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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #76
Posted: March 17, 2006

PSALM 22:1-5

We step this week into a rather lengthy study of Psalm 22.  This has been called by many the Psalm of the Cross.  The title gives us a hint of this belief.  The title is “To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David”.  The phrase ‘Aijeleth Shahar’ is the word for a mourning hind or crying deer.  It is the metaphor of a dying deer giving its final pathetic cries.  It seems the cries fall upon deaf ears.  David’s troubles may be in a very modified sense, but he who sees Jesus will not care to see David.

Let us begin our study this week with the first five verses of the Psalm which say, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded

The opening phrase of our text causes us to hang on every word for it is the key to this Psalm.  It begins with a word of ‘why’.  The question of the ages is ‘why’ would the God of heaven forsake His darling son? The word ‘hast’ tells us it was a forgone conclusion and action done in the past with present affects.  He is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.  The word ‘thou’ returns our thoughts to the opening of this Psalm when the cry is ‘My God, my God’.  Our Saviour has had a personal relationship with the Father emphasized by the word ‘My’.  The word ‘God’ is the word ‘El’ the almighty one who gives strength.  I can understand Judas and Peter turning their back on the Saviour but not ‘thou’.  The phrase ‘forsaken me’ is the words of one who has been made an orphan.  He who was heavens darling glory now is an orphan all because of my sins.

The text tells us in verse 1 that He is far from helping him.  The phrase indicates there is a prayer being uttered but when the Saviour hears no answer to His prayer He is left to ‘roaring’.  It is a groan of sorrow from one who is dying alone with no one to comfort him.  It has been said by some that the desertion of the Son of God prevents my final desertion and comforts me in my present desertion. Glory to His name! O what a Saviour is mine.

In verse 2 we are taught the great lessons of importunity in prayer.  The word means the continual coming, asking, knocking, and seeking.  We are reminded that ‘man ought always to pray and not faint’.  Our Lord began His prayer in the garden the night before and continued the next day even when His Midday turned to Midnight.  O let us not lose heart in our prayers even when there is no answer.  Let us pray without ceasing.

Our Saviour when the heavens were silent in verse 3 did not chide His Father but magnified Him as the Holy One.  It was His holiness that caused Him to turn His back upon His son who had been made sin for me.  When in our prayers, if He is silent, let us remember because of His holiness He is working a far better and good work in our behalf.

In verse 4 our Saviour used a masterful weapon from the arsenal of prayer.  It is that of reminding God of His past dealings with His children.  We are told they ‘trusted’ and continued to trust in the Lord.  The word means to rest all the weight upon another and because of this He delivered them.  Let us not grow weary in our prayers but let us trust in Him with all our hearts.  He will yet deliver us.  It may not be in a manner of our choosing but deliverance will come.

In verse 5 we are told that their trust now mentioned three times did not leave them ‘confounded’.  The word ‘confound’ means to be shoved into disappointment.  A wholehearted trust in our Lord will always bring confident expectation and hope.

Little did I know that the happenings of the cross would teach so many lessons on prayer.  How our Saviour’s work on Calvary causes me to break out in the thoughts of ‘Sweet Hour of Prayer’ which says, 

Sweet Hour of Prayer, Sweet Hour of Prayer,
That calls me from a world of care
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempters snare
By thy return Sweet Hour of Prayer

May our crosses find us much in prayer.