Keeping secrets not a part of human experience in the beginning. Didn’t come until after the Fall – Adam and Eve sinned, invented hide-and-seek, been playing the game ever since. Original pattern one of openness, full disclosure with nothing held back. Sin changed that, though; now default is to maintain privacy, have laws against invasion of privacy and to protect privacy of certain information. That isn’t God’s default. Remember two major divisions of Psalm 19: natural revelation and special revelation, two places where we observe God’s self-revelation. In both content and context of Genesis 1:1 God began to reveal himself to humanity. Creation itself designed to reveal God’s glory and transcendence; his Word designed to reveal what requires language for communication.
God does keep some things from his people (Deut. 29:29) but he is not secretive, doesn’t play keep-away with truth that is good for us to know. For his people’s learning, revealed his redemptive plan progressively – didn’t spill the beans all at once. As soon as there was need, he began process. As soon as Adam and Eve entrapped in sin, God revealed first promise of a deliverer. As soon as death entered world, God revealed first promise of life. On that cornerstone, continued to build throughout rest of Biblical period – through dreams and visions, prophets, written word, spoken word.
Central portion of this psalm another piece in picture supplied by God to confirm truth his people should have already known. One of those sections known as Messianic, speaking of the person or work of Christ. Would likely be a portion of OT Jesus pointed out on road to Emmaus: Luke 24:27 “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in alltheScriptures the things concerning Himself.” Further confirmation of its application in Heb. 10:5-9; had meaning for David, God’s people of OT, greater significance to us in NT period. David’s prophecy of the promised Messiah forms connecting bridge between praise for past mercies and a plea for present help.
A. praise for past mercies v.1-5
waiting on the Lord (1a) – in waiting I waited – ongoing waiting, patient waiting; even when seems prayers may not be answered, wait. Remember Daniel 10:12-13 – prayer heard immediately, response delayed 21 days by more pressing spiritual conflict
response from the Lord
the Lord stooped (1b) – incredible picture of condescension: God of the universe bending over, stooping down, reaching out to one unable to change their circumstances
the Lord listened (1c) – beyond simple hearing, includes intention to actively respond; response may not be immediate but it’s absolutely certain whenever God chooses to act
the Lord drew up (2a) – didn’t stoop to stay; reached down to draw up out of terrifying pit, muddy mud, one completely at mercy of circumstances
the Lord established (2b) – given firm footing and safe direction – God’s continued guidance after deliverance
the Lord gave (3a) – had given cause for praise and rejoicing, now gives a fresh song because of fresh mercy
praise to the Lord
seen deliverance a prelude to unseen deliverance (3b)
God rescues believer from temporal danger; others see God @ work, turn to him in faith; are rescued from their sin and its consequences
the Lord blesses those who trust him exclusively (4) – stronger statement than simply “trusts in the Lord”; does not turn to anyone else for kind of help that should come from God
the Lord’s comprehensive plan includes his people (5)
his works and purpose provide endless material for praise – God is incomparable; not that others don’t come close, there’s no comparison that can be made in any respect: quantity, quality, scope
special attention should be given to his works in redemption – who but God could ever think up the God-Man, substitutionary atonement, double imputation, etc.
B. prophecy of promised Messiah v.6-10
sacrifice as in the old covenant never intended to be permanent
unable to satisfy God’s demands (6)
God always placed obedience above sacrifice; none of the old “do what I feel like, then go to confession”; 1 Sam. 15:22 “to obey is better than sacrifice”
personal responsibility a big deal with God; sacrifice of the lesser never suffices for sin of the greater. Even human justice as defined by God requires life for life; same is true on redemptive level
anticipated a perfect sacrifice (7-8) – one who was promised, who delights / desires to please God, whose life regulated perfectly by God’s law. When it had been thoroughly demonstrated that old system of sacrifice was insufficient, another Adam would come to do what first Adam failed to achieve.
necessitates proclamation (9-10) – this is world-changing good news
certainly did apply to Jesus, his earthly time of ministry; he even said so in high-priestly prayer: John 17:6, 8“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me” “I have given to them the words which You have given Me”
should apply to all his followers – proclaiming message of hope without restraint, without any attempt to conceal truth, by both word and deed
and David said, “huh?”
spoke, then “where did that come from?”; did have promise given of heir and everlasting kingdom (2 Sam. 7:12-16), but… how much of the greater David did he comprehend?
biblical writers weren’t robots, didn’t simply take dictation; however, they didn’t fully understand their prophecies when they gave them – see 1 Peter 1:10-12
didn’t just say “oh well”, worked at figuring out as much as they could as helped by the Holy Spirit
require insight given in Heb. 10:5-9 for fullest understanding, specific application to Lord Jesus and the circumstances/significance of David’s utterance
easy to see, given the Hebrews explanation, how Jesus carries fulfillment to ultimate extent
was in Christ that old order was replaced by new; types and shadows of old sacrificial system replaced by reality; his perfect obedience what fit him humanly speaking to be the substitute; his role as living Word to reveal the Father to the world
C. petition for present help v.11-17
past deliverance doesn’t remove need for present/future help (11)
cannot ever be delivered from dependence – it’s inherent in being a creature; even deliverance from sin does not automatically deliver from circumstances
“continually” – we need lovingkindness and faithfulness for our security; since they flow out of God’s tender mercies (compassion) which is never-failing (Lam. 3.22), they will never cease either
sin and sinners are endemic to earthly existence (12) – the saved still live in fallen world, are subject to all sorts of bad stuff: mistreatment by others, persecution by civil authority, physical consequences of Fall and Curse
plus — ongoing battle with indwelling sin, need to overcome temptation, turn away from behaviors displeasing to God
deliver me again because
I can’t deliver myself (13a) – keeps us humble: to remember our own inability, to not presume on God’s compassion. Be pleased to deliver by your free mercy, because you are kind and gracious
I’m in great need (again) (13b) – God expects us to seek his help even when he knows what’s going on
deliver me so that
enemies will be frustrated and humiliated (14-15) – God’s help desired not to advance own plans but God’s purpose – “I will build my church”; “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth”; that God will be vindicated as just and righteous
friends will be encouraged (16a) – always lifts spirits of God’s people when they can clearly see his hand at work
You will be glorified (16b) – our ultimate goal/desire; personal deliverance, humiliation of enemies, encouragement of saints visible means to that end
God is no fair-weather friend (17)
friend of his people regardless their circumstances
“There is power enough in God to help the weakest, and grace enough in God to help the unworthiest of all His people that trust in Him.” Matthew Henry
not like lottery winner’s friends, only hang around while there’s money
if he condescends to stoop (1a), no surprise he bridges distance between God and man – “He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” (Psa. 103:14) God must come down to us if we are to have relationship with him.
does so in person of Lord Jesus – Eph. 2:15-16
“He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace.He did this so that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it.” HCSB
Important “clarifications” made for us in NT: Paul declares by inspiration of Holy Spirit in Gal. 3:16 “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.” Blessing promised to Abraham bestowed on Christ, he then distributes to those who are joint-heirs with him. Only way we have part in God’s promises is through Christ. Those promises go far beyond simply “being saved”; form the foundation for hope, comfort, deliverance, strength, rest, shelter, guidance, peace, joy, and that’s just the beginning.
May God enable us by his grace through faith in Christ to more fully enjoy the benefits of our union with him.