Questions for The Book of Psalms
Calvary Christian Fellowship
Bible Study, October 2019 – May 2020
Questions (w/ some answers) for Psalm 22b (verses 7 thru 18 )
1. Who is the Psalmist?
David the prophet. Whether before he became king when he was
pursued by Saul, or after, during some low point of his forty year
reign, we determined in our first installment of Psalm 22 (Psalm
22a: verses 1-6) that, in either case, the Holy Spirit caused/led
David to focus on events to take place in the future from his place
and time . . . like 1000 years into the future, during the life of
ORD, my Lord,” the promised messiah of
, the Prophet of
, the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant (
2 Samuel 7:8-17;
). The mystery (paradox) of the Trinity, all in one, plural,
The Psalms, though not arranged chronologically, seem to progressively develop this relationship. In this study of the Psalms 1 thru 25, we first noted the distinction in the typography, meaning, and intention of “O L ORD our Lord . . .” from Psalm 8:1 , and developed it a bit more in Psalm 16:2 “. . . the L ORD, Thou are my Lord: . . .” 
Let me point out, at this point, however, that the first time we were introduced to the distinction (albeit not in a comparative phrase – e.g., “The L ORD said unto my Lord . . .” ( Psalm 110:1 ; Matthew 22:41-46 ) – was in Psalm 2, the first messianic psalm, where we discover just how ancient and widespread the world-wide movement against the LORD and His anointed is. Indeed, I even missed this until today, when the spirit directed my attention to it. Hence, I feel compelled to share with you as it is topical to Psalm 22, as you will see.
It’s found in Psalm 2:4: He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord [not the L ORD] shall have them in derision. It’s easy to miss, but now re-reading Psalm 2 presents an even more rich picture . . . the Lord Jesus shall have them – the kings and rulers of the earth who take counsel against the LORD and his anointed – in derision. They may seem to have won, in the flesh; but it’s known better in heaven, and the Spirit.
We will see this relationship between the Father and the Son (the LORD and the Lord) developed a bit more at the end of Psalm 22 in the next installment. In the meantime, it’s always important to see the working of the Spirit through David, who trusted what he wrote without fully understanding it, if understanding it at all; in the same way that He has the Spirit lead you and me. God knows where . . . but we walk by faith, and He teaches us what we need to know as we need to know it along the way. What a wonderful mystery that is!
2. Who is/are the speaker(s)?
- This is a repeat, but David is the author writing for Christ the speaker through the Holy Spirit. And the Word is the Voice of God.
3. Who is the audience?
Right now, during this Holy Week (Easter, April 6-12, 2020) this
Psalm is addressed to the churches across America, among others,
whom, as a result of the pandemic (which may indeed be of His
providence), have been directed by “the powers that be [which] are
ordained God” (
) to practice “social distancing.” Thereby, the “church” is being
prevented from meeting to worship and fellowship corporally during
this most High Holy Week . . . which should give us pause to
consider the implications of the last verses of this psalm:
A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a
generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness
upon a people that shall be born, that he hath done this. [Psalm
No, David is not talking about himself. And the generation, the Church Age, will end when the LORD has determined, not before nor after. Our prayer is that His will be done, that He may be glorfied by it.
4. List those described in the Psalm? How are they described (adjectives used, actions given, consequences prescribed)? Examples from the Bible? Do you know people like this?
