Doctor Rolf Jacobson, in speaking about Psalm 22, says, ‘the sudden turn in Psalm 22 from the desperate cries for help in 22:1-21a and the words of thanksgiving and praise that comprise 22:21b-31 is both unexpected and confusing.’
The conclusion for those that have attempted to explain this oddness has been to say that either this Psalm is actually the combination of 2 separate Psalms, however most, now just accept the oddness and move on. You can understand the confusion by first reading verses 1-21a, stop and think about every aspect of these verses, then read verses 21b-31, think about the tone of those verses – then, reread verse 21 to see where and how there is a total change of tone.
Honestly, I think this quick turn is typically human – we are negative when we are intently focused on the negative, then, as we begin to turn to God, remembering his love and rescue, then we have a change of attitude and spirit. This allows us to read this assigned passage as a Psalm of thanksgiving and praise.
Now, as you read this Psalm of thanksgiving and praise – imagine that it begins with a choir leader calling his choir together and getting them ready for a huge performance. Then, as you progress from these notice the other groups of people that are added to this choir, poor, hungry, thirsty, angry, fearful, families, etc. this is becoming a large group that began with a small group, all with the single purpose of thanking and praising God. Then, at the climax, the Psalmist (verses 29-31) includes those who have already died and those who have not yet been born. What an amazing, and personal, testimonies of thanksgiving and praise.
What a moment of recognition of God. How, today, does your proclaimed ‘praise’ sound, and what are the specifics of your ‘gratitude?’
Looking forward, alongside of you, to finding out what nugget God gives us tomorrow for our minute!