Here I Am, I Have Come – It Is Written About Me In The Scroll Of The Book
This morning I want to talk about the Incarnation of the Son of God. The Incarnation of the Son of God is one of the most amazing things that ever happened! Think about it:
The One Who Fills All Things emptied Himself.
The Limitless One limited Himself.
The Creator took on the body of a creature.
Why did the Incarnation happen? Because the Creator is full of love and pity for creatures made in His image, but terribly damaged by the Fall. Why did the Incarnation happen? To save us because we could not save ourselves. By becoming a man, to identify with mankind in order to redeem mankind, the Son of God is able to save us from the real and deadly forces of Satan and the demons, sin, the sin nature and death and Hell.
This morning I want to talk about the Incarnation using Psalm 40. I want to consider it in three ways: First, by applying it to King David, who wrote this poem about himself; second, by applying it to the Son of David, the Messiah; and third, by applying it to the followers of the Son of David – to those of us today who follow Messiah Yeshua.
This poem was written by one of the greatest human beings who ever lived – David, divinely inspired prophet; king of Israel; great warrior; poet, musician, builder; a man after God’s heart; a man with whom God made a covenant to establish his family as the ruling dynasty of the Chosen People, and the family through whom the Messiah – the ultimate prophet, king and savior of the world, would come.
David experienced many difficulties in his life that were so serious they could have resulted in his death. Psalm 40 describes one of those life-threatening challenges. David writes: I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him. David was in a life-threatening situation, which he compared to a man in danger of dying in a slimy pit or dungeon, or a man stuck in a muddy swamp and in danger of being an easy target, or pulled under the mud and drowning. He prayed and was confident that the Lord would save him (He set my feet on a rock – a solid, safe place). He was confident that the Lord would give him a happy song to sing, a song of celebration about being rescued. His rescue would impact many and encourage them to trust God even more.
David tells us how to live a happy and successful life in a dangerous world. Ashrey – how very happy is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods! Happiness and successful living come from knowing the true God, and trusting Him and not trusting human beings who are far from Him or trusting any other religious or ideological system.
David praises God for the many good things God did for Him and does for His people. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders You have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with You; were I to speak and tell of Your deeds, they would be too many to declare. The wonders of creation which benefit us in so many ways are beyond counting; the wonders of divine providence – God’s daily, providential care for us are expressed in innumerable ways; the wonders of divine help and intervention like divine revelation and the Exodus from Egypt and acts of individual help, protection and salvation. The God of Israel is the only true God and He alone does these wondrous things. How can God not be inclined to save a man who praises Him like David did?
David affirms that not superficial religion, but a real and close personal relationship to this God of wonders is essential to a happy and victorious life. Sacrifice and offering You did not desire – but my ears You have opened – burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not require. David understood that it’s not that God didn’t want sacrifices and offerings from His people like David. The Lord did. But the Lord wanted much more than religious ceremonies – even if they were God-ordained. The Lord wanted people who really knew Him and His Word, who knew how to listen to Him and were committed to do what they heard Him saying.
David knew he was one of those. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll of the book. I desire to do Your will, my God; Your Torah (Your divinely-inspired teaching) is within my heart.”
David was listening to God and was eager to obey (Here I am, I have come).
David mentions that he was written about in the scroll of the book. In the scroll of the book of the Torah, Moses informs us that the majority of human beings are in rebellion against God, even when engaging in religious ceremonies, but in every generation God will save a faithful remnant; men who, like David, delight to do what God wants and practice the teachings of the Word of God – not in a superficial way, but deep down at the core of their being, in their heart.
David, the king of the Chosen People, an office which is specifically mentioned in the Torah, was one of the faithful remnant who knew God, delighted in the will of God and were committed to the Word of God. Reminding God that he was a man like this, how could God not be inclined to rescue David from his troubles?
David had not been ashamed to tell the rest of the nation of Israel about God. I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as You know. I do not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I speak of Your faithfulness and Your yeshua, Your salvation, Your saving help. I do not conceal Your love and Your truthfulness from the great assembly. David honored God by boldly and publically declaring that he believed in God; that God was righteous – He always did the right things; that God was faithful, reliable and trustworthy; that God was able to save, rescue, deliver and help in all kinds of circumstances; that God loved His people and showed it by giving to them and caring for them; that God was true; He could be counted on to always speak the truth. He would never lie or deceive in any way. David honored God by boldly telling others who God is. How could the Lord not take notice of David’s courageous proclamations and help David because of that?
David was in serious danger, troubled by enemies without and weakened by sins within. But, he was a man who was committed to God, to the proclamation of God, to do the will of God and the Word of God. David continues praying to his God to rescue him, appealing to God’s nature, specifically His attributes of mercy, love and truthfulness. Do not withhold Your mercy from me, Lord; may Your love and faithfulness always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. Sin weakened us and prevents us from seeing God clearly, and seeing God’s ways clearly. Be pleased to save me, Lord; come quickly, Lord, to help me.
He prays that the Lord would defeat and shame his enemies. May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame.
He prays that the friends and allies of God, who are also his friends and allies, would be victorious and happy. But may all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; may those who long for Your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!”
He concludes with some final appeals for help based on his pathetic condition and God’s nature to show pity to the pathetic: But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me.
He appeals for God to help him because God is committed to help His people: You are my help and my deliverer.
He appeals for God to help him because of his relationship to God – which obligates God to act for those who are His people. You are my God, do not delay.
So, this poem for help in a dangerous situation applies to its author, King David. But it also applies to the Son of David, who is even greater than David, and that of course is Messiah Yeshua. While David prayed for help for himself, the Son of God was in no need of help for Himself. But through the Incarnation, He made great help available for the rest of us.
