The Psalms of David in Metre

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Psalm 22

Psalm 22 is a messianic Psalm which speaks of Christ, his death, and the worship which is owed him as a result. All the redeemed from the nations will worship the Christ.

Here the debasement and exaltation of David, king of Israel, are merely subservient to, and figurative of the debasement and exaltation of Jesus Christ.

In this deep debasement we find, (1.) Bitter, but kindly and believing, complaints of God’s withdrawment; attended with earnest attempts of faith to quiet the complainer’s soul under it, drawn from the consideration of God’s holiness and highness, and his seasonable deliverance of his people in former times, when they cried to him, ver. 1-5. (2.) Bitter complaints of men’s reproaches and contemptuous derision; attended with self encouragements, drawn from former experience of God’s early and seasonable care and friendship, ver. 6-10. (3.) Bitter complaints of the number and rage of enemies, attended with exquisite agonies of body and mind, and mingled with earnest prayers for God’s speedy supports, assistance, and powerful deliverance, ver. 11-21.

While I sing these, let me behold the vileness, the criminality, the destructive influence of sin! Let me behold the sovereignty of God, who not only scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, but spared not his only begotten Son, but delivered him up for us all! Behold, how he hates, how he punisheth our sin! And what manner of love he bestowed upon us, that we might be called the sons of God! Behold, how he commendeth his love unto us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! And if Jesus, with patience bore such desertion, reproach, and distress; let me, in the firm faith that he did all for me, and that God is mine, and maketh all things work for my good, study an unhampered resignation to his will.

By the typical exaltation of David, and the increase, happiness, honour, and duration of his kingdom, we have prefigured the glorious exaltation of our Redeemer; importing, that he should have a church among men; that his Father should be glorified in them as well as in him; that his true subjects should abound in prayer, praise, spiritual comfort, and everlasting life; and that his church should be enlarged with multitudes of both Jews and Gentiles, and should, to his honour, and for his worship and service, continue to all generations, ver. 22-31.

While I sing this, let me trust, and rejoice in, and plead his promises, relative to myself and his church. Let me ponder, whether I have heard his voice, shared his saving pity, feasted on his spiritual provision, and worshipped him in spirit, and in truth! And whether it is the desire of my soul to cause his name to be remembered to all generations.

To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar,
A Psalm of David.

1 My God, my God, why hast thou me
forsaken? why so far
Art thou from helping me, and from
my words that roaring are?

2 All day, my God, to thee I cry,
yet am not heard by thee;
And in the season of the night
I cannot silent be.

3 But thou art holy, thou that dost
inhabit Isr’el’s praise.
4 Our fathers hoped in thee, they hoped
and thou didst them release.

5 When unto thee they sent their cry,
to them deliv’rance came:
Because they put their trust in thee,
they were not put to shame.

6 But as for me, a worm I am,
and as no man am prized:
Reproach of men I am, and by
the people am despised.

7 All that me see laugh me to scorn;
shoot out the lip do they;
They nod and shake their heads at me,
and, mocking, thus do say,

8 This man did trust in God, that he
would free him by his might:
Let him deliver him, sith he
had in him such delight.

9 But thou art he out of the womb
that didst me safely take;
When I was on my mother’s breasts
thou me to hope didst make.

10 And I was cast upon thy care,
ev’n from the womb till now;
And from my mother’s belly, Lord,
my God and guide art thou.

11 Be not far off, for grief is near,
and none to help is found.
12 Bulls many compass me, strong bulls
of Bashan me surround.

13 Their mouths they opened wide on me,
upon me gape did they,
Like to a lion ravening
and roaring for his prey.

14 Like water I’m poured out, my bones
all out of joint do part:
Amidst my bowels, as the wax,
so melted is my heart.

15 My strength is like a potsherd dried;
my tongue it cleaveth fast
Unto my jaws; and to the dust
of death thou brought me hast.

16 For dogs have compassed me about:
the wicked, that did meet
In their assembly, me enclosed;
they pierced my hands and feet.

17 I all my bones may tell; they do
upon me look and stare.
18 Upon my vesture lots they cast,
and clothes among them share.

19 But be not far, O Lord, my strength;
haste to give help to me.
20 From sword my soul, from pow’r of dogs
my darling set thou free.

21 Out of the roaring lion’s mouth
do thou me shield and save:
For from the horns of unicorns
an ear to me thou gave.

22 I will show forth thy name unto
those that my brethren are;
Amidst the congregation
thy praise I will declare.

23 Praise ye the Lord, who do him fear;
him glorify all ye
The seed of Jacob: fear him all
that Isr’el’s children be.

24 For he despised not nor abhorred
th’ afflicted’s misery;
Nor from him hid his face, but heard
when he to him did cry.

25 Within the congregation great
my praise shall be of thee;
My vows before them that him fear
shall be performed by me.

26 The meek shall eat, and shall be filled;
they also praise shall give
Unto the Lord that do him seek:
your heart shall ever live.

27 All ends of th’ earth remember shall,
and turn the Lord unto;
All kindreds of the nations
to him shall homage do:

28 Because the kingdom to the Lord
doth appertain as his;
Likewise among the nations
the Governor he is.

29 Earth’s fat ones eat, and worship shall:
all who to dust descend
Shall bow to him; none of them can
his soul from death defend.

30 A seed shall service do to him;
unto the Lord it shall
Be for a generation
reckonrd in ages all.

31 They shall come, and they shall declare
his truth and righteousness
Unto a people yet unborn,
and that he hath done this.