Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
Here is another gospel Psalm, not of David's troubles, but of David's Lord. The references made to it, in many parts of our Lord's life by himself, and both then and afterwards by his servants the apostles, decidedly show to whom it belongs. Take it in one collected point, and it sketches many of the outlines of Christ's passion, from his birth to the cross. Like the 22nd Psalm, it begins with a view of Christ in his abasement and sufferings, and ends with the relation of his exaltation and triumphs.
To the chief musician upon Shoshannim, A Psalm of David.
We here behold the Head of the church in his unequalled sorrows, and for which we hear him crying out, Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour! John 12:27. Well might the church, when contemplating the love of her Lord, cry out, Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the foods drown it! Song of Solomon 8:7. Yea, blessed Jesus! neither all thy personal afflictions and sufferings; the vials of thy Father's wrath against sin, when thou stoodest forth as the sinner's Surety; nor all the floods of corruption which had broke in upon human nature as a deluge; neither the reproaches of the ungodly; nor, what is most painful to be borne, the baseness and ingratitude of those thou camest to redeem; all, all together could not quench thy love! Oh! love of God that passeth knowledge! Oh! for grace to love him, that hath so astonishingly loved us.
What a blessed verse is here! Amidst all the opposition and contradiction of sinners against himself, Jesus manifested that character, by which Jehovah had pointed him out to the church by the prophet; Thou shalt be called the Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of the paths to dwell in; Isaiah 58:12. But what was it Christ restored? Nay, all that was lost. Adam, by sin, had taken away God's glory, and his own glory and happiness. He had robbed God of his glory, God's law of its due, himself of God's image and of God's favour. Sin had brought in death, spiritual and eternal; and he, and all his descendants, stood tremblingly exposed to everlasting misery. All these, and more, Jesus restored. As man's Surety and man's Representative, called to those offices by the authority of Jehovah, the Lord Christ restored to God his glory, and to man God's image and favour; and having destroyed sin, death, hell, and the grave, he restored to his redeemed a better paradise than our nature had lost! Hail! oh, thou blessed Restorer of all our long-lost privileges.
See how Jesus takes to himself our shame Yes! Lamb of God, when thou condescendedst to be made sin for us, who knew no sin, it behoved thee thus to suffer, and thus to complain.
Reader! is not this a sweet prayer of Jesus, that none of his redeemed may ever take shame at his cross, but rather glory in it? And observe how the cause of the Father is pointed at in all that belonged to redemption by our adorable Lord; because with God the Father all the grand concerns of redemption originated. John 10:17-18.
Oh! how precious are these words of our Christ! And how were they all fulfilled in his own sacred person! When he came to his own, his own received him not. And was not Jesus treated worse than a stranger, when, though their law commanded them to remember the heart of a stranger, yet of Jesus, their Brother after the flesh, they said, As for this fellow, we know not from whence he is? John 1:10-11; Deuteronomy 10:19; John 9:29. Christ's zeal for his Father's honor was so manifested in the temple, that the disciples were struck with it, and immediately remembered this very scripture; John 2:17. And the reproaches Christ sustained, the Holy Ghost, by his servant the apostle Paul, directly applied to him in a plain scripture, Romans 15:3.
If we compare this verse with Isaiah 49:8, what a beautiful light will they throw upon each other.
Reader! if you are much acquainted with the evangelists accounts of Jesus's sufferings in the garden and on the cross (and if you are not, it is much to be wished that you were) you will see how all these expressions refer to those solemn seasons. Oh! how expressive are they of the sorrows of Jesus! Behold and see, was ever any sorrow like unto his sorrow, with which the Lord afflicted him in the day of his fierce anger? Lamentations 1:12. I am inclined to think that David, king of Israel, as a prophet, was purposely commissioned by the Holy Ghost to compose such expressions as these, which we meet with both in this and other Psalms of his, for the special use of the Lord Jesus in the day of his flesh. And I am also farther inclined to think, that as in no part of our Lord's sufferings God's honour and glory were more magnified than when Christ bore shame and reproach, as the sinner's Surety; Christ particularly referred to the vast recompense made, by way of reparation, when he said, Thou hast known my reproach, my shame, and my dishonour. Sweet consideration to the soul of the believer! I stay not to make any additional observations concerning those situations of Jesus which the prophet here describes of his broken heart, the desertion of his friends, and the offered gall and vinegar; the Reader will not fail, I hope, to recollect that the reproaches and taunts of the Jews, while Jesus hung on the cross, the desertion of all his disciples in that hour of sorrow, and the sufferings of Jesus not being finished until this last prediction was fulfilled, in the giving him the gall and vinegar to drink; all so strikingly belonged to the Lord Jesus, as that they could belong to no ether, and plainly manifest it is of him alone the prophet speaks.
We may accept these verses as so many expressions of prophecy, which were literally fulfilled, as our Lord elsewhere predicted, in the siege and overthrow of Jerusalem, about forty years after the ascension of the Lord Jesus. Luke 19:41; Luk_19:44. It is impossible to read these scriptures, and then turn to the present state of our elder brethren the Jews, but with the most painful concern. Surely the Lord hath given them the spirit of slumber; eyes that they shall not see, and ears that they shall not hear. If the Reader be disposed to meditate on this solemn subject, he will find that the Holy Ghost hath furnished sufficient matter for it, Ro 11 throughout. And who that doth contemplate the same, but must find his heart drawn out to join the apostle in that part of it, and convert it into a prayer, that the time may be hastening when the deliverer shall come out of Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
Here is another engaging portrait of Jesus. And who of his redeemed but must love him, both on his cross and on his throne?
Christ had an eye to the glory that should be revealed, in all his sufferings. So saith the Holy Ghost; by the apostle, when he calls upon his people to be looking unto him, Hebrews 12:2. And hence the two great leading points of prophecy concerning Christ, as our glorious Head, were of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory which should follow; 1 Peter 1:11. Reader! it is blessed when a believing soul can take up the words of his adorable Head, and hath a well-formed and well-grounded assurance that he is of the seed of Christ, which shall inherit his holy mountain forever. See Isaiah 65:9-10.
READER! I hope the Lord the Spirit hath given you to see Jesus is this blessed scripture; and that while reading the word your heart hath been warmed with the Spirit's manifestations of Jesus. Oh! it is sweet, it is blessed, it is indeed most blessed, to see Jesus the great Restorer of that which he took not away. Never, dearest Lord, never let me lose sight of thee as my Surety, on whom the Lord Jehovah hath laid all mine iniquities, and from whom he hath both demanded and received the full equivalent for all my transgressions. For by virtue of this only can I look up now for acceptance, or hereafter for everlasting life. And grant me, oh! thou Restorer of all we have lost, grant me to see that the favour of God, the image of God, the love of God, and fellowship with God, thou hast procured for all thy people by thy blood and righteousness. And oh! let the heavy displeasure of my God against those who rejected the Lord of life and glory, cause me to behold the severity of God, while I contemplate his goodness. Hasten, Lord, in thine own time, deliverance to Jacob. Arise, thou great Restorer of the ancient paths to dwell in, and turn away ungodliness from thy people. Bring both Jew and Gentile into one fold, one church, one salvation; and reign thou, and rule thou, the One glorious Lord, in thy kingdom of Zion forever. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 69 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-69.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent