This Week's Focus Passage

Psalm 40:7 ‘In the roll of the book it is written of me.’

This Week’s Focus Passage: Psalm 40:7

‘In the roll of the book it is written of me.’


Then said I, Lo, I am come;

In the roll of the book it is written of me:

I delight to do thy will, O my God:

Yea, thy law is within my heart.


    These beautiful and astounding words are, in all reality, the substance of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. They are the embodiment    (pun unintended) of the incarnation of the Son of God in that stable in Beth-lehem. Indeed, what was forecast in Psalm 40—as well as in many other place of the Older Testament—was certainly the incarnation; the fulfillment of the promise uttered in its initial statement as was is (as has been for many, many, years) spoken of as the Proto-Evangelium, in other words, the primary, the first announcement that God was coming into the world to be the Mediator between God and man. In those memorable words spoken by God unto the serpent in Genesis 3:15, when He said, regarding this blessed Mediator:


And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


This, of course, spoke of the Mediator to come, a ‘man to stand in the gap’ according to Ezekiel 22:30; the One to whom the apostle Paul referred in his first epistle to his


For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times.   


David, however, was called upon as well as inspired to write of this One Mediator in the psalm under our consideration. Hear what one commentator has written about the usage made of this portion of Psalm 40 in the epistle to the Hebrews by its author/preacher; Franz Delitzsch offers to us his thoughts in his commentary.


“The self-oblation of Christ is that perfect end to which all the imperfect sacrifices of the law point onwards; and a prophetic anticipation of this the sacred writer finds in the citation he makes from Ps. xl. 7-9. His object is not so much to prove that already in the Old Testament itself we find the need expressed of a better sacrifice, but rather to describe in Old Testament language the self-determination of Christ to present Himself in sacrifice to God over against the sacrifices of the law, and so to become the oblation of the New Testament, accomplishing what they were unable to accomplish……..The author, regarding it in the light reflected upon it by the New Testament, finds in these words of the typical David an utterance of his divine Antitype, and of Him as ‘coming into the world,’ as the incarnate Messiah of the New Testament.”


So it would seem that our own thoughts correspond with this 19th century German writer; that these words of Psalm 40 are the very word of God; words of pre-incarnate Christ. This is attested, is it not, by the words of the author of Hebrews introducing this citation, when he has written the prefatory line, Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, But a body didst thou prepare for me……Then said I, Lo, I am come.


    How beautiful and wonderful is it to think of the eternal love of Jesus Christ for His own? That here in His pre-incarnate state He speaks through David, His eminent type, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, iterating the promises announced in the Word of God beginning, as we suppose, in Genesis 3:15? He is that same one promised in the prophetic utterances of Jacob. He called his sons together desiring to tell them, in his words, ‘that which shall befall you in the latter days.’ (Gen. 49:1). This patriarch then began to speak of each of his sons in prophetic language. In the 10th verse, he utters this blessed prophecy concerning the coming Messiah.


The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh come: and unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.


Jesus, of course, was descended from Jacob. This is attested in the gospel narratives which speak of the lineage of the Christ. In fact, Matthew’s account begins with the words, The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. There is a progressive revelation of the Messiah to come in God’s Word. Isaiah the prophet was used of Jehovah as a wonderful instrument of prophecy. In Isaiah 7:14 we may read this promise (it should not be reserved for only one time of the year); Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Therefore, when we read in Matthew, chapter 1, of the words of the angel’s appearance unto Joseph, the husband of Mary, he is informed by this angel to;


Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins. Matthew then proceeds with an explanation of sorts, as he says, Now all this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us.


How wonderfully beautiful is it to be made aware, by God’s grace, through His Word and Spirit, that this Babe in the Manger is the very same Son who uttered those glorious words through the prophet, David, saying, Then said I, Lo, I am come; in the roll of the book it is written of me; I delight to do thy will, O my God. This holy Child would later say, Know ye not that I must be in my Father’s house? (Luke 2:49).


David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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