Thursday, 12 December 2013

Psalm 39 - The Righteous One, a Pilgrim and a Stranger

Verses 13-14 of the previous Psalm resemble the first verse here. The two belong side by side. Also, here is one we might call Gershom, for he is a stranger in a strange land, the same speaker (whoever that was) as the previous Psalm.

If the one Psalm spoke "I said, I am ready to halt" (v16) this begins "I said, I will take heed to my ways" and if the one spoke of being "dumb with silence" (v14), no less does this in v2; and if one said v15 "in you do I hope" this also says, v7, "my hope is in you."

The title does not tell us more than that there was a musical chorus, in which, perhaps, "Jeduthun" may have been the name of the presiding singer, to whose care it was committed.

At a glance the contents show a pilgrim spirit, journeying through a world of vanity, praying at every step to be taught and kept in the will of God.

Christ, when "learning obedience" and identifying himself with us (v12), could use it supplicating his Father in v4; sympathising with our feeble frame in v5 "You ahev been me some hand breadths as the length of my days. My life is as non-existence before you." pronouncing the sentence of "vanity and vexation" on all that this world presents, however good and fair to the eye (v6) and in v8 turning toward the LORD, as the only source of bliss.

In v9,10, not only can every believer find his own experience, or what should be his experience under trial, but the Lord Jesus also could have used these words.

On earth, he said, "Even so Father, for so it seemed good in your sight" praying at the same time, "If it is possible, let this cup pass."

The marred face of the Son of Man, in which nothing of the "King in his beauty" could be seen, may be described in the words of v11. Like v5, this verse is followed by a "Selah" calling for silent thought.

Intermixed with all the pilgrim's melancholy laments, do we not recognise his hope and expectation of something better to come? Is not "the vanity" of v6, like Romans 8:20, followed by v8, "my hope is in you." There is "Hope" for this world! Its vanity may give place to reality of bliss.

An Israelite, amid Canaan's plenty, could feel this, as 1 Chron 29:15 shows, as Lev 25:33 had taught them to feel.

And is not v13 a Samson-like cry (Judges 16:28) to be carried through the crisis of a final struggle!

The believer and his Lord could find here a most suitable petition. Alexander notices also how full of reference to Job this verse is. Thus chapter 7:19, 14:6 and 10:20,21. But, "Spare me that I may be refreshed," is a prayer that all in him which sin withered may be renovated, and his sad soul be refreshed with Divine grace.

The Psalmist thus describes Christ when on earth, and at the same time every one of his family while passing through this earth to the kingdom. It is, The Righteous One, a Pilgrim and a Stranger.

No comments:

Post a Comment