Psalm 22:22
In this last part the sufferer depicts the happy consequences of his deliverance, which he anticipates in faith, and, lifted up in spirit above the present, beholds, as if it were already present.

I. THE PSALMIST'S DELIVERANCE SHALL BE A CAUSE OF REJOICING TO ALL ISRAEL. (Vers. 22-26.)

1. He will inspire the whole congregation with the tidings. We cannot and ought not to keep to ourselves the great fact of our salvation. "Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee," etc.

2. The good tidings were that God had answered the cry of one who was in the very jaws of death. (Ver. 24.) And if he had heard one, the unavoidable conclusion was that he would hear all who cried to him. The psalmist's experience showed that God's mercy was universal; that was the suppressed premiss of this argument.

II. THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S REDEEMING GRACE SHALL EXTEND TO HEATHEN NATIONS. (Vers. 27, 28.) This is to be rejoiced in.

1. Because the he then have greater need of it than the Church. The Church (Israel) have already some knowledge of it; but the heathen are sunk in deeper sins and sorrows, and have no knowledge of God's redeeming grace.

2. It is God's will that the heathen should know and receive his grace. He saves one man or one nation, in order that they should make his work known to other men and other nations. He is to be made known as "the Governor among the nations."

III. ALL CLASSES, WHETHER HAPPY OR MISERABLE, SHALL WELCOME THIS KNOWLEDGE. (Ver. 29.)

1. The great spiritual feast will be enjoyed by those who live in outward abundance. Because here is food for which even the satisfied are still hungry, which their plenty cannot supply. All guests are poor here, and God is rich for all.

2. It is a fountain of life to those ready to sink in death. They shall bow before and worship him.

IV. THE PRESENT AGE SENDS FORWARD THE GLAD TIDINGS TO POSTERITY. (Vers. 30, 31.) See how God's work, beginning with a single individual, propagates itself by its effects upon the mind, spreading, first among those nearest to him; then, through them, to those remote, among the rich and poor, the living and the dying; and on through the ages with ever-increasing power and influence. - S.







In the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee.
I. OUR LORD'S EXAMPLE. He renders two-fold praise unto the eternal Father.

1. That of declaration. He did this in His teaching, by His acts, but most of all in His death. And He continued to declare God's name when He rose from the dead. Probably He does this still in heaven to the saints there. And certainly, by the spreading of His Gospel on earth. "In the midst of the congregation," etc. When His people here on earth offer praise and prayer He is united with, them. In our praise He is the great singer, rather than we. And in the great day of redemption, when all shall be gathered in, it will be the same. Here also let us follow His example.

II. THE LORD'S EXHORTATION (ver. 23). Praise Him, glorify, fear Him.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

To assemble at stated seasons for the public worship of their gods appears to have been the custom in all ages and nations of the world, and most especially of those who best understood the nature of such worship and the perfections of that Almighty Being to whom all worship ought to be addressed. But this duty is sadly neglected, so we consider its obligations —

I. THE EXPLICIT COMMAND OF GOD HIMSELF. The institution of the Sabbath shows His will.

II. THE ADVANTAGE WHICH WE EXPECT TO DERIVE FROM THE PERFORMANCE OF THIS DUTY. We do not come to church to hear what we did not know before. Few need to come for such reason. But discourses from the pulpit form no essential part of Divine worship. A sermon is not a prayer. It is an address of instruction to men, not an act of adoration to our God. It is when we enter the temple of the Most High, not so much to be delighted or instructed by the eloquence of the preacher, as to humble ourselves before our God in penitence or prayer. It is then that we shall experience the first advantage of public worship, and lay the foundation of all the rest. We shall gain help to make us a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within us.

III. OUR LOVE OF GOD IS CONFIRMED AND INCREASED AND OUR ZEAL FOR HIS HONOUR AND SERVICE. How sacred and helpful are the feelings which reverent worship of God in His temple produces. If such devotion be regularly continued till it become the settled temper of the mind it will not fail at length to produce a settled habit of pious and virtuous conduct; and pious and virtuous conduct is the greatest blessing which in his present state man can attain.

IV. TO THIS LOVE OF GOD PUBLIC WORSHIP TENDS DIRECTLY TO ADD THE NEXT REST VIRTUE OF THE HEART, THE LOVE OF MAN. In public worship we are surrounded by a number of our fellow creatures, oppressed by the same wants, petitioning for the same favours, or giving thanks for the same blessings, labouring under the same infirmities, confessing the same offences, and depending upon the same Saviour for pardon. But all this not only exalts and animates our devotion to God, but excites and extends our humanity to our fellow men.

V. EVERY PORTION OF OUR WORSHIP SUGGESTS AND ENFORCES APPROPRIATE EXCELLENCE IN THE CONDUCT OF THOSE WHO ATTEND IT IN A RIGHT SPIRIT.

VI. FOR THE SAKE OF EXAMPLE. The young, the ignorant, and the thoughtless are the most effectually instructed by the conduct of the devout, the aged, and the wise. The corrupt and depraved are the most effectually shamed by the piety and virtue of the just and good. If, on the contrary, you frequently absent yourself from public worship, if you spend the Sabbath in idleness at home, your friends will be encouraged in the same criminal neglect.

VII. THE INJURY TO OUR OWN PRINCIPLES AND MORALS WHICH FOLLOWS FROM THE NEGLECT OF IT. You will come in no long time to do without God in the world, without the hope of better things to come.

VIII. PRAYER IS THE INDISPENSABLE CONDITION OF OBTAINING MANY OF THE BLESSINGS OF HEAVEN. But as in public worship we are greatly aided in prayer, here is another reason wherefore we should join public to private devotion.

IX. THE REDEEMER HIMSELF WENT INTO THE SYNAGOGUE ON THE SABBATH DAY; AND SHALL WE VENTURE TO BE ABSENT? Shall we presume to expect the favour of Providence if we think it not worth while to come to His temple and pray for it?

X. THE DAY WILL COME WHEN, IF WE NEGLECT THIS DUTY NOW, WE SHALL REGRET IT MUCH. Youth and health and strength cannot always continue. Evil days must come. Age and sickness and sorrow must overtake us. And where, then, shall we seek the consolation which we shall certainly want? Happy will it be for us if we are enabled to seek it where only it can be found, — in the remembrance of a well-spent life, in that purity of heart which public and private devotion have produced.

(W. Barrow.)

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