William Kelly Major Works Commentary
To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?In this psalm we hear Messiah bemoan His going down into the depth of suffering where none can follow, the shame and butt of man, the forsaken of God on behalf of guilty man, and very especially for the most guilty of all, that said they saw, but rejected Him Who shone in fulness of light and love even for the blind that felt their need and cried to Him. Here it is not the "day of trouble" merely, but of God's abandoning His elect and beloved Servant that He might abandon none who repent and believe, and that He might proclaim pardon to the vilest in His name. It is Christ made sin; and then from the middle of 21 the resulting grace triumphant, as unmingled as the judgment which had befallen Him without mitigation, as described in the previous verses. It is therefore most fittingly His own voice exclusively that is heard, first in His lonely anguish, then in the joy that imparts the fruits of His deliverance in an ever-widening circle: "to my brethren," and "in the midst of the congregation" (22); next "in the great congregation" (25); then "all the ends of the earth" and all tribes of the Gentiles share the blessing and praise; and this abidingly. How striking the contrast with the result of Ps. 21! Both are perfectly in season. The title is peculiar, "To the chief musician, upon the hind of the dawn, a psalm of David."
Here is the transition (ver. 21). At this point when He is transfixed, the Lord is conscious of being heard. He bows His head in death, His blood is shed. So it must be in atonement. Without this there would be no adequate offering for sin; but He Who so died can commend His soul to His Father, and say, It is finished. The verses that succeed express the deep joy of a deliverance out of such a death, commensurate with a death so unfathomable, which He first sings in the midst of those who share His rejection, and pursues with enlarging circles of blessing into the kingdom, though the fellowship then will not be so profound as that which is immediately consequent on His death and resurrection. Compare John 20:17-23; Joh 20:26-29; and John 21:1-14.
Such is this wondrous psalm; the suffering's that pertain to Christ, and the glories after these. No voice is heard throughout but Christ's; none could be with His atoning cries to God, though we may join in praising God and the Lamb, and are we assured that the truth that He was alone in those sorrows is the guarantee of that efficacious work, whereby all our evil is annulled and we stand in His acceptance as believers in Him Who contrasts Himself with those before Him that cried and were heard. And how different all since, who if they fear have only to praise! Nothing but grace flows out of His atonement.
O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
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.
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.
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
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.
My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
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.
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.
A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.