Psalm 40

The Psalm of the Burnt Offering, as this fortieth Psalm is commonly called, presents as its central theme the one perfect offering, or, obedience “unto death, even the death of the cross”. It is the Godward aspect of Christ’s voluntary offering of Himself upon the cross, the sweet-savour that only God could appreciate in the perfection of a sacrifice made exclusively for and to Him – this being the special emphasis of the burnt offering. Through the perfect obedience of this “poor and needy” One, not only are we “sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”, Heb. 10. 10, but God has proclaimed for ever the inefficacy of all Levitical sacrifices to take away sins, Heb. 10. 1-10.

Farewell Speech of the Eternal Son. In all probability, this Psalm was the expression of David’s heart when he fled from Absalom, and particularly the shame and bitterness of Shimei’s cursing (compare verses 14-15 with 2 Sam. 16). But soon the heart of Messiah appears, and the Spirit uses David to voice the language and experience of David’s Lord and David’s Son. The inspired author of Hebrews applies the words of our Psalm, w. 6-8, to Christ, and thus draws aside the curtain of eternity allowing us to listen to the farewell speech of the Eternal Son speaking to God as He is poised on the very threshold of entrance into the world of men, Heb. 10. 5-7. We have the highest and holiest authority therefore for marking this Psalm out as Messianic.


Christ’s Resurrection,1-5, the new song of His eternal triumph.

Christ’s Incarnation, and Propitiation, and sacrifice to God 6-8, “A body prepared” as an offering for a sweetsmelling savour,Eph. 5. 2.

Christ’s Declaration, 9-10,to Israel.
Christ’s Substitution, 11-12, for the believer.

Christ’s Supplication, 13-17,for personal deliverance and j


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