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Psalm 40:7

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 7. Then said

  1. That is to say, when it was clearly seen that man's misery could not be remedied by sacrifices and offerings. It being certain that the mere images of atonement, and the bare symbols of propitiation were of no avail, the Lord Jesus, in propria persona, intervened. O blessed "then said I." Lord, ever give us to hear and feed on such living words as these, so peculiarly and personally thine own. Lo, I come. Behold, O heavens, and thou earth, and ye places under the earth! Here is something worthy of your most intense gaze. Sit ye down and watch with earnestness, for the invisible God comes in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as an infant the Infinite hangs at a virgin's breast! Immanuel did not send but come; he came in his own personality, in all that constituted his essential self he came forth from the ivory palaces to the abodes of misery; he came promptly at the destined hour; he came with sacred alacrity as one freely offering himself. In the volume of the book it is written of me. In the eternal decree it is thus recorded. The mystic roll of predestination which providence gradually unfolds, contained within it, to the Saviour's knowledge, a written covenant, that in the fulness of time the divine I should descend to earth to accomplish a purpose which hecatombs of bullocks and rams could not achieve. What a privilege to find our names written in the book of life, and what an honour, since the name of Jesus heads the page! Our Lord had respect to his ancient covenant engagements, and herein he teaches us to be scrupulously just in keeping our word; have we so promised, it is so written in the book of remembrance? then let us never be defaulters.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 6-7. See Psalms on "Psalms 40:7" for further information.

Verse 6-10. See Psalms on "Psalms 40:6" for further information.

Verse 7. Then said I, Lo, I come. As his name is above every name, so this coming of his is above every coming. We sometimes call our own births, I confess, a coming into the world; but properly, none ever came into the world but he. For,

  1. He only truly can be said to come, who is before he comes; so were not we, only he so.
  2. He only strictly comes who comes willingly; our crying and struggling at our entrance into the world, shows how unwillingly we come into it. He alone it is that sings out, Lo, I come.
  3. He only properly comes who comes from some place or other. Alas! we had none to come from but the womb of nothing. He only had a place to be in before he came. Mark Frank.

Verse 7. Then said I, Lo, I come, to wit, as surety, to pay the ransom, and to do thy will, O God. Every word carrieth a special emphasis as

  1. The time, then, even so soon as he perceived that his Father had prepared his body for such an end, then, without delay. This speed implies forwardness and readiness; he would lose no opportunity.
  2. His profession in this word, said I; he did not closely, secretly, timorously, as being ashamed thereof, but he maketh profession beforehand.
  3. This note of observation, Lo, this is a kind of calling angels and men to witness, and a desire that all might know his inward intention, and the disposition of his heart; wherein was as great a willingness as any could have to anything.
  4. An offering of himself without any enforcement or compulsion; this he manifests in this word, I come.
  5. That very instant set out in the present tense, I come; he puts it not off to a future and uncertain time, but even in that moment, he saith, I come.
  6. The first person twice expressed, thus, "I said," "I come." He sends not another person, nor substitutes any in his room; but he, even he himself in his own person, comes. All which do abundantly evidence Christ's singular readiness and willingness, as our surety, to do his Father's will, though it were by suffering, and by being made a sacrifice for our sins. Thomas Brooks.

Verse 7. Lo, I come, i.e., to appear before thee; a phrase used to indicate the coming of an inferior into the presence of a superior, or of a slave before his master, Numbers 22:38 2Sa 19:20: as in the similar expression, "Behold, here I am," generally expressive of willingness. J. J. Stewart Perowne.

Verse 7. Lo, I come. Christ's coming in the spirit is a joyful coming. I think this, Lo, I come, expresses

  1. Present joy.
  2. It expresses certain joy: the Lo, is a note of certainty; the thing is certain and true; and his joy is certain; certain, true, solid joy.
  3. It expresses communicative joy; designing his people shall share of his joy, Lo, I come! The joy that Christ has as Mediator is a fulness of joy, designed for his people's use, that out of his fulness we may receive, and grace for grace, and joy for joy; grace answering grace in Jesus, and joy answering joy in him.
  4. It expresses solemn joy. He comes with a solemnity; Lo, I come! according to the council of a glorious Trinity. Now, when the purpose of heaven is come to the birth, and the decree breaks forth, and the fulness of time is come, he makes heaven and earth witness, as it were, to his solemn march on the errand: he says it with a loud, Lo! that all the world of men and angels may notice, Lo, I come! And, indeed, all the elect angels brake forth into joyful songs of praise at this solemnity; when he came in the flesh, they sang, "Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will towards man." Ralph Erskine, 1685-1752.

