Psalm 69:8-9

Psalm 69:8‑9  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
8I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. 9For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. (Psalm 69:8‑9)It is in no wise to be inferred from this scripture that natural relationships may be refused. To be "without natural affection" is one of the features of the "perilous times." (2 Tim. 3) What we have here is wholly different. Before the commencement of our Lord's public ministry He was, as we read, "subject unto" Joseph and Mary. In this relationship, as in every other, He was perfect, and, as such, our blessed example. But when, after His baptism and anointing, He entered upon His service, come as He was to do the will of God, He, as the true Nazarite, had "the consecration of His God upon His head;" and hence, until His work was finished, He was devoted solely and entirely to the glory of God. The claims of God henceforward absorbed Him, the zeal of His Father's house consumed Him; and consequently He became a stranger unto His brethren, and an alien unto His mother's children. When therefore on one occasion some one interrupted Him, and said, "Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee," He answered, " Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?"* &c. When, moreover, at the marriage feast of Cana of Galilee His mother came to Him with a suggestion as to the wine, He replied, " Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come." But when His work was ended, one thing only remaining to be accomplished, He, in the infinite tenderness of His perfect love in the relationship towards Mary which He had condescended to assume, committed her, ere " He bowed His head and gave up the ghost," to the care of the disciple whom He loved. The application to ourselves is evident. Every relationship in which we are set is to be diligently observed. (See Eph. 5:22;6: 1-922Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22); Col. 3:18;4: 118Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (Colossians 3:18)) If, however, the Lord calls to special service His claims are paramount, and, it might almost be added, exclusive. Accordingly, when He said to one, "Follow me," and he replied, "Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father," Jesus said unto him, "Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." So likewise Levi at the word of Christ "left all, rose up, and followed Him." (Compare Deut. 33:8,98And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; 9Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant. (Deuteronomy 33:8‑9)) True that every believer is now a Nazarite, a Nazarite from his birth (the new birth); but it is not every believer who is a Nazarite according to Num. 6, one, that is, who, in the energy of the Holy Ghost, is devoted, as Paul, for example, was, wholly and entirely to the Lord and His claims. To this privilege but few attain, even though it is proffered to many. If, however, we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts.
(* We do not speak hero of the symbolic import of these words.)
Next, as to the sacrifice itself, weighty principles are contained in it. No sin could be forgiven without a sacrifice or offering for sin. This particularly characterizes this part of the instructions as to sacrifice. If one failed to discover what he knew, when adjured, if he hid sin, or touched, without even knowing it, what was unclean, when he was aware of it he was guilty. No poverty could bring compassion into play without an offering. Let one be ever so dull in the apprehension of sin, or, consequently, of atonement, still guilt was there if evil was touched. On the other hand, if truth of purpose was there in owning it, and owning it in such sort that the need of atonement before God was felt, which alone, consequently, is recognized as owning sin, the poverty of apprehension does not hinder the perfect forgiveness. That rests on the value of the sacrifice; only Christ must be seen as a Sacrifice for sin, as One rejected, a Sin-bearer for us. The fact of its being fine flour without blood hardly affects the principle of blood-shedding. It comes where blood-shedding is universally required for sin, and is only an exception, in view of poverty, to show that in no case without a sin-offering is there forgiveness, and carries, as an exceptional case, the character of blood along with it as the principle. It is not that one kind of sin requires blood and another not; but incapacity by poverty puts this in place of a bloody offering, and it is so accounted. Only if a real sense of needed atonement be there, the want of apprehension of the full import of sin and death, that is, of Christ's death and blood-shedding, will not prevent the getting the benefit of that death and blood-shedding.
J. N. D.