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Man of Sorrows: Part 1

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
December 16, 2021 7:00 am

Man of Sorrows: Part 1

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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December 16, 2021 7:00 am

Remember a time when you felt like you were sinkinga time when, unless help came quickly you would drown in your troubles? Today, we’ll be looking at Psalm 69, a lament from David who found himself in those very circumstances, with a God who didn’t seem to be listening.

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Can you recall a time when you felt like you were sinking a time when unless help came quickly. He would drown in your troubles.

As David tallies his problems in the wrongs done against him. His trials begin to sound very much like the sufferings of another.

Those of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. Psalm 69 is a messianic song, and in it the cries of David and Jesus intermingle. But while both of their situation seem desperate. Neither is without hope. Turn in your Bible to Psalm 69 as we listen to David's lament and recognize how we are to react when called to suffer for righteousness sake, we were studying Psalm 68 together. Our last all my ask whether it should be considered a messianic assault my business all that has explicit reference to Jesus Christ in his prophecy of what he was going to do. That's not an easy question to answer when we look at the software as a whole are some samples that are clearly messianic are some that are doubtful altogether, those that are clearly messianic makeup, a very small proportion of the whole.

Most of them are Psalms, or grow out of an historical situation are limited to that, except to the extent that that situation is re-echoed in the lives of God's people in other ages in other places. So when you talk about messianic Psalm. That's not always so easy. Psalm 68 had some elements seem to be messianic others that were not returning to short our way through that when we come to Psalm 69, which is what we're going to look at. Now we don't have that problem because it's clearly about Jesus on every part of it going to say that there are things in it that Jesus himself could never have said and yet a lot of it is the reason we know that is because a lot of this Psalm is quoted in the New Testament of Jesus Christ.

So we have the Holy Spirit's endorsement by the New Testament of the messianic interpretation of at least large parts of the song next to Psalm 22, which speaks of the crucified shipment.

Psalm 110 which is the most quoted Psalm of the Psalter in the New Testament. Islam is quoted most it has only 36 verses, but seven of them are directly quoted explicitly of Jesus Christ in the New Testament another verses contain themes that are applied in a more general way to like Jesus Christ and the Gospels.

I've had occasion from time to time to talk about Arno see Gabe aligns commentary on the Psalms and I said is rather limited, at least from my point of view and its usefulness because it tries to find references to Jesus Christ or the future of Israel, and virtually every Psalm in the Psalter and I think that is grossly overdone as comments are often unhelpful. But whatever gets around to talking about us all. It really is messianic, that is very helpful in this particular case he calls this a precious Psalm. He says it begins with the cry of the one who bore our sins in his body. You suffered for our sake and ends with the glorious results of his atoning work. Now that really is accurate because that is what Psalm 69 is all about the Psalms all have their own historical setting. Of course, in this case, the setting is that of a man who was is in deep trouble and is calling out to God from his troubles asking God to help them are important to recognize at the beginning that we have that kind of historical setting that it does apply to a literal man with her David or some other because there are, as I said a moment ago sayings in the small but really can't apply to Jesus Christ. One clear example of that is verse five verse five. The psalmist says you know my family. Oh God, Mike is not hidden from you. Jesus Christ never said that. And yet there are other verses that he does size limit quotes himself explicitly so we have to keep those two things in mind this is the question whether David actually wrote it little title says that he did. I tend to take those as part of the canonical text and take them seriously but there are some indications of the Psalm create problems.

For example, if you look toward the end of verse 35 versus begin to wrap it up you'll find a verse 35 speaks about rebuilding the cities of Judah are to relate that to the time of David, that sounds very much like something that was written after the destruction of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon when the Jews return from the exile, and work pray for God to rebuild the city now a lot of commentators look at that is a clear indication I couldn't be by David so they begin to search around for somebody else might have written Islam. One of their favorite selections is Jeremiah presents somewhat arbitrary, but I think I know why they talk about Jeremiah because in verses two and three.

This writer liberty is says that the waters of come up to his neck and he is sinking in the miry depths where there is no foothold to make us remember this little incident from Jeremiah's library was thrown into a sister like I mixed the Association only say well probably is Jeremiah.

