. THE SUFFERER FORSAKEN BY GOD (22:1-21)

   A. HIS FORLORN CRY (1-2)
      1. Why has God forsaken him?  Why does God not help?
      2. Day and night his cry is made...why does God not hear?

   B. HIS HOPE FOR DELIVERANCE (3-5)
      1. God is holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel
      2. The fathers trusted in God, and He delivered them
      3. They cried to Him, and God did not disappoint them

   C. HIS TORMENT BY OTHERS (6-8)
      1. Reduced to be like a worm, not a man
      2. The object of derision, despised by others
      3. Ridiculed, he is taunted by those who mock his trust in God

   D. HIS FAITH IN GOD (9-11)
      1. He acknowledges that God has been with him since birth
      2. He looks to God as his only helper

   E. HIS SUFFERING DESCRIBED (12-18)
      1. Depiction of his enemies
         a. They surround him like strong bulls of Bashan
         b. Their mouths opened like a raging and roaring lion
      2. Depiction of his suffering
         a. Poured out like water, bones out of joint
         b. Heart like wax, melted within him
         c. Strength dried up, tongues clinging to his jaws
         d. Brought to the dust of death
      3. The suffering imposed by his enemies
         a. Like dogs, they surround him; like evildoers they encircle
            him
         b. They have pierced his hands and feet
         c. He can count all his bones, while they feast their eyes on 
            him
         d. They divide his garments, and cast lots for his clothing

   F. HIS FINAL CRY (19-21)
      1. For God not to be far off
         a. For He who is his strength to hasten and help him
         b. For Him to deliver his life from the sword, his precious 
            life from the power of the dog
         c. For Him to save him from the lion's mouth and horns of wild
            oxen
      2. A sudden declaration that God has answered him!

II. THE SUFFERER DELIVERED BY GOD (22:22-31)

   A. GOD BE PRAISED! (22-25)
      1. The sufferer will praise God
         a. Proclaiming His name to his brethren
         b. Praising Him in the middle of the assembly
      2. Let those who fear God praise Him
         a. Let the descendants of Jacob honor Him
         b. Let the descendants of Israel stand in awe of Him
      3. Reasons for such praise
         a. God has not despised or abhorred his affliction
         b. God has not hidden His face from him, but hearkened to his
            cry
      4. The sufferer will praise God and pay his vows
         a. In the great assembly
         b. Before them that fear Him

   B. GOD BE WORSHIPPED! (26-31)
      1. By the meek, and those that seek the Lord
         a. They shall be eat and be satisfied
         b. They shall praise Him
      2. By those from the ends of the earth
         a. Who shall bear these things in mind and return to the Lord
         b. All families of the nations will bow down before Him
         c. For the kingdom is the Lord's, and He is the Ruler among the
            nations
      3. By the prosperous and the dead
         a. The prosperous will eat, and worship Him
         b. The dying shall bow before Him
      4. By the generations to come
         a. Posterity shall serve him
         b. For men shall tell of what God has done
         c. People yet born shall hear of God's justice

REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE PSALM

1) What are the main points of this psalm?
   - Forsaken by God (1-21)
   - Delivered by God (22-31)

2) Who is the author of this psalm?
   - David

3) What is the nature of this psalm?
   - Messianic

4) When did Jesus quote the first verse of Psalm 22?
   - As He suffered on the cross (Mt 27:46)

5) Upon what basis does the psalmist hope for deliverance? (3-5)
   - The fathers trusted in God, and He delivered them when they cried
     out to Him

6) What scornful remark in the psalm were also expressed at Jesus' 
   crucifixion? (8)
   - "He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him..." (Mt 27:43)

7) Upon what basis does the psalmist have faith in God's help? (9-11)
   - God has been with him since birth

8) What two metaphors are used to describe the enemies of the psalmist?
   (12-13)
   - They surround him like strong bulls of Bashan
   - They gape at him with mouths like a raging and roaring lion

9) How does the psalmist describe his bodily suffering? (14-15)
   - Poured out like water
   - Bones out of joint
   - Heart like wax, melted within him
   - Strength dried up like a potsherd
   - Tongue clinging to his jaws
   - God has brought him to the dust of death

10) What two things did the enemies do to the psalmist that were
    literally fulfilled at the crucifixion of Jesus? (16-18)
   - They pierced his hands and feet (Mt 27:35a)
   - They divide his garments and cast lots for his clothing (Mt 27:35b)

11) As the psalmist makes another cry for deliverance, how does he
    indicate that God has helped him? (19-21)
   - By saying "You have answered me."

12) What does the psalmist promise to do in response to God's 
    deliverance? (22,25)
   - Declare God's name to his brethren
   - Praise God in the midst of the congregation  (cf. He 2:11-12)
   - Pay his vows in the presence of those who fear Him

13) What does the psalmist call upon people to do?  Why? (23-24)
   - To praise, glorify, and fear God
   - For God has heard the cry of the afflicted

14) As the psalm nears its end, what eight things does the psalmist say
    will happen? (25-31)
   - The poor will eat and be satisfied
   - Those who seek God will praise Him
   - All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord
   - All the families of the nations shall worship before Him
   - All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship
   - All who go down to the dust shall bow before Him
   - A posterity shall serve Him
   - God's deliverance and righteousness will be recounted to the next
     generation, even those who are yet unborn

15) Why is the psalmist confident that such things will occur? (28)
   - For the kingdom is the Lord's, and He rules over the nations
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