My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

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My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

These are the first words of Psalm 22; “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” We can be sure that King David, who is credited as the Psalmist, felt rather desolate when he wrote those words. At varying times my life has taken me to dark and desolate places and I find great comfort in the promises made in Psalm 22. King David’s words reassure me that, even when all seems lost, God hears us. And as long as we rely on and trust in our Maker there will be a good end.

The fifth time the phrase live for ever is mentioned.

What we’re looking for in Psalm 22 is, where the phrase ‘live for ever’ is mentioned, and the context. It is mentioned by King David in Psalm 22 verse 26 as follows,

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

or in a different translation as follows,

Let the oppressed eat and be filled! Let those who seek his help praise the LORD! May you live forever!

‘May you live for ever’ is a sincere wish, if not prophesy from King David to the oppressed. He states that they shall eat and be satisfied, with those who seek the LORD praising him and living for ever. This is the fifth time that the phrase live for ever has been mentioned in the bible.

To find out what context these words were used in, we’ll have a look at the whole of Psalm 22.

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The first sentence in Psalm 22 is as follows: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” These are the exact same words uttered by Jesus when he was crucified,

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Jesus did not expect His Father to ‘save’ him from that moment of suffering because Jesus knew what was expected of him. It appears that at the time of this outcry he felt disconnected from GOD. Jesus knew however what was about to happen because he had said shortly before his crucifiction, that all things that are written by the prophets concerning Him, should be accomplished,

Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.

Much of what is described in Psalm 22 took place at Jesus crucifixion.

Psalm 22

A cry of anguish and a song of praise.

To understand the context of why the phrase ‘live for ever’ was mentioned I will quote the whole of Psalm 22 below,

For the Chief Musician; set to Aijeleth hash-Shahar. A Psalm of David, Psalm 22

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
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 Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.
11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
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 a roaring lion.
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.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws;
and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24 For 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.
25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the governor among the nations.
29 All 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.
30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

The above is Psalm 22 as written by King David.

Many similarities between Psalm 22 and the events at Jesus crucifixion.

Many of the sentiments expressed in Psalm 22 are echoed with Jesus crucifixion. For instance; Jesus couldn’t feel GOD’s presence in his darkest hour. Jesus asked for the cup to pass from him, yet either way had utmost confidence in His Father’s decisions, He cried in the night. He was despised and mocked, in trouble with none to help. Jesus was surrounded by strong people who were after his life, dry … into the dust of death … he was pierced. He was looked and stared upon, his garments parted among them, with lots cast upon his vesture. Jesus was merciful on another afflicted soul who was crucified with him. Jesus shall live for ever and all the ends of the world are remembering and turning unto the Lord. A seed shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

There are a lot of similarities between Psalm 22 and Jesus crucifixion. There seem to be some translation errors in Psalm 22 as mentioned by various sources. Just the same, even when we take these proposed errors into consideration, there remain many similarities between the events described in Psalm 22, which was written around one thousand years before Jesus crucifixion, and the events which took place at the crucifixion.

In what context is the phrase ‘live for ever’ mentioned?

Confidence in GOD

Psalm 22 was written by King David who was known in times of trouble to pour his heart out to GOD. When he wrote Psalm 22 King David must have been in a dark place indeed, yet he continues to trust in GOD and knows with a surety that The LORD will deliver him. Yes, it is true that King David says, “My God why have you forsaken me?” But it is equally true that shortly after this exclamation King David praises God and expresses his confidence in the saving power of The LORD.

And yes, Jesus also exclaimed, “My God why have you forsaken me?” But prior to that heartfelt anguish, Jesus invited a repentant criminal into heaven with him. This shows that Jesus has confidence in his Father’s saving power and promises and teaches us followers and believers the significance of genuine repentance and fear of GOD.

Jesus was recognised as the Son of God straight after his exclamation,

And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out,
and gave up the ghost, he said,
Truly this man was the Son of God.

King David states that the LORD always listens to the oppressed and always delivers them, and even though King David is suffering whilst he writes this Psalm he is praising the LORD in advance for his deliverance and for his kindness towards the oppressed. Psalm 22 is a prophetic psalm where King David prophesies about the times where all nations shall worship The LORD.

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the governor among the nations.

For good measure King David mentions that,

 … none can keep alive his own soul.

There’s a lot of comfort in that for me. I’ve been close to death a number of times and every time I’ve prayed to and relied on The LORD to keep me alive. As did the people around me. And every time The LORD answered our prayers and kept me alive. Praise The LORD! If I thought that it were up to me or the people around me to keep myself alive, I would fret endlessly about it and worry about doing the wrong thing. Knowing that  GOD is in charge makes me sleep well at night and gives my mind peace during the day.

The context of the phrase ‘live for ever.’

Even though the Psalmist is suffering to the point of death, and the outlook appears hopeless, just the same the Psalmist has faith and is confident that the LORD will save those who trust in Him and ensure that those who rely on Him in earnest will live for ever.

The relevance of the prophesy.

Jesus crucifixion, which took place around a thousand years after Psalm 22 was written, plays out at least part of the scenario as described in Psalm 22.

The finale is where GOD raises His Son Jesus from the grave to indeed live for ever as had been prophesied with already many of the world now remembering and turning unto the Lord: and many of the nations now worshiping before the LORD.

What do Psalm 22 and Jesus resurrection story have in common?

Both Psalm 22 and Jesus crucifixion and resurrection tell us that all those who trust in The LORD will be saved and may live for ever.

 

 

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