Psalm 22:4
Our fathers trusted in you: they trusted, and you did deliver them.
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Psalm 22:4-5. Our fathers, &c. — That is, my fathers, according to the flesh, the Israelites; trusted in thee, and were delivered — Were not disappointed of that for which they prayed and hoped: but whenever they cried unto thee in their distress, thou didst send them deliverance, as by Gideon, Samson, Samuel, &c. To trust in God is the way to obtain deliverance, and “the former instances of the divine favour are so many arguments why we should hope for the same; but it may not always be vouchsafed when we expect it. The patriarchs, and Israelites of old, were often saved from their enemies: but the holy Jesus was left to languish and expire under the malice of his. God knows what is proper for him to do and for us to suffer; we know neither. This consideration is an anchor for the afflicted soul, sure and steadfast.” — Horne.22:1-10 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.Our fathers trusted in thee - This is a plea of the sufferer as drawn from the character which God had manifested in former times. The argument is, that he had interposed in those times when his people in trouble had called upon him; and he now pleads with God that he would manifest himself to him in the same way. The argument derives additional force also from the idea that he who now pleads was descended from them, or was of the same nation and people, and that he might call them his ancestors. As applicable to the Redeemer, the argument is that he was descended from those holy and suffering men who had trusted in God, and in whose behalf God had so often interposed. He identifies himself with that people; he regards himself as one of their number; and he makes mention of God's merciful interposition in their behalf, and of the fact that he had not forsaken them in their troubles, as a reason why he should now interpose in his behalf and save him. As applicable to others, it is an argument which the people of God may always use in their trials - that God has thus interposed in behalf of his people of former times who trusted in him, and who called upon him. God is always the same. We may strengthen our faith in our trials by the assurance that he never changes; and, in pleading with him, we may urge it as an argument that he has often interposed when the tried and the afflicted of his people have called upon him.

They trusted, and thou didst deliver them - They confided in thee; they called on thee; thou didst not spurn their prayer; thou didst not forsake them.

4, 5. Past experience of God's people is a ground of trust. The mention of "our fathers" does not destroy the applicability of the words as the language of our Saviour's human nature. This he adds for the reasons mentioned in the first note, Psalm 22:3. Our fathers trusted in thee,.... By whom are meant Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, from whom our Lord descended; and the people of Israel when in Egypt, in the times of the judges, and in all ages before the coming of Christ, of whom, as concerning the flesh, or as to his human nature, Christ came, Romans 9:5; these, as they were sojourners, and went from place to place, especially the patriarchs, and were often in trouble and distress, when they called upon the Lord, looked to him, and put their trust and confidence in him; not in themselves, their own wisdom, riches, and strength, nor in others, in any mere creature, nor in any outward thing, or arm of flesh, but in the Lord Jehovah, in whom is everlasting strength; they believed in the power of God, that he was able to help and deliver them, and they had faith in him that he would; they depended upon his word and promise, and were persuaded he would never suffer his faithfulness to fail; they committed themselves to the Lord, and stayed themselves upon him;

they trusted; this is repeated not only for the sake of emphasis, pointing out something remarkable and commendable, and for the greater certainty of it, more strongly confirming it; or to observe the many that put their trust in the Lord, the numerous instances of confidence in him; but also to denote the constancy and continuance of their faith, they trusted in the Lord at all times;

and thou didst deliver them; out of the hands of all their enemies, and out of all their sorrows and afflictions; instances of which we have in the patriarchs, and in the people of Israel when brought out of Egypt, and through the Red sea and wilderness, and in the times of the judges, when they were distressed by their neighbours, and God sent them a deliverer time after time.

Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
4, 5. The thought of the preceding line is developed in an appeal to the past history of the nation. Cp. Psalm 44:1, Psalm 78:3, Psalm 9:10. ‘Thou didst deliver them: why then am I deserted?’ The emphasis is throughout on thee.

In thee did our fathers trust:

They trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

Unto thee did they cry, and escaped:

In thee did they trust, and were not put to shame.Verse 4. - Our fathers trusted in thee. It sustains the Sufferer to think how many before him have cried to God, and trusted in him, and for a while been seemingly not heard, and yet at length manifestly heard and saved. They trusted in thee, and thou didst (ultimately) deliver them. (Heb.: 21:12-13) And this fate is the merited frustration of their evil project. The construction of the sentences in Psalm 21:12 is like Psalm 27:10; Psalm 119:83; Ew. 362, b. נטה רעה is not to be understood according to the phrase נטה רשׁת ( equals פּרשׁ), for this phrase is not actually found; we have rather, with Hitzig, to compare Psalm 55:4, 2 Samuel 15:14 : to incline evil down upon any one is equivalent to: to put it over him, so that it may fall in upon him. נטה signifies "to extend lengthwise," to unfold, but also to bend by drawing tight. שׁית שׁכם to make into a back, i.e., to make them into such as turn the back to you, is a more choice expression than נתן ערף, Psalm 18:41, cf. 1 Samuel 10:9; the half segolate form שׁכם, ( equals שׁכם) becomes here, in pause, the full segolate form שׁכם. חצּים must be supplied as the object to תּכונן, as it is in other instances after הורה, השׁליך, ידה; כּונן חץ, Psalm 11:2, cf. Psalm 7:14, signifies to set the swift arrow upon the bow-string (מיתר equals יתר) equals to aim. The arrows hit the front of the enemy, as the pursuer overtakes them.
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