Psalm 22 should give us pause. We tend to think of it as “the crucifixion psalm” and relegate it to Messianic prophecy alone. However, most scholars believe that these psalms had an application in the day in which they were written also. Therefore, Psalm 22, which is clearly Messianic in many ways, also applied to some time in David’s life.
It must be obvious that we do not know every detail of his life. John said about the life of Jesus, Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. John 21:25. Surely the same could be said for David, who lived far longer than the Lord on this earth. He could easily have had a serious illness we are not told about, or a life-threatening injury. As many enemies as this man of war had, this psalm could refer to some of them. Whatever it was, this psalm tells us some dire straits David found himself in.
Note the structure of the psalm. If you have a modern version, you will see the sections separated clearly. The “I/me” sections, those about David and his lament, are alternated with the “thou/you” sections, those addressed to God. The “I/me” sections gradually increase in length, first two verses, then three, then seven. The “thou” sections gradually increase their urgency until the final one when David seems to scream, “Save me from the mouth of the lion!”
The danger pictured in the psalm gradually increases. “Many bulls encompass me.” “They open wide their mouths.” “Dogs encompass me…they pierced my hands and feet.” “Come quickly. Save me from the mouth of the lion and the horns of the wild oxen.” By this point, David feels the end is near one way or the other.
Suddenly, in verse 22, the mood changes. The poet uses less figurative language and calmer speech. “Praise” becomes the repetitive word instead of “Deliver me, save me, rescue me.” David begins to recount this desperate time only so he can tell others the good news—God delivered him. “Praise him, glorify him, stand in awe of him,” he tells the assembled congregation, probably those whom he had invited to his thank offering feast. The Law of Moses made provision for a man to offer a sacrifice when something wonderful had happened to him. He was to invite his friends and neighbors and share not only the feast, but the good news of the blessings God had given him. (Lev 7:15; Deut 12:15-18; Psa 40:9,10) Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such a tradition today? Especially in a day where all we want to share with others are the disasters, the complaints, and the bad news, to actually share good news and praise God for His blessings would be a welcome change.
What are you sharing with your facebook friends today? With your family and neighbors, your classmates, fellow workers, and even the cashiers and waitresses you see during the day? Is bad news the only thing that exhilarates you, or do you excitedly tell others the good news—that a Savior loves them just as he loves you and has done so many wonderful things for you.
God had a people once who only reveled in the bad news, including ten men who came back from seeing a glorious Promised Land and with their evil report (bad news) “made the people complain” Num 14:36. It did not take long for God to give them up to a wilderness in which they learned what bad news really was.
Think today, not only before you speak, but before you share. Let’s start a new tradition. Let’s make a thank offering feast for our friends instead of a gripe-fest. Share the good things in your life, so that someday you can more easily share the most important thing—your Lord.
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones…Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country, Prov 15:30; 25:25.
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