I want to read one part of this poem that especially points to Messiah coming to help us. Sacrifice and offering You did not desire – but my ears You have opened – burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come – it is written about Me in the scroll of the book. I desire to do Your will, My God; Your Torah (Your divinely-inspired teaching) is within My heart.”
If it was written in the Torah that in every generation, a man like David would come, who knew the true God and who wanted to do God’s will and had the Torah in his heart, then how much more is it written in that same Torah about the coming of the One who is greater than David? David’s Son but also David’s Lord? The Son of David and the Son of God; the long-awaited Seed of the Woman, the Messiah, Immanuel – God With Us; a son born to us, but also El Gibor – the Mighty God?
To rescue humanity, God needed someone even greater than a Moses or a David. He needed a perfect human being with ears that were fully open. Sacrifice and offering You did not desire – but my ears You have opened. Through the incarnation, Yeshua became that man! His ears were fully open. There was perfect communication between the Father and the Son. Like a man whose ear was open so that he could hear what God wanted, Yeshua was uniquely able to hear God speaking to Him. He declared: I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge … the things which I heard from God, these I speak to the world. The Messiah heard God perfectly and the Son always obeyed what He heard His Father saying, and perfectly communicated what He heard His Father say.
To save ruined human beings, God needed someone greater than any of the faithful remnant who had come before. He needed a perfect human being who wanted to do the will of God – the entire will of God, from his heart. Through the Incarnation, Yeshua became that man! If David could say he was eager to do the will of God: Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll of the book. I desire to do Your will, my God – how much more could the Son of David talk about His greater coming, through the Incarnation, to do the will of God? And He did! I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. Like a slave whose ear was pierced, indicating the willingness to serve his master, Yeshua willingly and fully served God. Not My will, but Your will, be done was His life-long prayer – even if God’s will required rejection, humiliation, horrible suffering and death.
To redeem a fallen world, God needed a human being greater than David, in whose heart was God’s Torah. Through the Incarnation, Yeshua became that man! He understood the Word of God at the core of who He was. He accurately and beautifully taught the Word of God. Unlike any before or after Him, He perfectly lived the Word of God. Then He suffered and died to fulfill the Word of God.
He understood the Torah better than anyone, including Israel’s greatest prophets or rabbis. Here I am, I have come – Your Torah (Your divinely-inspired teaching) is within My heart.”
He corrected those Jewish leaders who misunderstood the Word of God. When Messiah came into the world through the Incarnation, He understood, like David had understood, that God wanted more than religious rituals. Sacrifice and offering You did not desire. The Lord wanted ears that were open, ears that could hear God; and hearts that knew God. Quoting the words of Isaiah, He proclaimed to some of Israel’s leaders that their religion was as shallow and hypocritical as it was in the days of Isaiah: These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain.
So, this divinely inspired poem applies to its author, King David. He was in trouble. He was a godly man and God saved him. But it also applies to the coming of the Son of David, who is much greater than David. And, this divinely inspired poem also applies to each one of us.
Like David, we are in a very dangerous situation. The enemies we face are real and dangerous. We live in a world ruled by Satan and the demons who want to destroy us. We are surrounded by human beings who are in rebellion against God and will be used to harm us. We are weakened by the sin nature inside of us. Death wants to maintain control of us. Hell is happy to receive us.
Like David, if we are going to be victorious and happy, we need to know the one true and living God, and trust the Lord – not false religions and ideologies and those who arrogantly reject Him.
A real relationship with God only happens when we recognize that Yeshua is the Son of David and the Son of God – fully man and fully God. Then we make a commitment to the Three-In-God, a commitment of loyalty and faithfulness.
We maintain that relation with God by making sure our ears are open. Sacrifice and offering You did not desire – but my ears You have opened. How do our ears get open? By reading the Word of God; by hearing it taught by good teachers; by talking to God ourselves and listening to Him speak to us in His still, small voice – speaking to our minds and hearts. And then by doing what we hear God saying.
We maintain our relationship with God by committing ourselves to do the will of God. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come – I desire to do Your will, my God. How can we do the will of God? By understanding that what God wants is always right; by understanding that what the Creator wants is better than what we want for ourselves; by learning what God wants and doesn’t want. We do the will of God by having the same commitment to do the will of God that David had, that Yeshua had. By praying the same prayer – not my will, not what I want, but Your will, what you want, be done in my life, in every situation I encounter, every choice I make.
We maintain our relationship with God by making sure the Word of God is in our hearts. Your Torah (Your divinely-inspired teaching) is within my heart.” How do we get the Torah, the Word of God, in our heart? By understanding that it is divinely-inspired; by reading it, studying it, meditating on it, making a commitment to guide our life by it, make our choices by it.
And finally, like David, if we know God and want to do the will of God, we need to praise God unashamedly and proclaim Him without embarrassment to those around us.
I like Psalm 40 – a prayer for help from a life-threatening danger from of one of the greatest men who ever lived. And I like that God answered David’s prayer and saved him.
I like Psalm 40 because the coming of David’s descendant, Messiah Yeshua, is hinted at in this Psalm, and because of His Incarnation and perfect life and atoning death and very real resurrection, He is able to save us from our greatest dangers.
And I like Psalm 40, because it teaches us what we need to do to have a relationship with God and maintain a relationship with God, so that He can bless us with victory and happiness in this life – followed by eternal life!
If you do celebrate Christmas, and I believe it is perfectly OK to do so, it is my prayer that these thoughts help you focus on the Incarnation. It is also my prayer for all of us, that Immanuel, who became flesh and forever joined Himself to humanity to save us, becomes more and more incarnate in all of our lives, and the life of those we love!