Crying out to God in the midst of his loneliest hour gives us deep insight into his isolation. Perhaps he reflects on the night prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane where he was also alone. The thieves who were also being crucified questioned why he didn't do something to end the suffering. Verses 3-5 calls back some of Israel's challenges to become a nation that followed God.
Jesus did not hesitate to follow God's direction, but he did recognize what it would be and accepted the role he would play in God's plan.
He sees the crowd at the cross as "bulls" and "lions" who torment and tear at his flesh.
When he was born. the forces of evil had already attacked him. Nero sought him to kill him, and only the escape into Egypt spared his life. His birth in a stable exposed him to diseases like Tetanus.
David's description pictures him as without strength or power. The medical description indicates he would be totally exhausted and without even strength to speak. There are only seven times he spoke at all from the cross. Most authorities say he died from lack of breath. The weight on the shoulders caused his lungs to compress and he was unable to expand them. The nails in his hands were probably not in the palms but the wrist joint. His feet were probably nailed in the heel or Achilles tendon which gave him no support from his legs. Probably the shoulders, hips and possibly knees were dislocated, but no bones were broken.
Thirst would have been tormenting vs.15. His prayer is for God to deliver his soul. He sees them arguing over his clothes.
Then suddenly he is ready to declare God's name to his" brethren in the midst of the congregation."(vs. 22-31)." He praises the Lord because He heard him. He reassures those who depend on God and calls them to declare His righteousness to a people that shall be born.
Sheep are dumb. They are not as self-sufficient as horses or cattle. They need the shepherd. They will eat in the pleasant pasture, but they do not follow a path that leads to plenty. Cows are better at choosing a place to graze close to water. Sheep depend on the shepherd to find a still pool from which to drink because the will not drink from flowing streams.
The shepherd's staff is used to protect the sheep from varmints and lift them if they call into a crevasse in the rocks. There is a location in Israel called the Valley of the Shadow of Death. It is a dangerous place for sheep.
The closing benediction is reassuring and uplifting to us as we struggle with life's trials and challenges. Forever is a long time. I claim this promise of His grace and preservation.
John 10:1-18 gives a detailed explanation of the metaphor of the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd is one of the I Ams found in the Gospel of John.
Read Psalms 23 for your self and be blessed.
For a fuller explanation of a shepherd's life click here to read the Basque Shepherd's description.