Meditations on the Psalms #86

Day 86

Psalm 40 Part 3

Though David praised God for past and present deliverance, he would not presume upon the future. He kept himself in humble prayer before God, asking for a constant supply of His ‘compassion.’ (v11)

It is not difficult to see this as a prayer of Jesus, the Son of David. As He lived upon this earth He did so as a man in constant reliance upon His fellowship and perfect communion with God the Father. We see this as a prayer of Jesus, perhaps especially in His sufferings on the cross: Do not withhold Your tender mercies(NKJV) from Me, O LORD; let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve Me.’

Truly it was on the cross that Jesus could say,v12 ‘innumerable evils have surrounded Me.’ There is a sense in which Jesus could never say, “My iniquities have overtaken Me.v12” He was and is the spotless Lamb of God, without any sin or defect. Yet in another sense, those words are perfect in their description of Jesus, because in His life and especially His sufferings, He consciously and perfectly-identified with His people, in a sense making their sins His own. For Jesus, they were “My iniquities,” but not because he committed the sins – but because out of love He chose to bear them and all the wrath they deserved. This would make Jesus the greatest of sinners by imputation. “He made Him to be sin for us…” (2 Cor.5:21)

David thought praising God was to magnify Him v16– that is, to make Him larger in one’s perception. Magnification does not actually make an object bigger, and we can’t make God bigger. But to magnify something or someone is to perceive it as bigger, and we must do that regarding the LORD God.

Vs 11-17 are so typical of life: Triumph & travail alternate, Joy and sorrow chase one another.

In v16 David declares that God’s goodness to him in the past is the grounds of his appeal in the present. If life were only one battle, we could put off our armour when it was won. However, life is a campaign. 2 Cor.1:10

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