As pointed out in the first installment of Psalm 22, it is believed by many that Christ actually quoted the entire while on the cross. The content of the 22nd Psalm can be divided into seven sections organized by the words of Christ given to us in the Gospels. The first we encountered already in the Psalm 22a questions and answers, here are the others:
‘”MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?” (v. 1-6)
“FATHER, FORGIVE THEM” (v.7-8)
“WOMAN, BEHOLD THY SON!” (v. 9-14)
“I THIRST” (v. 15-18)
“FATHER, INTO THY HANDS I COMMEND MY SPIRIT” (v. 19-24)
“TODAY SHALT THOU BE WITH ME IN PARADISE” (v. 25-26)
“IT IS FINISHED” (v. 27-31)
“FATHER, FORGIVE THEM”
(section two: if only we all could see Him
who hangs on the cross as clearly as he sees us)
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 He trusted on the L ORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him [Ps. 22:7-8]
- Make no mistake Who the speaker is. And the brutal mob who put Him where He knew He must go only intensify his suffering with their mocking and hardened hearts. As mentioned, for the early Israelites, to have your dead body hung from a tree for the rest of the day following your execution was the ultimate shame placed on those claimed to be cursed of God for their particular transgression. Here, with Christ, we see the civilized world of Rome that brought about the evolution of crime and punishment, instigating the “mob” to watch the painful, lingering death of the guilty, hence ensuring complete and total condemnation, if not absolute consuming fear and intimidation. This was not the mob that broke in to the jailhouse, took a prisoner, lynched him and then went home quickly lest they be caught, red handed and guilt ridden. These were the religious leaders of the people insulting, ridiculing, who went about making a spectacle of it all, “And sitting down they watched him there” ( Matthew 27:33-44 ). These were those who took counsel to rebel against God and His anointed ( Psalm 2:2 ).
- “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do . . .” ( Luke 23:34) McGee says ”If He had not said that, they would have been guilty of the unpardonable sin. But they did not – He asked forgiveness for their sin. We know that the centurion in charge of the execution was saved; and the whole company of Pharisees, including Saul of Tarsus, who probably were in the crowd, were saved.”
“WOMAN, BEHOLD THY SON!”
(section three: where does His thoughts go from here?
or: there is a season for every purpose under heaven)
9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breast’s.
10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.
“. . . Woman, behold thy son.”
Remember the wedding at Cana in Galilee? ( John 2:1-11 ) My speculation on the matter is that this was not a wedding of a neighborhood girl / friends of the family that had extended invitation to the kin of Joseph, including Jesus and his friends, calling them to take a break from their missionary work to come celebrate with the bride and groom.
Did you ever notice that Joseph was not there? Indeed, Mother Mary was not necessarily asking Christ to perform some such miracle as to prove who He was in this public gathering of family and friends to finally erase all the lifelong shame she had encountered as a result of finding herself pregnant with an illegitimate child on the eve of her marriage to Joseph . . . a lifelong shame forced upon, and shared by, that illegitimate son now hanging on that cross. Indeed, they of Him in their barcaroles at the local tavern ( Psalm 69:7-12 ). Perhaps there was a double meaning to her request, in the same way that there may have been a double meaning to His response when he said, “Woman, my time has not come ( John 2:4 ).
First notice that in both verses the Lord refers to his mother a “Woman.” ( John 19:26 ; John 2:4). Then consider this. Her request was made due to the absence of Joseph. That the bride was not a neighborhood friend, but one of Jesus’ sisters (or half sister, if you will). That it was His responsibility/duty to step in and fulfill the role of family patriarch, as the eldest and nearest male family member – kindred redeemer – in such cases as when the father of the bride is dead.
He performed the miracle, His first, just as his mother knew He would when she told the servants to do whatever he told them to do right after His apparent refusal ( John 2:5) . (And why was it her responsibility to be in charge of the servants? Mother of the bride?) The Lord was just letting the Woman know that He would not to do it publicly, regardless of what the neighbors might continue to think, or what she and He knew for certain. At least no announcement of the like would be made there and then. Because, you see, it was never about Pride. Really.
But now, on the cross. “Woman, behold your son!” This was not the announcement anyone would expect. This is not the sort of miracle, with the results implied, that might have been longed for long before He started performing them.
Which leads me to startlingly recall another great truth. Unnatural gifts lead to unnatural acts, much as absolute power corrupts absolutely. No, when it comes to the Lord, it was never about Pride. And we see it most clearly in this moment, when their eyes meet at the end, and the Son and his mother traverse the years together. From his very conception.
And still, no one knows, for sure. At least like these two know, for sure. We walk by faith. Faith, Love and Hope. Faith is built on knowledge of what we’ve learned and build on, Hope is what we look forward to Hebrews 11 . (See Heb. 11:1-3 esp.). But love is the bridge, the action, that ties it all together John 21:15-16 . And this expression of humility on the part of The L ORD our Lord not only makes love possible, but real . . . perfect.