I don't think that has anything going for all the kind of thing that Don is a standby. David says it is.

I take it at face value. What about verse 35 that seems to be the obvious answer to that is that that ending was simply put there by somebody else in order to relate a Psalm of David to a later period in history and broaden its application wrong with that, say, well, why then is it called a Psalm of David, because it is a Psalm of David and all you have is an application of the end which broadens that we do that with other things as well. Now I don't get them out in order to say that the mind opinion the way to study a Psalm like this is to keep three points of reference in mind. First of all David situation or that of another ancient writer really speaking from a human situation, we can identify with.

Secondly person and work of Jesus Christ. As we saw it really is messianic and it relates to Hamburg and see that as we go through it and then thirdly the third point of reference our own experiences and problems because the experiences of David parallel are moments when we have them in the Psalter for our benefit and not only that they parallel things a Jesus Christ experienced that when we remember Jesus Christ. Well then we began to get a model in him for how we should in your house should actually go through the same kind of thing.

So take three of those things. First of all, David. We think of David to remind ourselves of how difficult life must've been for him. They think of King David is been wonderful wonderful to be getting. I wasn't wonderful for David. Things were tough for him.

Even tough to be a president sure would want to be Bill Clinton by that man. I would want to be any president was David, the king got a very hard time so keep that in mind then Jesus well he's enduring suffering abuse and that gives us an insight into his humanity, that kind of things he endured in the flesh for arsenic sometimes talk about Jesus. In such an exalted way to see some of God and the king of the Savior that we forget.

He was also a man. And here we have the kind of things that he suffered graphically illustrated in the Psalm and then finally we want to think about ourselves and our experiences. We want to say yes when we go through these things we want to go through them away. Jesus did and for that matter, the way David did himself, particularly Jesus is a verse or two from the New Testament that really ought to be a theme reminder to us as we come to a Psalm like this is from Hebrews F chapter let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith and for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down on the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men so you will not grow weary and lose heart, your struggle against sin. You are not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood so you almost think come together when you think of them outweigh the tone of the Samoset in the first four versus they contain two elements really are elements we talk have in the past about the various genres of the Psalm that is different types of Psalms, praise Thanksgiving summer hymns were messianic.

Clearly, this one in its form, at least as a lament. This man's in trouble and he's expressing us trouble and great trouble that comes an appeal for help. He calls the God out of his trouble is what you have written those first four versus say as we begin at least in the form of a question.

I wonder if you've ever felt like the psalmist does here, I will answer my own question. I'm sure you have I know I have a little word for word for it is all very well as a way David is feelings feeling overwhelmed. He's the one that's writing it.

We feel overwhelmed with problems. We can't seem to solve with rushers. We can't sustain and demands on us in our time that we know that we can't meet. In addition to all that sometimes in situations like that. We feel we can even pray or if in the Duper I managed to pray God is really there to answer and help us. He seems to be distant and far away. That's what David is talking about uses a lot of vivid images here for you see it as you read through this verse or verses. He talks about the waters coming up to his neck is about sinking in the miry depths with is no foothold in talks about coming into deep waters were the floods in goal for necessities worn out calling for help in his throat as parts are two things that make is particularly bad for David. First is only singleseat is going to were not his fault, and going through the minister pleasant caused this by any means. He's got plenty of enemies within them anything to harm them. There is enemies without cause Barack to get it but it's not because of his unrighteousness. Anything the demand that that's the first thing that really is troublesome. The second thing I mentioned a moment ago was it when he calls out to God. God doesn't seem to answer them. I asked the question again. I never gone through times like that answer. I'm sure you will. The South sometimes we get in trouble and it's her own fault. Most of the time it's her own fault, but not always, and sometimes very often. Some people's lives we call out to God, we don't seem to get an answer to God is inherently, nobody knows all things, and hears all things are asking for help, but we really don't seem to get the kind of help. We think we need and certainly not the kind of help.

