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22. Psalm 22

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

2O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

3But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

4Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

5They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

6But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

7All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying,

8He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

9But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.

10I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.

11Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

12Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

13They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

14I 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.

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

16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

18They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

19But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

20Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

21Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

22I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

23Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

24For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

25My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

26The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

27All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

28For the kingdom is the Lord’S: and he is the governor among the nations.

29All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

30A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

31They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

23. Ye who fear Jehovah. Here, again, the Psalmist expresses more distinctly the fruit of public and solemn thanksgiving, of which I have spoken before, declaring, that by engaging in this exercise, every man in his own place invites and stirs up the church by his example to praise God. He tells us, that the end for which he will praise the name of God in the public assembly is to encourage his brethren to do the same. But as hypocrites commonly thrust themselves into the church, and as on the barn-floor of the Lord the chaff is mingled with the wheat, he addresses himself expressly to the godly, and those who fear God. Impure and wicked men may sing the praises of God with open mouth, but assuredly, they do nothing else than pollute and profane his holy name. It were, indeed, an object much to be desired, that men of all conditions in the world would, with one accord, join in holy melody to the Lord. But as the chief and most essential part of this harmony proceeds from a sincere and pure affection of heart, none will ever, in a right manner, celebrate the glory of God, except the man who worships him under the influence of holy fear. David names, a little after, the seed of Jacob and Israel, having a reference to the common calling of the people; and certainly, he put no obstacle in the way to hinder even all the children of Abraham from praising God with one accord. But as he saw that many of the Israelites were bastard and degenerate, he distinguishes true and sincere Israelites from them; and at the same time shows that God’s name is not duly celebrated, unless where there is true piety and the inward fear of God. Accordingly, in his exhortation he again joins together the praises of God and reverence towards him. — Fear him, ye seed of Israel, says he; for all the fair faces which hypocrites put on in this matter are nothing but pure mockery. The fear which he recommends is not, however, such as would frighten the faithful from approaching God, but that which will bring them truly humbled into his sanctuary, as has been stated in the fifth psalm. Some may be surprised to find David addressing an exhortation to praise God, 521521     It is “praise God,” both in the Latin and French versions; but the train of thought seems to require that it should be “fear God.” to those whom he had previously commended for doing so. But this is easily explained, for even the holiest men in the world are never so thoroughly imbued with the fear of God as not to have need of being continually incited to its exercise. Accordingly, the exhortation is not at all superfluous when, speaking of those who fear God, he exhorts them to stand in awe of him, and to prostrate themselves humbly before him.


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