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The greater part of this Psalm is written in a way of prayer; and some portions of it in a way of prophecy: It forms a very important subject, in which the Church is highly concerned.
To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.
From the authority of the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of his servant Peter, we are not only warranted to apply the predictions in this Psalm to the person and character of the apostate Judas, and his seed, but it would be rather dangerous to suppose it to refer originally to any other. See Acts 1:20 . And as the denunciations here delivered by David under the spirit of prophecy, plainly, from this authority, refer to Judas, so it is blessed to see also that by the same spirit David is speaking in the person of Jesus. Reader! I pray you to keep the recollection of these two grand principles uppermost in your mind, as you go through this Psalm; and permit me to remark, concerning those great points at the opening of the Psalm, that it is from the want of not having a right apprehension of them, that so many (otherwise pious persons) neglect to join in the reading of it in our churches when it forms a part in the service of the day. They do not recollect that it is Judas concerning whom those predictions are uttered; neither do they recollect that they are spoken by, and in the person of Christ, against that traitor. But considered in this light, and as the Lord's denunciation against Judas, they form an interesting part in the doctrine of the cross, and in which all the friends and followers of the Lord Jesus must most heartily join. Psalms 139:21-22 . Let us now in this light attend to the cries of Jesus, as set forth in this prayer, and delight ourselves in tracing Him as the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, when for us he made his soul an offering for sin.
If, while we read these words, we call to our recollection Psalms 22:0 and Psalms 69:0 , we shall perceive an obvious correspondence. John the Evangelist tells us, that the Jews charged Christ with being a Samaritan, and having a devil; John 8:48 ; and how very striking is that passage: for the love that I had to them (saith Jesus) they are my adversaries. Yes! it was solely for Christ's opening his commission as the Messiah, that their hatred was called forth. For a good work say they, we stone thee not, but for blasphemy: and because that thou being a man, makest thyself God. John 15:25; John 15:25 .
We cannot be at a loss to discover to whom Christ here refers; when Jesus had dipped the sop at the table, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon; and after the sop, Satan entered into him. Here we see the prediction fulfilled; John 13:26-27 . The expression of Satan standing at his right hand, is perhaps in conformity to a proverbial method of speaking: meaning as an Adversary to accuse, after having acted as a Tempter to lead into sin. Zechariah 3:1-2 . Reader! do not fail to observe the awfulness of the great doctrine contained in this passage. Satan is the accuser of all the brethren. And he who entered the heart of Judas, when Christ had given him the sop, would enter every heart, if Jesus did not restrain him. Recollect the remarkable case of Peter. The Lord Jesus told the apostle, that Satan desired to have him, that he might sift him as wheat. And what prevented? The powers of Christ's intercession: I have prayed for thee, saith Jesus. Precious, precious Lord! Do I not see: am I not fully convinced, that to the everlasting efficacy of thy blood and righteousness, must be ascribed the salvation of thy whole church, in every individual member of it, and that Satan's power is restrained? Pause, Reader! and behold the decided marks, in those instances, of distinguishing sovereign grace. Behold Peter, kept by the power of our God through faith unto salvation. See Satan entering into Judas the son of perdition! and connect with both, that view which the Holy Ghost hath given the church by his servant John and begin now to sing that song, which ere long will be sung in one loud and universal chorus, of all the redeemed in glory, of the accuser of the brethren being cast down, whom they have overcome by the blood of the Lamb. Luke 22:31-32 ; 1 Peter 1:5 ; John 17:12 ; Revelation 12:9-11 .
As the authority we have for applying all that is here said in a way of denunciation, to the person of Judas, is derived particularly from the apostle Peter's quoting this passage in direct reference to him, I beg the Reader to turn to it, Acts 1:0 and read the Apostle's whole address by way of confirmation to the point, from Acts 1:15 to the end. It wilt at once illustrate the whole doctrine.
