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Bible Commentaries

The Church Pulpit Commentary

Psalms 40

Verses 1-17

Psalms 38

Proper Psalm for Ash Wednesday ( Morning).

Psalms 38-40 = Day 8 ( Morning).

Verse 7


‘Then said I, Lo, I come.’

Psalms 40:7

I. When did Christ say these words?—To what date does ‘then’ refer? No numbers can reckon up the ages back, and no mind can fathom the depth of that eternity past since Christ’s advent-note was first heard, when the ‘decree’ was written in that volume, and that act of our Lord’s dedication of Himself for man took place. For ever and for ever he said, ‘I come.’ The word translated ‘I come’ literally means ‘I am come.’ So that, in the language that is used here, there is the very mystery of the eternal, omnipresent now which makes Godhead. It is always past; it is always present; it is always future. ‘I come.’

II. In the archives of eternity the mystery has stood for ages.—‘Lo, I come.’ Our first parents had scarcely fallen before it met them in the sacrifice of the daily altar. It was shadowed in the law of Moses; it was the note of the Angel in the wilderness, the Angel of the Church, the Lord Jesus. John the Baptist heard it in the desert, and the heavenly host sang it on the hills of Bethlehem. Every day and every hour it is heard in every believer’s soul; and stretching on now to greater things yet to come, it is the clear trumpet-note of the whole Church’s hope, ‘Lo, I come.’

III. The words carry with them another truth: Wherever there is difficulty, wherever there is sin, or sorrrow, or need, in proportion as the difficulty, sin, sorrow, need, become extreme, there Jesus comes. It is not one, but a long series of advents, Jesus coming nearer to us and we, as we are drawn, coming a little nearer to Him, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. It is so the work is done, and it is so that the union becomes established between a sinner and Christ, that union which can never be broken for ever and for ever.

Rev. James Vaughan.


‘The fortieth psalm, being subjectively Messianic, gives us the inner meaning of the Passion. It is, so to speak, the theological counterpart of the twenty-second. The twenty-second gives us the Atonement in the realm of fact, the fortieth in the realm of idea. The former speaks of the Crucifixion of the Body in the sight of man, the latter of the Crucifixion of the Will in the sight of God.’

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Psalms 40". The Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.