April 13, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
What He Did Not Do
“All they that be fat upon the 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.”
There is a well-known break in Psalm 22 at verse 22. From there to the end of the chapter we are looking beyond resurrection. Here, in verse 29, we are looking onward to a millennial day. Three great truths are emphasized in these words.
The Satisfaction of the Ransomed – all that be fat shall eat and worship. The result of knowing Christ, of being made full by Him, is that we will continue to enjoy Him eternally and worship Him. In verse 26, the meek eat and are satisfied. ‘Fat’ has no negative connotation, as it does to us. It means to be prosperous, blessed with spiritual things such as joy and peace. All that are ‘fat’ will enjoy eternal growth, increasing appreciation for the Lord, and an upward spiral of worship forever.
The Subjection of the Rebellious – In that day, who will be those who go down to the dust? Only those who refuse to own the rule of God as expressed in the King. Only sinners will die in that day. No rebellion against God and His Christ will be tolerated in that day. They will have to bow in subjection to Him then.
The Sacrifice Remembered – There is another rendering of this expression which is worth considering. Rather than, “None can keep alive his own soul,” it reads, “even before Him Who did not keep alive His own soul.” In other words, the rebellious will bow before the One Who never rebelled and willingly gave Himself over to death. He could have kept His own soul alive in the sense that death had no claim on Him. But coming to do the Father’s will meant moving into death.
There is another expression in verse 24 which is unique to Psalm 22. The Lord Jesus is the “afflicted one.” The word for “afflicted” is possibly, we are told by those who know the language, a superlative. If so, it expresses the greatest possible affliction. These two titles, “Him Who DID NOT keep alive His own soul,” and “the afflicted One,” remind us of His voluntary suffering, and the sufferings inflicted by the hand of God.
- In this Psalm, the Lord Jesus is telling men what God deserves. Look at verses 23, 24, 28, 30. What does God deserve from us?
- Look at how frequently the word “all” occurs in verses 22-31. What does it say about the work of Christ in its vastness?
- Look at the verse 1 and verse 31. There are two of the seven cries from the cross here.