I Waited Patiently for Jehovah

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In Psalm 40 we have Christ taking the place of patience without failure, and so furnishing a ground for confidence even for those who failed, by taking His place with the remnant, (who after all were the saints upon the earth, the excellent) in their sorrows, and the path of integrity on the earth. Nor does He fail in this to place Himself under the burden of evil and sins under which Israel had brought itself. We know it in yet a deeper way; this way is not looked at here. But the way in which Christ identifies Himself with Israel, though in the integrity of the upright remnant, is profoundly instructive, and leads us into a wonderful apprehension of a special part of His sorrows. His death, and the sorrows of His death, are not viewed as atoning, or bearing of wrath, but as sorrows and suffering and grief. Here God is viewed as helping Christ when in sorrow, in which He is, and in which He waits on Jehovah. It lay on the remnant, as in Israel’s opposition, because of their faults and departure from God. Christ, who had been (as He states in this psalm) faithful to God in everything, enters into this sorrow in heavenly grace.
It is not His own relationship to God, but His entering into the remnant’s as connected with Israel. His own had been perfect: theirs, though founded on Jehovah’s faithfulness on one side, was actually the fruit of sin. It is further at the close of His life. It is morally closed as to service. During that He had been doing God’s will in the body prepared for Him, and faithfully declaring God’s righteousness in the great congregation, that is, publicly in Israel. Now, and as regards man (and so it will be with the remnant — their trials will come on them from the proud, because of their faithfulness and testimony: only they will have deserved it, as themselves involved in the sins of the people), because of this faithful testimony, the evils come upon Him. So, we know it was with Christ historically. His hour was come for it — the hour of His enemies and of the power of darkness.
It is Christ’s perfect life, and sorrows at the close of it, in which He refers to the faithfulness and goodness of Jehovah, so as to lead His people to confide in it, instructing them in this in which His perfection was shown. “I waited patiently for Jehovah”; patience had its perfect work — an immense lesson for us.
Flesh can wait long, but not till the Lord comes in, it cannot wait in perfect submission; and confiding only in His strength and faithfulness so as to be perfect in obedience and in the will of God. Saul waited nearly seven days, but the confidence of the flesh was melting away — his army; the Philistines, the proud enemies were there. He did not wait on till the Lord came in with Samuel. Had he obeyed and felt he could do nothing, and had only to obey and wait, he would have said, I can do nothing, and I ought to do nothing, till the Lord comes by Samuel. Flesh trusted its own wisdom, and looked to its own force, though with pious forms. All was lost. It was flesh which was tried and failed. Christ was tried: He waited patiently for Jehovah. He was perfect and complete in all the will of God. And this is our path through grace.
This is the great personal instruction of this psalm. Here He gives Himself as the pattern. “I waited patiently for Jehovah” — that is, till Jehovah Himself came in. His own will never moved, though fully put to the test. Hence it was perfectness. He would have no other deliverance but His. His heart was wholly right: He would not have a deliverance which was not Jehovah’s. This is a very important point as to the state of the heart; it would not have another than Jehovah’s. Besides, it knows that there is no other, and that Jehovah is perfectly right, when His moral will has been perfectly made good, and His righteousness vindicated when needed. There is the known perfectness of His will — His only title, and then perfectness of submission and the desire of only Him.
This sure faithfulness of grace — the deliverance of God manifested in One who had gone to the depths of trials — would be a resting-place for the faith of others, the rather as He had gone into it as the consequence of the state of the people in the sight of God. Hence it is applied to the condition of the remnant, though thus true of every saint in trial by others’ wickedness and the power of evil, perhaps brought on himself. “Blessed is the man that maketh Jehovah his trust, and respecteth not the proud.”
J.N. Darby (adapted)