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As is often the case in the Psalms, there is an immediate interpretation and then a deeper, prophetic application.  For example, in Psalms 22:1, David writes, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”  Certainly David felt these things and he wrote his thoughts as led of the Lord.  However, we learn the greater application of that verse, and indeed the entire chapter, in light of the words of the Lord Jesus from the cross as we read in Matthew 27:46, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  Was Psalm 22 about David, or was it written about the Lord Jesus?  The answer has to be ‘both’.

To answer your question, let’s read Psalms 8:1-9 – “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!”

Can you not imagine David lying under the stars contemplating the greatness of God and then realizing the smallness of man in comparison?  Although man is quite small and insignificant in comparison to the Lord, God has visited us, or more accurately, He has cared about us.  Let’s read verse 4 from the NIV translation, which makes the meaning a little clearer.  It says, “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”  The psalmist goes on to say that the Lord has made man to have dominion over the works of His hands, putting all things under his feet.  When did the Lord do this?  Back in the Garden of Eden.  In Genesis 1:27-28, we read, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”  So, the immediate interpretation of this passage is that David is amazed at the greatness of God and His creation.  He is equally amazed that God loves man so much, even though we are so small.  These thoughts lead David onto praising the Lord saying, “How excellent is thy name in all the earth.”

Comparing Psalm 8 to the portion in Hebrews, we realize there is also a deeper, prophetic application of the PsalmHebrews 2:6-10 says, “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:  Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”  Here, the writer of the book of Hebrews takes Psalm 8 and applies it to the Lord Jesus, Himself.

The Apostle Paul also applies Psalm 8 to the Lord Jesus as he writes, concerning the Lord in 1 Corinthians 15:25-28 where he says, “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

So, while David wrote his own thoughts, as led of the Lord, there was much deeper truth in his words than I think he realized.  Did he know these thoughts described the coming Messiah?  In Psalm 22:1, did David understand that the very words he used would be used by the Lord Jesus while dying on the cross?  Let’s consider that in the light of 1 Peter 1:10-12 which says, “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”

David may not have known the depth of the things he wrote, but the Lord certainly did.  When the time was right, the Lord applied these verses to His own dear son, so that we might understand the deeper, prophetic, and more exact meaning of these passages.