We are asking for. Well if that's the case if you're going through a situation like that. Remember what you have to do is keep on praying. It was David saying I pray and I don't seem to get any answer but notice he doesn't stop playing because he doesn't get any answer. I do you know he keeps on praying because we have us all times. An expression of his prayer while in the midst of the agony and the suffering that is going through.

It takes time to write this kind of thing down.

Not only does backup a moment.

I said a moment ago that you have to consider the Psalm on three levels is what it means in the life of David, the original writer what it means in terms of Jesus Christ reference to him and then thirdly what it means for us that we've already looked at the first and the third of those haven't way I thought about the kind of things. David went through even though he was a king and I that's the question do you ever go through times like that answer is yes we do. What about the second of those three points about Jesus Christ as Islam does anything about Jesus suffering again this by asking the question whether Jesus could've played like this. No answer to that the answer is of course a good not only good he did have an example of it in the garden to disseminate word in his deep agony cried out to God's wedding, as it were great drops of blood asking God if this cup would pass from them and it wasn't hard for a period of time.

At least, because as we read those accounts in the Gospels, it seems that he went away came back when away came back when we came out probably about three hours by the account that we have there in the Gospels and was only at the end see that the angels came and ministered to him. I mentioned Hebrews moment Gollancz's way of looking at this Psalm is another great passage in Hebrews, which I think really is a commentary at this point it comes from the fifth chapter, verses seven through 10 is what it says. During the days of Jesus life on earth. He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears wanted to save him from death, probably referring to the garden of disseminate and then it says this last phrase and was heard because of his reverent submission, but I pointed out it was heard immediately as time before God answered then it continues although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered, and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him as designated by God to be a high priest in the order of Melchizedek verses tell us that in his humanity. Jesus was not exempt from the kind of sufferings and disappointments and struggles but you and I go through and sometimes go through quite often to see you didn't abandon himself to despair. Tell us what he did was cry out to God and he persisted in his prayer, and at the end of that God ministered to him. He was heard because of his reverent submission policy.

First four versus flex versus fit versus what I mentioned earlier is in verse Jesus himself could never to pray because it's a psalmist brief confession of his family and his center is transgression. Now it is David uttering the word that in itself is not surprising. David wasn't a burly man. He was a sinner course as you and I are so unsurprising that he should say God I center you know my family a godlike Guild is not hidden from you that the surprising thing about that versus another. David says it, but that he says it here this point because what's he just said the first four versus what is been protesting in the verses immediately before that is his innocence. Everybody says is this, they hate me without reason is make me without reason outnumbered the hairs of my head. Many are my enemies without cause. Those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal enough what you expect David to say after a statement like that you expect him to say you know God, I really didn't steal it. What you'd expect to find or maybe would say something like this and remember, I really have not given the many because they hate me instead. But David doesn't confess his folly and is set that's a real inversion that doesn't seem to make sense. Well, maybe not. But the more spiritual you are and the better you know the Bible, the more sense it makes you say because this really is the heart of a truly godly man is a man I was trying to live before God in a way that honors God.

In what way does that is by giving his enemies.

No cause for offense he does not want to act unrighteously and he has not done it.

Nevertheless, you say when he prays to God, he stands there in the light of the holiness of the one he worships. He knows perfectly well that is not only a fool but the center so recognizing that he's a fool. He doesn't challenge God's wisdom, God, how can you if you're all wise and good allows such a thing to go on in my life and I really haven't done anything. He doesn't protest his perfect denizens that you know I have a pure heart by doing anything like that to see what he says he forgot he says God I leave it in your hands. I'm asking for your help. But I'm still a fool. I don't understand why this is going on but you're all wise. As far as sin goes, I haven't offended these people, but you know that I'm a sinner and you must be working in my life. You see, that's the psychology of the Psalm. That's what's happening spiritually in the life of the man on people who play know God and search the Scriptures and find that to be any surprise of all each of these Psalms has its own particular outline and they differ and you have to study them and work with them aloud to find out what the outline is sometimes when we read them were insensitive to that because we just gonna go on perverse verse was very helpful to figure out the outline. If you can explain what this one is unique pattern of this Psalm is to repeat first the lament that's found in verses one through four and then the appeal for help is found in verses one through four.

