November 02, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
Reproach and a Broken Heart
Reproach, shame, and dishonor … adversaries …
Psalm 69 is one of the most frequently quoted Psalms in the New Testament. On at least eight occasions the Spirit of God dips into the heart of this Psalm to give us some of the feelings of our Lord Jesus Christ. While His sufferings crested at Calvary and there assumed new dimensions and experiences never known before, the deep feelings of His soul and His sorrow of which this Psalm speak were also true through His life. In it we see two great contrasting truths:
His Treatment from Men
He was Repudiated by His family. He was an “alien to His mother’s children.” They viewed Him as a stranger, someone from “another world,” which He was. But they viewed Him as such because He did not have the same values they had (John 7:1-9). If, as is likely the case, He had supported them after the death of Joseph, it only adds ingratitude to their insensitivity and blindness.
He was Rejected by the nation. He was a stranger to His brethren, the nation of Israel. They despised Him and did not value Him. He was without all the hallmarks of a great leader in their eyes. He gathered no important personages around Himself. He boasted of no great agenda. He did not possess the bravado and arrogance so needed by the political leader. He was a peasant carpenter, an itinerant preacher, a friend of publicans and sinners.
He was Reviled by the enemies of God (v 9). The natural enmity of the heart of man against God was expressed toward Him. It could not be otherwise. He Who had come to reveal God in His fullness, would endure the totality of human hatred toward God.
He was Ridiculed by the drunkards (v 12). Their ballads over their beer were about Him. They took His pure name upon their drunken lips and sang mockingly of Him. It should cause us to pause and worship God for His longsuffering and mercy to the sons of men – that we would blaspheme that lovely name and use it to entertain ourselves!
He was Renounced by the judges. Those who were the judges of the nation, sitting in the gates of administration, judged Him worthy of death. In their deliberations and conspiracy, they had no other plan than His destruction, His cutting off.
His Trust in God
In contrast, we see the perfect and unwavering trust of the Lord Jesus. It is expressed in His
Contentment with God’s Time. “But as for me … in an acceptable time” (v 13). He would, in faith, wait for God’s time of vindication. It has happened in part at His resurrection, but awaits a future day for total and final vindication.
His Comfort in God’s Tender-mercies.
Amidst the sufferings of the cross, He spoke of the tender-mercies of His God. No self-pity was found in His words. No voice of complaint or self-justification. His was a worshiping heart while it was being crushed by a righteous God.
His Concern for Truth
(v13), “In the truth of Thy salvation.” whatever happened must be consistent with the salvation He was procuring. No compromise, no limitation must be allowed. The work must be accomplished. In infinite grace, He bowed Himself to all that the cross demanded while giving God all God ever desired from a Man.
1. Look up all the references to Psalm 69 in the New Testament and notice the context of each.
2. Why do you think the section dealing with the Lord’s sufferings (vv 1-21) ends with the mention of the gall and vinegar? Would it point to the insensitivity and ignorance concerning His sufferings of those who crucified Him?
3. Notice some of the metaphors for His suffering: sinking, swallowed up, in a storm, the shutting of the mouth of the pit…