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David’s Greater Son

Psalm 69:5 (ESV) … “O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.”

Psalm 69 has long been considered Davidic even though there is nothing in David’s life which resembles the things he says. Those who deny the Davidic authorship forget that David was not only a poet; he was also a prophet. That is the key to this psalm. From beginning to end it points forward to Christ. This is not about David, but about great David’s greater Son.

This psalm is in three parts, clearly discernable by the change of person in the pronouns. In verses 1–21 we take our stand on a skull-shaped hill outside the walls of Jerusalem. They are nailing our Lord to the tree. There He hangs in agony and blood. We hear a cry, a tearful cry, the cry of a tragic victim. The pronouns are all the first person singular—I, me, my.

In verses 22–28 there is a sudden, startling change. These verses record some of the most terrible imprecations in the Bible. Curse after curse falls from the lips of the Lord. We take our stand on a blood-soaked battlefield. The armies of the earth have been drawn to Armageddon. The curse of God is upon them. We hear a blood-chilling, terrible cry, the cry of titanic vengeance. On earth our Lord never cursed anyone, He only blessed; but this is the day of God’s wrath and a world which rejected His blessing must now face His curse. The pronouns are in the third person plural—they, them, their.

In verses 29–36 there is yet another change. Now we take our final stand on a blessed and renovated earth. The promise of the rainbow has been fulfilled and the glorious millennial day has dawned. The dark shadows all have fled, the earth has been cleansed, a redeemed people can look forward to a thousand years of peace, prosperity, and praise. We hear the same voice raised in a cry, only this time it is a triumphant cry of victory. The pronouns are all in the third person singular—he, him, his.

As for our focal verse 5, that was David speaking. Surely Jesus could never have spoken like that! How could He possibly talk of His “foolishness” and of His “sins”? Only by identification. He took our foolishness, took our sins, made them really and truly His own, became so identified with them that He could speak of them as His! Here, indeed, we need to stand with bowed head and broken heart and confess that this dimension of Calvary is beyond us. We believe it, but we cannot understand it. Here is a mystery of love and woe beyond all thought. It was for this, however, that He came into the world. This was part of that plan hammered out in a past eternity—for the triune God foreknew that if once They acted in creation They would also have to act in redemption.[1]

[1] Phillips, J. (2009). Exploring Psalms 1–88: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 1, Ps 69:5–6). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

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