All these awful predictions, let the Reader remember, are spoken of a particular person, and that person, we have seen, is Judas. But that the Judas's of every age and generation are equally implicated, is evident, because his children, that is the followers of his principles, haters of Christ and his gospel, are said to be cut off, and their names blotted out. Hence it is worthy the Reader's observation, that what the apostle Peter quotes from a passage in Psalms 69:25 , in direct reference to the person of Judas, is in that very passage spoken in reference also to his seed. Let his habitation, saith the apostle, be desolate, and let no man dwell therein. And the Psalmist saith, let their habitation be desolate, and let none dwell in their tents. Compare Acts 1:20 , with Psalms 69:25 . And what is the plain conclusion from those scriptures, but that the followers of Judas in his hatred of Christ, will partake in his punishment? And may we not behold in the Jews to this hour, evident tokens of the fulfillment of this prophecy? Oh! for grace to make a right improvement of distinguishing mercies! Oh! for grace to be sending forth the prayer of faith and hope, for the accomplishment of that blessed promise, that the hour may be at hand, when the Deliverer shall come out of Zion to turn away ungodliness from Jacob! Romans 11:26 .
How beautiful, by way of further illustration, doth this verse here come in! Judas's crime, and that of the whole Jewish nation with him, was the rejection of Christ, the truly poor and needy man, whose heart was broken by the burden of the sins of his people and the rebuke of his Father. Judas saw his agony; and was admitted into his familiar acquaintance: he beheld the meek Lamb of God, and yet betrayed him. Oh! to grace how much are the people of God indebted, for being kept from the unpardonable sin, when in the days of their unregeneracy they are slighting all the sufferings of the Son of God! Psa_69:20; Psa_55:12-15 .
The continuation of the awful consequences of the rejection of Christ, by Judas and his family, is here set forth; and the passage closeth with an assurance that it shall be so. And here I must again remark, in order to keep the remembrance of it alive, as well in my own soul, as in that of the Reader's, that it is Christ, the Amen, the faithful witness, who is the speaker. Of them (saith he) that speak evil against my soul: against Jehovah's Holy One. Reader! do not overlook it: and while contemplating the solemn truth, behold the despisers of Jesus, and rejoice with trembling!
Here we have the blessed Jesus, in his human nature addressing the Father, as in the days of his flesh. How very interesting to his people are those cries! How impossible but to take part in them! and when the soul is led out by faith to view him in all the circum stances of his life and ministry; when performing and finishing redemption-work; what subject can be equally tender and affecting! Reader! turn to that sweet scripture, Hebrews 5:7-9 , and see whether, at every renewed reading of it, somewhat inexpressibly lovely doth not arise out of it, in beholding him, who though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered!
Concerning Christ, we know, that it was prophesied of him, that he had set the Lord always before him, for he was at his right hand, that he should not be moved, Psalms 16:8 . And of him, and him only, did the sacred writer speak, when, describing him by the spirit of prophecy, ages before he came, he said, I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee, Psalms 22:22 . And, that there might be no mistake on this great point, the Holy Ghost afterwards caused it to be confirmed by his servant Paul, when, speaking of Christ and his church as one, he quoted this very passage in direct application to Jesus: For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren; saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee, Hebrews 2:11-12 . And of whom doth the Prophet speak but of Jesus, when in his own person and his church, as one with himself and in himself, he says, I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God, Isaiah 61:10 .
PAUSE, my soul, over the contents of this very, very solemn Psalm. Behold in the traitor Judas, the head and representative of all the despisers of Jesus, the awful but sure consequences of rejecting the Lord of life and glory: and think what must be the end of all such workers of iniquity. If such was the close of that apostate's life, as the scripture records; if such the indignation which fell upon the Jewish nation and their beloved Jerusalem; if such to this hour the wretched state of their posterity; what indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, will fall on those who crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame! Oh! ye despisers of the Godhead of Jesus! Oh! ye who deny the Lord that bought the church with his blood! think, before it be too late, what horrors and alarms will overwhelm the soul when the Son of God shall come in all his glory, and the glory of his Father, to take vengeance on them who would not that he should reign over them.
Look up, my soul, look up by faith, and in the contemplation of the glory that shall be revealed, behold thy Jesus on his throne of grace, dispensing blessings to all his people. See him as a Lamb in the midst of the throne; all power is his, in heaven and in earth. Look to him for every covenant blessing, for in him it hath pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell. Love him who hath so loved thee: live to him who hath both lived and died for thee: and let all thy fresh springs be in him, in whom is the fountain of life, and in whose light alone thou mayest see light. Hail! ever blessed, ever lovely, and all loving Jesus! Blessed be God for Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 109". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28