Remember I said that the theme is set in his first four verses are the man in trouble is explaining his trouble calling out to God to help him. Now those two ideas introduced in the first four verses are repeated throughout the Psalm and the repeated more than once. Here's the way it goes. We have a first renewal of the lament in verses six through 12 and we have a first renewal of the plea for help. In verses 13 through 18.

We have a second renewal of the lament. In verses 19 through 21. We have a second renewal of the plea for help. Verses 23 to 28 as were getting toward the end that is all followed by one verse interjection that similar verse five we had there. The beginning you have in verse 29 and then have a conclusion at the end which is in two parts with parallels the introduction, which was also in two parts. I know you got them all down in your notes. I don't have to repeat it again because were going to look at the first repetition of the lament of the appeal.

Here, the study and then that's a good place to bring a look at it next time as well.

Will repeat the outline them Look at verses six through 12 which you may have gotten down and I pointed out as the first renewal of the lament now here's the interesting thing sometimes you do get these things repeated in the Psalms, but it is characteristic of the Psalms. When you get a repetition.

It's not merely a repetition always goes a little bit beyond what he said before.

Remember what he said at the beginning when he was uttering his lament is that he suffered anything wrong on his fault here.

The new thing in these verses. Verses six through 12 as it is explaining why he's being unjustly attacked and that anything wrong with our talking and for some reason. And here's the reason it is verse seven. For your sake. Verse eight because zeal for your house consumes me to do comparative studies or find that last phrase is parallel to Jeremiah 1515, where the prophet said that he suffered reproach for God's sake, and even more than that point reminds us of Jesus words in the sermon on the mount when he was talking about his own people suffering for righteousness sake.

He said blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven in the Senate again. We didn't get it very well.

I guess the first times I repeated it. In other words, Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

So keywords they are because of righteousness and because of me exactly what David is saying in the song reasonings being persecuted is because he takes his stand with God standing for righteousness and this is a very unrighteous world. When we think in terms of being persecuted, we ought to bear that in mind, the only persecution the only suffering is worth anything in the spiritual battle is that which is for righteousness sake. I know a lot of Christians are persecuted and they deserve it I were in the place of their neighbors.

I persecute myself and obnoxious.

I think in a somewhat humorous vein of the Joe Bailey are just right for eternity magazine years ago will call the gospel blimp. I don't know if you ever read that whole facetious story about this group of Christians in the Midwestern town. The get the idea that they want to evangelize the town so they raise a lot of money. I think this would be any way to do it. What we will do is buy a blimp will paint slogans on it like Jesus say this or repent or burn in hell. Things like that that are gentle and persuasive and and fly that blimp around the city and so they do Bailey described how the neighbors take that pretty good humor really like that overhead that it's not really causing much problem. Really, nothing happens. Nobody is really evangelizing some Christians will block blimp I want investment in this particular project. Aside once I got this thing I can fly over everybody's house should use it to drop leaflets or tracks that telling the gospel in no uncertain language and so for a period of time. This thing is flying over dropping garbage and everybody's backyard and the people still think that pretty well until the Christians decide well as long as I got that thing going over is up in the sky, they might as well equipment with sound and and so they they begin to deliver gospel messages from the air by sound and addressable level that exit impossible for anybody to escape gospel witness and point the persecution begins, and I say all yeah well you know after respect, persecution for righteousness sake. What Bailey says of course is that they're not being persecuted for righteousness sake of all living persecuted is nuisance. Other disturbing the public peace.

I deserve the persecution now that is not our talking about here going about the kind of persecution that comes to the godly because they stand for righteousness. Now two lines in the section are explicitly identified with Jesus in the New Testament maybe notice that already. The first is the first half of verse nine zeal for your house consumes me to find that in John's Gospel in the second chapter verse 17, John tells us that the disciples remember this verse and applied it to Jesus. On that occasion when he cleansed the temple.

