Psalms 22

* Complaints of discouragement. (1-10) With prayer for

deliverance. (11-21) Praises for mercies and redemption. (22-31)1-10 The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifies

in this psalm, clearly and fully, the sufferings of Christ, and

the glory that should follow. We have a sorrowful complaint of

God's withdrawings. This may be applied to any child of God,

pressed down, overwhelmed with grief and terror. Spiritual

desertions are the saints' sorest afflictions; but even their

complaint of these burdens is a sign of spiritual life, and

spiritual senses exercised. To cry our, My God, why am I sick?

why am I poor? savours of discontent and worldliness. But, "Why

hast thou forsaken me?" is the language of a heart binding up

its happiness in God's favour. This must be applied to Christ.

In the first words of this complaint, he poured out his soul

before God when he was upon the cross, #Mt 27:46|. Being truly

man, Christ felt a natural unwillingness to pass through such

great sorrows, yet his zeal and love prevailed. Christ declared

the holiness of God, his heavenly Father, in his sharpest

sufferings; nay, declared them to be a proof of it, for which he

would be continually praised by his Israel, more than for all

other deliverances they received. Never any that hoped in thee,

were made ashamed of their hope; never any that sought thee,

sought thee in vain. Here is a complaint of the contempt and

reproach of men. The Saviour here spoke of the abject state to

which he was reduced. The history of Christ's sufferings, and of

his birth, explains this prophecy.
11-21 In these verses we have Christ suffering, and Christ

praying; by which we are directed to look for crosses, and to

look up to God under them. The very manner of Christ's death is

described, though not in use among the Jews. They pierced his

hands and his feet, which were nailed to the accursed tree, and

his whole body was left so to hang as to suffer the most severe

pain and torture. His natural force failed, being wasted by the

fire of Divine wrath preying upon his spirits. Who then can

stand before God's anger? or who knows the power of it? The life

of the sinner was forfeited, and the life of the Sacrifice must

be the ransom for it. Our Lord Jesus was stripped, when he was

crucified, that he might clothe us with the robe of his

righteousness. Thus it was written, therefore thus it behoved

Christ to suffer. Let all this confirm our faith in him as the

true Messiah, and excite our love to him as the best of friends,

who loved us, and suffered all this for us. Christ in his agony

prayed, prayed earnestly, prayed that the cup might pass from

him. When we cannot rejoice in God as our song, yet let us stay

ourselves upon him as our strength; and take the comfort of

spiritual supports, when we cannot have spiritual delights. He

prays to be delivered from the Divine wrath. He that has

delivered, doth deliver, and will do so. We should think upon

the sufferings and resurrection of Christ, till we feel in our

souls the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his

22-31 The Saviour now speaks as risen from the dead. The first

words of the complaint were used by Christ himself upon the

cross; the first words of the triumph are expressly applied to

him, #Heb 2:12|. All our praises must refer to the work of

redemption. The suffering of the Redeemer was graciously

accepted as a full satisfaction for sin. Though it was offered

for sinful men, the Father did not despise or abhor it for our

sakes. This ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. All

humble, gracious souls should have a full satisfaction and

happiness in him. Those that hunger and thirst after

righteousness in Christ, shall not labour for that which

satisfies not. Those that are much in praying, will be much in

thanksgiving. Those that turn to God, will make conscience of

worshipping before him. Let every tongue confess that he is

Lord. High and low, rich and poor, bond and free, meet in

Christ. Seeing we cannot keep alive our own souls, it is our

wisdom, by obedient faith, to commit our souls to Christ, who is

able to save and keep them alive for ever. A seed shall serve

him. God will have a church in the world to the end of time.

They shall be accounted to him for a generation; he will be the

same to them that he was to those who went before them. His

righteousness, and not any of their own, they shall declare to

be the foundation of all their hopes, and the fountain of all

their joys. Redemption by Christ is the Lord's own doing. Here

we see the free love and compassion of God the Father, and of

our Lord Jesus Christ, for us wretched sinners, as the source of

all grace and consolation; the example we are to follow, the

treatment as Christians we are to expect, and the conduct under

it we are to adopt. Every lesson may here be learned that can

profit the humbled soul. Let those who go about to establish

their own righteousness inquire, why the beloved Son of God

should thus suffer, if their own doings could atone for sin? Let

the ungodly professor consider whether the Saviour thus honoured

the Divine law, to purchase him the privilege of despising it.

Let the careless take warning to flee from the wrath to come,

and the trembling rest their hopes upon this merciful Redeemer.

Let the tempted and distressed believer cheerfully expect a

happy end of every trial
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