Friday, 13 December 2013

Psalm 40 - Messiah exhibited as our once-for-all Sacrifice, and all our Salvation.

"I waited, I waited for the LORD." I did nothing but wait (Alexander).

Here is one who cries, "Lo! I come to do your will, O God."

We cannot fail to recognise Messiah here, even if we had not had the aid of the writer of Hebrews 10:5-10.

The iniquities he speaks of in v12 are all ours imputed to him. He might say "And I am a sinner in yoru sight, although I never sinned." 

Christ speaks throughout, so exclusively indeed, that the believer must here take up the words not as his own experience, except where he can follow Christ to gather the spoil, but as the experience of the Captain of Salvation, in fighting that battle which had ended in everlasting triumph.

It is only by accomodation that even v1-3 can be used by the believer in describing his own case. Christ is the Joseph and Jeremiah of this put.

Read v4, and meditate on what He who is the Word suggests - "God's thoughts toward us!"

The unnumbered multitude of his thoughts of love to us! The forests with their countless leaves, the grass on every plain and mounatin of earth with its numberless blades, the sands on every shore of every river and ocean, the waves of every sea, the stars of heaven - none of these, nor all combined, could afford an adequate idea of "His thoughts toward us!" - "there is no comparison to you."

The depth of love in every one of these thoughts! Who can sit down and meditate on Redemption's wonders? Who would not be confounded?

Now the whole Psalm has this as its theme. From v1-3 a summary of God's dealings toward the saviour, ending in the gathering of multitudes to Him as the Shiloh. Verses 4-5, adoration of the purposes of God. From verse 9 to the end, we are mde to witness something of the style in which these glorious purposes were carried on to fulfilment, in the actual coming and suffering of the Saviour.

See him obeying; see him proclaiming the LORD's name in its breadth and fulness, wherever he came, in villages, towns, cities, synagogues, the temple, the open air assemblies: "I have proclaimed righteousness, and I will not at any future time restrain my lips."

Hear in verse 12 his unutterable groanings, when "sorrowful unto death." Then hear him in verse 15 foretelling Israel's desolation and that of others like them, because of their rejection of Him; while verse 16 pictures to us present "joy and peace in believing" with the ultimate result in the ages to come, in the joy of The Kingdom.

It would be endless were we to dwell on the rich and copious suggestions afforded by almost every verse.
Foot note: The much-disputed passage, verse 6: "You have dug through my ears" or "you have prepared ears for me" is rendered from the Septuagint, "A body you have prepared for me" in Hebrews 10:5; because his taking our human nature was the first and most direct step to his being made servant, like a man whose ears were bored to the door post. Possibly, too, there is a reference to his being a Priest prepared for his office, by having his ears tipped with blood, as in Leviticus 14:14; Exodus 29:20. For the Hebrew is scarcely "bored" it is rather "prepared". Alexander says "The Septuagint version may have been retained as suggesting that the Incarnation of the Son was a pre-requisite to his obedience"
It is a manual of the History of Redemption. It is Messiah exhibited as our once-for-all Sacrifice, and all our Salvation. 

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