All He Will Accomplish
(25) My praise (will be) of you in the great assembly. I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who fear him. (26) The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied. Those who seek him shall praise Yahweh. May your hearts live forever! (27) All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to Yahweh, and all the families of the nations will worship before your face, (28) for sovereignty belongs to Yahweh, and he rules over the nations. (29) All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship. All those who go down to the dust shall bow down before him, even the one who cannot preserve his soul alive. (30) The seed shall serve him. The coming generation shall be told about the Lord. (31) They shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has accomplished it.
The closing verses of Psalm 22 contain several references that leave us wondering who is speaking and to whom is David referring. “The great assembly” and “those who fear him” (vs. 25) in all likelihood refer to Yahweh’s faithful worshipers in Israel. “The afflicted” and “those who seek him” (vs. 26) probably speak of all who have endured the treatment of evil men described earlier in the psalm. David then makes reference to “all the ends of the earth” and “all the families of the nations” (vs. 27) as well as “all nations” (vs. 28), thereby including Gentiles in the worship of Yahweh. He then uses a figure of speech called a “merism” in which two opposites speak of everyone and everything in between. In referring to “all the prosperous of the earth” as well as “all those who go down to the dust” he includes everyone both high and low (vs. 29). In these verses, David is declaring that Yahweh will one day receive universal worship.
The most obscure references to identify occur in the last two verses. Who is “the seed?” Who belongs to the “coming generation” (vs. 30)? Is “seed” a general reference to the future generations of the covenant people or does it refer specifically to the coming Messiah as foretold in the promise regarding the “seed of the woman” (Gen. 3:15) through whom God will make known his truth “to a people yet unborn” (vs. 31)? Given the theme of the rest of the psalm, namely, the rejection, suffering, and triumph of one whose afflictions clearly correspond to what Jesus experienced in his death on the cross, it seems appropriate to view “the seed” (vs. 30) as referring to God’s suffering servant, the Messiah. This leads us to conclude that these final verses prophetically anticipate Christ’s resurrection and the Great Commission in which Jesus would give his disciples the task of making the Gospel, “his righteousness” (vs. 31), known throughout the world: “(Jesus said) therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19 & 20).
What God’s servant accomplishes through his triumph over suffering:
- God’s praise filling the whole earth (25-27)
- God’s rule universally acknowledged (28 & 29)
- God’s righteousness made known to all (30 & 31)
Messiah (the seed) will glorify God by bringing the whole earth under his sovereign rule.
As we consider what Messiah will someday accomplish according to Psalm 22, we should keep in mind another prophecy. This one is found in Isaiah 11 and has to do with the shoot (branch) that will spring up from the root (stump) of Jesse. Consider what his coming will bring: “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious” (Is. 11:9 & 10).
The anticipation of Messiah’s worldwide kingdom is something that should fill our hearts with joy, assuring us that, in spite of present turmoil and confusion, all that’s wrong will be set right when Christ returns to establish his universal rule. Paul encouraged Titus with these words: “We wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:13).