Verse 7. Lo, I come, or, am come, to wit, into the world Hebrews 10:5 , and particularly to Jerusalem, to give myself a sacrifice for sin. Henry Ainsworth.

Verse 7. The volume of the book. What book is meant, whether the Scripture, or the book of life, is not certain, probably the latter. W. Wilson, D.D.

Verse 7. The volume of the book. But what volume of manuscript roll is here meant? Plainly, the one which was already extant when the psalmist was writing. If the psalmist was David himself (as the title of the Psalm seems to affirm), the only parts of the Hebrew Scriptures then extant, and of course, the only part to which he could refer, must have been the Pentateuch, and perhaps the book of Joshua. Beyond any reasonable doubt, them, the kefalis biblion (rps tlnm) was the Pentateuch ... But I apprehend the meaning of the writer to be, that the book of the law, which prescribes sacrifices that were merely skiai or parabolai of the great atoning sacrifice by Christ, did itself teach, by the use of these, that something of a higher and better nature was to be looked for than Levitical rites. In a word, it pointed to the Messiah; or, some of the contents of the written law had respect to him. Moses Stuart, M.A., in "A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews," 1851.

Verse 7. The volume of the book etc. When I first considered Romans 5:14 , and other Scriptures in the New Testament which make the first Adam, and the whole story of him both before and after, and in his sinning or falling, to be the type and lively shadow of Christ, the second Adam; likewise observing that the apostle Paul stands admiring at the greatest of this mystery or mystical type, the Christ, the second Adam should so wonderfully be shadowed forth therein, as Ephesians 5:32 , he cries out, "This is a great mystery," which he speaks applying and fitting some passages about Adam and Eve unto Christ and his church; it made me more to consider an interpretation of a passage in Heb 10:7, out of Psalms 40:7 , which I before had not only not regarded, but wholly rejected, as being too like a postil (A marginal note) gloss. The passage is, that "when Christ came into the world," to take our nature on him, he alleged the reason of it to be the fulfilling of a Scripture written in "the beginning of God's book," en kefalisi Biblion, so out of the original the words may be, and are by many interpreters, translated, though our translation reads them only thus, In the volume of the book it is written of me. It is true, indeed, that in the fortieth Psalm, whence they are quoted, the words in the Hebrew may signify no more than that in God's book (the manner of writing which was anciently in rolls of parchment, folded up in a volume) Christ was everywhere written and spoken of. Yet the word kefalis which out of the Septuagint's translation the apostle took, signifying, as all know, the beginning of a book; and we finding such an emphasis set by the apostle in the fifth chapter of the Ephesians, upon the history of Adam in the beginning of Genesis, as containing the mystery, yea, the great mystery about Christ, it did somewhat induce, though not so fully persuade, me to think, that the Holy Ghost in those words might have some glance at the story of Adam in the first of the first book of Moses. And withal the rather because so, the words so understood do intimate a higher and further inducement to Christ to assume our nature, the scope of the speech, Hebrews 10, being to render the reason why he so willingly took man's nature: not only because God liked not sacrifice and burnt offering, which came in but upon occasion of sin, and after the fall, and could not take sin away, but further, that he was prophesied of, and his assuming a body prophetically foresighted, as in the fortieth Psalm, so even by Adam's story before the fall, recorded in the very beginning of Genesis, which many other Scriptures do expressly apply it unto. Thomas Goodwin.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 6-8. The Lord gives an ear to hear his word, a mouth to confess it, a heart to love it, and power to keep it.

Verse 7.

  1. The time of Christ's coming. Then said
    1. When types were exhausted, when prophecies looked for their fulfilment, when worldly wisdom had done its utmost, when the world was almost entirely united under one empire, when the time appointed by the Father had come.
  2. The design of his coming. In the volume was written --
  3. The constitution of his person. 2. His teaching. 3. The manner of his life. 4. The design of his death. 5. His resurrection and ascension. 6. The kingdom he would establish.
  4. The voluntariness of his coming, Lo, I come. Though sent by the Father, he came of his own accord. "Christ Jesus came into the world." Men do not come into the world, they are sent into it. Lo, I come, denotes pre-existence, pre-determination, pre-operation.

George Rogers.

Read Psalm 40:7