In David’s Psalm 40 we see glimpses of what’s anticipated through the Lord’s Son Jesus Christ:
Psalm 40:6 – “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.”
David knows that God is more interested in the heart behind the person offering an animal sacrifice than the actual animal sacrifice. What pleases the Lord is a person who is fully surrendered to Him. The author of Hebrews is later going to say that our faith pleases the Lord – “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Sins are atoned for by the shedding of the blood of the innocent. The sacrificial system does not take away sins, but it reminds people of their sin and their need for a Savior. The sacrificial system points to the Savior, Jesus Christ, who is coming to remove sin through the shedding of His innocent blood. Anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ will be washed clean of their sin and reconciled to the Lord. Later in the story, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the author of Hebrews will quote David while explaining the concept of substitutionary atonement to the Jews. The author will say that the Lord does away with the first, the sacrificial system, in order to establish the second, salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:1-10).
Psalm 40:7-8 – “Then I said, Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.”
Jesus is willingly coming, as written about throughout Scripture, to fulfill the law which no human can. The Lord has set the plan for salvation in motion, but Jesus will have to be born as a man, live a perfect life, be crucified as the final sacrifice, and rise from the grave in order to finish the work His Father willed. And when Jesus arrives on the scene, He will say, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18). Jesus will do for us what we can not do for ourselves. He will complete the works of our salvation.
Psalm 40:9-10 – “I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, You Yourself know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly.”
David was compelled to proclaim the faithfulness and goodness of the Lord, and when Jesus Christ arrives, He will do the same. Charles Spurgeon said that Jesus was “the Prince of open-air preachers, the Great Itinerant, the President of the College of all preachers of the gospel.”
Paul will also be compelled to share the Good News of Christ after he encounters Jesus. In a letter to the Corinthians, Paul will say – “Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you too, like David and Paul, will be compelled by the Holy Spirit to share the Good News of salvation with others. All who have been saved by grace through faith have a testimony to share, but there is no greater testimony than Jesus Christ’s. That is why it is so important to know His story – so keep reading! (Psalms 39-41, Psalms 53, 55, 58)