12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and roaring lion.
- Taking on sin, that which brought death into the world, was the reason for His death. The bulls of Bashan, sacrifice to the pagan gods and goddesses (the Baals and Astaroths), and the ravening and roaring lion, the symbol, the picture of Rome, were only the executioners ( Ephesians 6:12 ). And they were all around them, everywhere, in that moment of time.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
- An uncanny description of crucifixion, especially one written by David long before it became known as the implement of terror designed by Rome. The excessive perspiration of a dying man, naked and nailed by hands and feet to a pole suspended, under the desert sun. The bones eventually all slip out of joint due to loss of blood and strength. All before death. But in Christ’s case, his heart was as wax. He died of a broken heart. The spear that entered his side caused water and blood to gush out. John 19:34 . Doctors tell us that a ruptured heart produces just such an effusion from that sort of wound after death. This is not what anyone would want their mother to see.
(section four: If thou would have asked me,
I would have given thee living water John 4:10-14 )
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaw; and thou has brought me into the dust of death.
- Down below they hear Him say, “I thirst.”
16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet
- “Dogs,” you may remember, was the name for Gentiles. Piercing hands and feet, again, is the description of the Roman torture.
18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
- I find it interesting how McGee puts it in 1982, which makes it all the more poignant for us today in 2020. “He was crucified naked. It is difficult for us in this age of nudity and pornography to comprehend the great humiliation He suffered by hanging nude on the cross. They had taken His garments and gambled for ownership. He went through it all, crucified naked, so that you might be clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and so be able to stand before God throughout the endless ages of eternity.”
 8 O L ORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens
- Here the L ORD is celebrated as our Lord; God and man, glorified together through creation of which He is the head. This is a confidence statement of His position, place and time(lessness), from whence He will come again when He comes again as who He is: L ORD our Lord.
That He is the only begotten Son of God is what makes Psalm 8 the second of the 16 “Messianic Psalms” out of the 150 Psalms. To believers, Jesus says: John 14:6-14 . To unbelievers Jesus remains consistent in saying who He is: John 10:22-30
 2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the L ORD , Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee
· When we know who we are, positionally with our creator, then we
can have the right relationship with Him. Like Vernon McGee, I have
been fortunate to have had the experience of a little child
climbing into my lap, putting his arms around my neck and telling
me, “You are my grandpa.” My father told me that there is only one
thing better than being a grandpa, and that’s being a great
grandpa. I believe we have experiences like this to let us know how
to approach our creator. It is one thing to say, “Lord, Lord, have
we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out
devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?” It’s entirely
another to lift up your arms and call to Him, “Abba, Father.”
Here, again, in verse 2 we have the distinction, a play on words if you will, in translation between LORD and Lord seen in Psalm 8:1: O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who has set thy glory above the heavens. (“LORD” the Father, YAWEH, G_D, I AM; “Lord” the Son, Jesus Messiah, Christos, Christ . . . manifestations of the Creator and His Word.). David’s (unwitting?) distinction was memorialized for us when Christ made reference to Psalm 110:1: “The LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” It is with this verse that Christ turns the tables on the Pharisees and questions them, rather than the other way around: Matthew 22:41-46 .
Perhaps cryptic in the same way that all prophecy is, in that it takes on more than one meaning all at once. In the ensuing verses, David is concerned with the Hebrew children, the chosen people, many of whom who have not chosen . . . correctly. It also refers to those who have lived, are living and will live during the church age, doing the same things. And finally, it has to do with Israel during Jacob’s trouble.
The Lord is not just the “son of David,” He is the only begotten
Son of God. And He did not come to offer salvation to those who
would receive it of Israel alone, but to the whole world,
throughout time, of every nation and tribe.
It’s all about knowing our position in the relationship . . . and what He has done, is doing, and will do for us, as we pray the Spirit indwell us more brightly each and every day.