Scripture Note.

p. 251.

Psalm 40:7-8; Hebrews 10:7.

Although the passage in Hebrews is a citation from the psalm, there is a striking omission of a word. In the epistle it is simply, "Lo, I come … to do" (not, I delight to do) "Thy will, O God." This is the more remarkable inasmuch as the Septuagint, that is, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, from which all the quotations in the epistle to the Hebrews are taken, contains a word answering to "delight." But an explanation of the omission may be found in the character of the psalm as contrasted with Hebrews 10. There is no atonement in Psalm 40. Christ comes into this scene, takes the place of a servant, pursues in patient grace the perfect path of God's will, associates Himself with the believing remnant (see vv. 3, 5, 16), preaches righteousness, etc., in the great congregation, does not refrain His lips, nor conceal God's loving-kindness and truth from His people, presses forward through all the trials and sorrows that come upon Him by reason of His obedience and fidelity to God, and, reaching the cross, confesses the sins of His people (v. 12), even though He is brought thereby into a "horrible pit" and the "miry clay." But, as the reader will notice, there is no forsaking, as in Psalm 22, and, indeed, no actual death. It is therefore the path of the obedient One in this psalm, with all that this path involved, up to the moment of His full identification with "His own" in confessing their sins; but it does not include His atoning death upon the cross. On this very account it is that He can say in the psalm, "I delight to do Thy will," even as He said when on earth, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work." (John 4:34.) When, however, we come to the epistle to the Hebrews it is different. Here it is wholly the death of Christ that is brought before our minds, and the death of Christ as atonement, as the "one sacrifice for sins" (vv. 10, 12, 14); and this involved, as we know, His being forsaken on the cross. In the contemplation of this, it was impossible for Him, being what He was, to say, "I delight to do Thy will;" for, indeed, while Satan was pressing the prospect of death upon His soul in the garden, He cried, "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt." (Matt. 26:39.) It was a part of His perfection to shrink from death, and such a death wherein all God's waves and all His billows would roll over His holy soul. Hence it is, in accord with this, that the Spirit of God has caused the word "delight" to be omitted in Hebrews 10. How precious to the spiritual mind are these various indications of the perfect wisdom of our God! And how instructive to linger in meditation on these distinctions in His word! E. D.

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In the division of the family into fathers, young men, and babes (1 John 2), we have the characteristic expression of that Eternal Life, which all alike have received (1 John 5:13), according to their various degrees of growth and intelligence.