They set yes you for your house consumes me. That's exactly what's happening with Jesus Christ that the second section of this lift is quoted in the New Testament as a second half of the same verse, verse nine which says the insults of those who insult to fall on me. Paul applies this to Jesus in Romans 15 verse three we were studying that some time ago we saw how we did it. Paul's point there in the 15th chapter is that Jesus became an example for us in his behavior and the way he handled the insults that were dumped upon him because he stood righteousness himself what he saying is you and I ought to behave like Jesus Christ. And if we suffer as Jesus Christ did, and especially we should behave like Jesus Christ. Now, with that in mind want to go back to this first portion of the Psalm and begin to look at it in terms of the experience of Jesus Christ we have two verses here directly apply it to his life and is bearing the site what do we learn from these verses about the kind of things that Jesus must've endured for the sake of the gospel in our salvation. Well begin to look at that you go back to the first section, verse four, particularly you find this reference to enemies Sam is that a lot of enemies and Jesus did to censuses referred to Jesus or can be any doubt about this application. When you read the Gospels and understands exactly what I man all kinds of enemies all those who are in positions of power and authority as would been up to.

Before Jesus Christ can exit the problem was before Jesus Christ came these leaders of the people were highly regarded all day with the ministers they were the judges. They were the politicians and everybody sort of courted and then along comes Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ really is righteous.

So when they looked at Jesus on the one hand, and they looked at these men to whom they have looked with such approbation before.

It was an enormous difference in these men now began to look like sinners and they didn't like it so they became his enemies and they hated him because ask about a causing him because of themselves. They were sinners, but I was the reason you see hated him for righteousness sake verse eight talked about his brothers and a stranger to my brothers, probably applies to David is the author but also applies to Jesus Christ. We know we are brothers and sisters release six of the family. After Jesus was born of Mary did not know Joseph before the birth was a virgin birth, conceived by the miracle of the work of the Holy Spirit. But after that they had a normal marriage were a lot of children we have the names of some of them in Mark six names of four sons released two daughters names of the daughters are givens of his great big family.

Seven coming.

Jesus now like family. Even when people are on the good behavior you get a lot of friction and got somebody in the family that's trying to be good raise even more friction is hard to live with near perfection. Anybody was with me, knows how difficult it is to live with near perfection but imagine trying to live with perfection, which was the case with Jesus Christ. There was certainly a lot of tension in the household. When you begin to think about that makes you admire Mary a lot more than you did before somebody yelled altogether right and as we read the Gospels we may learn something about his brother and that they thought as soon very secular man. They knew that Jesus was special and they were aware that he had miraculous powers and they said on one occasion person standing here in the country and the boondoggles doing your miracles.

Nobody can pay any attention to you is going to Jerusalem and get some attention as they probably thought that he captured attention became somebody important role in that.

Come along. You know, they'd be the brothers they get positions of power to make her thinking like the advertising agency and they were looking for political favors and Jesus had to turn that down. But please brothers didn't understand the endured a lot of hostility from them you have any trouble in your family be a brothers, sisters, father, mother, cousins, whatever it may be that really don't think very much of you because you're a Christian, Jesus Christ went through the same thing about verse 11 talks about Jesus being a byword of the people. It is a problem or what that particular proverb was that we can easily imagine it because people begin to invent slang phrases for dealing with people they don't like to generation or so ago when students were on campus may went to a Bible study or something.

Call them holy Joe's or Christ or sometimes as a sort of old-fashioned today. Today we speak about the radical right of the God squad or a religious nuts or perhaps things even worse than that, that sort of apartment they did with Jesus the other slang words for him at goody-goody, whatever it may be that goes around talking about God, things like that. He suffered that became a byword of the people.

Verse 12 that the ruler spoke against Moses sit in the gate.

That's a phrase that you find throughout the Old Testament of those who were the elders of the people leaders side in the gate and went issues had to be decidedly brought it to the elders, they decided among themselves. The person sat in the gate was highly regarded, but was these people were speaking against Jesus because he was a threat to them. Of course, as we saw a moment ago finally verse 12 is even a reference to the drunkards.

