By Henry Mahan
These are the words of David, for this is a Psalm of David, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The words reveal David's faith and experience which he lived, felt, and expressed in a song.
These are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 10:5-9 tells us they are the words of Christ.
Are these words not also the experience of every believer?
So complete is our union with Christ that it is impossible to speak of Christ and not speak of them in the same words (John 17:21-22).
v. 1. The Psalm begins with a word that is so difficult for us, 'I waited patiently for the Lord,' or 'waiting, I waited.' David expected wisdom, direction, provision, and strength from the Lord, which he gives in his own time; therefore, he was willing to patiently wait on God (Psalm 27:13-14).
'He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.' He bent over to me and heard my cry. In the Lord's own time, when the trial had accomplished his design, when I could understand his instructions, when he could get all the glory and praise, when I was sufficiently shut up to his grace, he heard my cry. It is a marvel that God would condescend to hear us at all. Then why should we ever grow impatient and weary with waiting for him!
vv. 2-3) There are three powerful statements here that accurately describe the work of Christ in redeeming his people. 'He brought me up out of an horrible pit.' Some of these prison pits in the Bible were deep, with mud and corruption at the bottom, and with no possible way out except through a hole at the top. We were in the pit of sin, under the curse of the law, with no way out; and he, according to his own will, by his mercy and grace, came to where we were (John 1:14), paid our debt, restored our souls, and lifted us up to light, life, and freedom (1 Sam. 2:6-8; Luke 4:18).
'He set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.' That rock is Christ (1 Cor. 10:4). My steps are set, settled, and established on the unchangeable, immovable Rock of absolutes in Christ--God's word of promise and God's atonement in Christ (1 Cor. 1:30-31).
'He put a new song in my mouth,' which is a song of praise to our God. That new song is the song of a new creature in Christ, the song of the new covenant, the song of the new and living way, the song of a new heart, and the song of a new heaven and a new earth. This new song is the gospel of Christ by which the Holy Spirit shall enable many 'to see, fear, and trust the Lord.'
v. 4. 'Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust.' Who can say with Job, 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust him;' with Peter, 'Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God;' and with John, 'We know we have passed from death to life.' A believer may be as persecuted as Job, as poor as Lazarus, as lonely as Elijah, as bowed down as David; but if the Lord is his trust and refuge, none of these outward afflictions shall move him. He does not bow to money nor power nor cringe before worldlings, he is not swayed by the multitudes who run after a lie. God is his refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
v. 5. The wonderful works of God are his works of creation, providence, redemption, and glorification. George Rogers gave this outline:
1. The works of God are planned by God, wrought by his spirit, through the merits of his Son.
2. They are wonderful works in their variety, their fullness, and their unchangeable glory.
3. They are innumerable, all in perfect order, and beyond comprehension.
vv. 6-8. Here David goes beyond himself and speaks the very words of Christ. When one thinks of 'the wonderful works of God,' it is of Christ that he must speak (Col. 1:16-19).
The sacrifices and offerings not desired nor required are the sacrifices offered under the law. These sacrifices could never put away sin, could never please God's justice or righteousness.
They were offered from Adam to Moses only as types and shadows of Christ (Heb. 10:1-4). They no longer exist, because Christ has come. 'In the volume of the book of God it is written of me, that I should come to fulfill all righteousness, honor every attribute, and satisfy justice,' says Christ. 'My ear was bored,' for he is a willing servant. 'I delight to do thy will,' for he is one with the Father. 'The volume of the book' may be both that book of God's eternal counsel and designs (Rev. 5:1-5) or the book of scripture (Luke 24:44-46).
vv. 9-10. The Son has fully and ably declared these five things (Heb. 1:1-3).
1. God's righteousness; both his essential righteousness and his righteousness imputed to believers through faith (Rom. 10:1-4; 3:19-26; 4:20-25).
2. God's faithfulness. Our God is faithful to his covenant, to his word, to his Son, and to his people (Isa. 46:9-11). 'I am the Lord, I change not.' The gifts and calling of God are without change (Rom. 11:29). 'Known unto God are all his works from the beginning,' and they shall be done (John 6:37-39; Rom. 8:29-31).
3. God's salvation. Salvation is of the Lord in its origination. Christ is our Surety, Saviour, and Lamb slain from the beginning. Salvation is of the Lord in its execution. 'It pleased God to bruise him.' Salvation is of the Lord in its application. 'It pleased God to reveal his Son in me.' Salvation is of the Lord in its sustaining power. 'We are kept by the power of God through faith.' Salvation is of the Lord in its ultimate glory. 'He hath made us kings and priests' (Phil. 3:20-21).
4. God's lovingkindness. When the Bible speaks of God's wrath, it is always against sin; and when the Bible speaks of God's love for sinners, it is always in Christ (Rom. 8:38-39; John 3:36; John 14:21; John 17:23).
5. God's truth. Christ is the truth. There is no knowing God except as we learn and know Christ. While God's power, glory, and majesty are seen in the creation, the attributes and character of God are only revealed in Christ. His chief glory is his goodness and grace in Christ (Exo. 33:18-19; 2 Cor. 4:3-6).