Vs. 1-10 tell of God’s plan to save through Jesus Christ;
Vs. 11-17 tell of God’s purpose in that plan.
That this was written by David is of little doubt; that it was written about David, is for complete doubt! David did not know the “sacrifices and offerings” of Moses’ Lawwere not completely adequate for sins (vs.6); nor was he written about “in the scroll of the Book” that before he was born, he was completely devoted to obeying God’s will (vs.7-8)!
This entire Psalm is about Jesus Christ, and that fact is clearly seen in Hebrews 10.
David, in prophesying the future, did not know to whom it applied, or when this prophecy would be fulfilled (1 Peter 1:10-12), but the Holy Spirit who guided the words (2 Peter 1:20-21) did know! And it is the Holy Spirit who guided New Testament writers to show the fulfillment.
Verses 1-2: God’s work in the death and resurrection of Jesus, “who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:7-9). “Horrible pit,” and “miry clay” can describe death out of which He was delivered (2 Corinthians 5:15).
Verses 3-4: The “new song” is for those who trust God instead of men (1 Timothy 4:10).
Verse 5: God’s works are too numerous to recount, as Jesus’ deeds were (John 21:25).
Verses 6-8: Quoted in Hebrews 10:5-9 to show that Jesus’ body was devoted as the perfect sacrifice for sins for all time (Hebrews 10:12). Psalm 40:6-8 gives the purpose for Jesus’ first coming, and in Hebrews is prefaced with: “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering…’”(Hebrews 10:5). Whether this was said in Heaven or on earth, it is the stated purpose for Jesus, who “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). Jesus’ death on the cross ended the Law of Moses (Hebrews 10:11-14).
Verse 6: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;”
“Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require” [to completely remove sins, jtpII] = animal sacrifices and grain offerings were never intended by God to remove all sin, Hebrews 10:1-4, 8;
“My ears You have opened” [listening to obey, jtpII] = “a body” for obedience Hebrews 10:5;
Verse 7: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart’” = (John 6:38, 40);
Verses 9-10: Jesus’ proclaimed the “good news of righteousness,” as Paul taught: “Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come—‘that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles’” (Acts 26:22-23). Jesus told disciples: “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).
Verses 11-17: The Gospel of Jesus Christ shows God’s: “tender mercies,” “lovingkindness,” and “truth,” for sinners.
Verse 12 mentions “innumerable evils” that crucified Jesus (Acts 3:13-17; 13:26-30; Matthew 27:17-18). Jesus had no personal sin (1 Peter 2:21-22; 1 John 3:5), but our sins became for Him “My iniquities” (Isaiah 53:4-8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18). “Therefore my heart fails me” was physically true, for Jesus died before soldiers came to hasten it (John 19:31-37).
Verses 13-17 make a plea that God would justly deal with those who refused to come to Jesus’ cross and obey Him (Mark 16:15-16).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.