I was the song of the drunkards. Solomon reminds us in the Proverbs of fools make up mock sin, but here are fools making a mark of righteousness, even Jesus Christ in his lifetime. Jesus endured all kinds of insults for our sake member on one occasion when Jesus showed that in their attempts to kill and they were just doing what their fathers are done to the prophet say kill all the prophets before and I got angry at that. He said you're doing the things your father doesn't like turn on and we laugh and they accused him of being illegitimate must've heard rumors the fact that he was born relatively early in the relationship between Mary and Joseph so there suggesting must've been conceived out of wedlock.

Okay I say to them, well at least we're not illegitimate children. Recall that that reference Jesus course new is true birth took the insult call my buddy remind them of their ancestor that your sons of your father was the devil. And like that either course. But he said the devil is a murderer from the beginning, and you're going about trying to kill me. So you're showing your true ancestors see how they were insulting them, and cast out demons. He said he doesn't by the power of the devil what he was hanging on the cross Lake market with his claims.

I said is that man is set is the son of God, to tear the temple nonresident down from the cross and you think you're really the son of God, and then will believe on you, even in his cube suffering and dying their agony on the cross. They were making fun of them. See if there was ever an example of one who was willing to bear the worst scorn, hostility, persecution and suffering.

The world could inflict the sake of righteousness for our salvation was Jesus Christ. And so it becomes an example to us just about in the next section, verses 13 through 18 are a renewal of lease almost plea for help. I remember you got lament of the plea for help of the first four verses then you got a renewal of the lament here you have renewal of the plea for help. One of the themes defined in the first four verses recur here in verses 13 to 18 refers again to the mire and the danger of sinking entity talks about deep waters of the flood is one new MHS image of a pet and its mouth is about to close over this.

Almost all of that means referring to his sister, often because the cisterns were deep in the money fell in the money wouldn't be able to get out again at installment put over the top got a protected key people from falling into a fence around your swimming pool.

So if you have an image here of a man in the pit and it's about to close its mouth over not just an image of being buried alive really what that's referring to. And so he says that's what is going through. There's a new idea in the stands. It talks about David as God's servants, and therefore of Jesus, as well as a servant of God makes us think that once of the great servant Psalms and Isaiah found there in the middle of the book's chapters 42, 49, 50, 53, 53, is the one we know best.

All that points to Jesus as a servant of God. He said the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. What you have here is not something that is directly quoted in the New Testament about Jesus Christ. But the theme certainly finds its fulfillment in him was the point at which we want to stop. I want to stop with this thought all of this, Jesus is to be an example for us. We have been told by Jesus that if we seek to please God. We will be hated by the world because were not of the world where to bear. Suffering for his sake by retaliating patiently out of the by our conduct, people might be one to the Savior.

The only point I end with is this although that is a great privilege and the challenge of something that you ally ourselves cannot do is not in us. Naturally turn the cheek to return good for evil to endure suffering patiently what is in our hearts is the natural human instinct to fight back is a David is fighting back. Reason David is fighting back is that he is responding in the spirit of the master would claimed you and I are going to live for Jesus Christ to be close to Jesus Christ and I have to live his life in his spirit, and do it day by day because it's an situations just like this.

He is glorified in people come to see his grace, and trust him for salvation prayer father were thankful for what we have been able to study here tonight in the first half of this great messianic song. So many things here that apply to loss we see in the life of David things are reflected our own experience. We also see Jesus Christ enduring similar suffering for the sake of our salvation. We don't suffer in order to save people in our suffering. The way we endure, and were able by your grace to point people to Jesus showed us how to go through such times, we pray that you give us grace to do that.

So take whatever happens to us this week or next week or month ahead, whatever it may be a time where in the same situation the world retaliate with hatred was grace to take that situation. Turn it over to you because we draw close to you and pray for the anguish of our heart live in a way that actually brings glory to your name we pray in the name of our Savior. Thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars and churchmen who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church. To learn more about the alliance visit alliance net.org and while you're there, visit our online store reformed resources. You can find messages and books from Dr. Boyce and other outstanding teachers and theologians, or ask for a free reformed resources catalog by calling 1-800-488-1888. Please take the time to write to us and share how the Bible study our has impacted you. We love to hear from you and pray for you.

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