1. This psalm is one of the Messianic psalms. There are some 15 quotations or allusions used in the New Testament from this psalm. Some commentators call this 31 verse psalm “The Fifth Gospel.”
2. Verse 1 opens the psalm with a lament that would later be used by Christ Himself, as He hung on the cross. However, nearly every person has said much the same thing at one time or another. While we know that God is ever near, we sometimes still feel forsaken.
3. In verses 2-5, David seems to be trying to convince himself that God will hear. He thinks God has not heard his prayer, but God did hear the prayers of so many others in the nation’s history. David still knows that God is faithful.
4. Verses 7 and 8 are very similar to what was said and done to Jesus on the cross. Both David and Jesus, then, knew what it was like to feel completely alone in service to God.
5. Verses 9 and 10 are great verses on teaching our children about God. While, obviously, David did not remember learning about God while in the womb or just after birth, he still knew that he had been taught from that time. We need to start teaching our children about God before they are born! And, once they are here in the world, there is never a time that is too early to start teaching. Do I teach my children consistently about God at home? As a parent, I’d better be able to say, “yes.”
6. Now that David is beginning to “convince himself” of God’s presence and help, he is bold enough, in verse 11, to ask God to be near.
7. Several times in this psalm, beginning with verse 12, David pictures his enemies as beasts. Again, David is afraid of how powerful these people (or armies) are (notice the language used in verses 14-15).
8. Again, the end of verse 16 is Messianic.
9. Verse 17 reminds me of how Job felt in his suffering. When his friends arrived, they didn’t even know who he was. David here is poetically telling of how exhausted and defeated he feels.
10. Verse 18: prophecy of Christ’s crucifixion experience
11. Verses 19-21 constitute a prayer that serves as a turning point in this psalm. After this prayer for God’s presence and protection, the mood of the psalm changes dramatically from lament and fright to thanksgiving.
12. That thanksgiving begins in verse 22 with the promise to speak of and worship God.
13. The middle of verse 24 is significant. Remember how David was trying to convince himself of God’s presence in the first part of this same psalm? Now he is convinced: “Nor has He hidden His face from [the afflicted].” The verse also shows that David is convinced that God will hear his prayer: “When he cried to Him for help, He heard.”
14. Verse 26 may serve as an “answer” to verse 17. David is now strong enough to eat, counteracting his ability to see his bones.
15. By verse 27, David has grown so strong in his faith that he states that everyone from the ends of the earth will turn to the Lord! As ones who live under the Great Commission, this should be our optimistic attitude as well!!!
16. The last 3 verses of the psalm (29-31) seem to me to be suggesting that even those who do not obey God will eventually worship Him. Possibly a judgment scene passage.