Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psalm 40:7-8)
We have been seeing the Messiah revealed in the fortieth Psalm. The incredible conversation between the eternal Father and the eternal Son has been revealed by the Spirit to the psalmist.
This is not the only time this has been revealed in the Psalms. Psalm 2 has the Father and the Son discussing the Divine Kingship over the nations. Psalm 110 has the LORD saying unto ADONAI, (the Lord),”Sit on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool”, and swearing to him that he would be a priest forever… .
In this beautiful Psalm the Son offers himself to God for us ; a bondslave, in the place of provisional sacrifices ordained by God. He is a willing sacrifice, in fact a delighted, God-loving, God-fearing self offering of a human life, wholly given to God.
Our Psalmist takes us by the Spirit, unto the then future earthly ministry of this willing bondslave. His ministry would initially be a ministry of the Word of God. He would not hold back, from the “great congregation”, in spite of fierce opposition, He declares God’s faithfulness, Righteousness, and salvation. This would eventually cost him his life.
I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. (Psalm 40:9-10)
The “great congregation” consists of those who would hear his voice through all time. He cries out to everyone, but only those who are “of the Truth” actually hear his voice. That is those who by the Spirit of God have recieved an inward affinity to the Truth, those who “have ears to hear”, being the “babes” as opposed to the “wise and learned of this Age”.
Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.(Psalm 40:11-13)
The scene shifts again, for there is a cry unto God for “mercy,Truth and preservation”, in the face of “innumerable evils”which surround the bond slave of the Lord, the One of whom the “volume of the book” is written.
He is being pulled down to death and destruction by his iniquities. “Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me…”. But Messiah has no iniquities, Jesus is the one who knew no sin. But because of his consecration to the whole will of God, our iniquities have become His iniquities. As our substitute, Jesus took full responsibility for our sins, which are “more than the hairs of mine head”.
The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in his exposition of Psalm 40 makes this point crystal clear,
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;(Hebrews 10:4-12)
Thus it is as a substitute for us, that this righteous sufferer drowns underneath “innumerable iniquities”, crying out to God for help and strength, and pleading for those who seek God, that they would rejoice in the salvific result of the sacrifice.
Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. …Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.(Psalm 40:13,16)
He pleads also for those who reject it, that they would feel the shame,(conviction) and turn from unbelief…
Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say to me Aha,Aha…(Psalm 40:14-15)
Our psalm begins with a resurrection, but the vantage point at the end of the psalm, is of the patient sufferer, the God-fearing substitute, the One who delights to do God’s will, regardless of how costly and painful, is waiting patiently for relief and deliverance from God.
But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.(Psalm 40:17)