God bless you in the name of Jesus Christ the surety of a better testament (Hebrews 7:22).
When I first began teaching Psalms 119, I noted the three deviations from the standard form that I mentioned in yesterday’s email. However, the only thing I had to share about them was that they didn’t fit the apparent form the Psalms followed. I would usually handle my lack of understanding by chuckling and saying, “It just goes to show you that when you think you have His Word figured out, He changes things up on us to let us know we are not as smart as we think we are.”
Then when I noticed that God marked each of the variations as important or emphatic with a figure of speech, I began to consider if there were deeper truths hidden in these exceptions. The first two were obvious and easily noticeable, but the third baffled me for quite a while. Then, one day when reading my Companion Bible my eye was draw to a not Bullinger had placed there which read:
“This is the only verse in this Psalms which has not one of the “ten words,” unless we may include the Living Word Himself, Who is the “surety” for His people.”
The use of “surety” in verse 122 is the figure of speech, type. E.W. Bullinger points out in Figures of Speech Used in the Bible that most things theologians call types should not be. Indeed, he asserts that a type should never be so called but for subsequent revelation that clearly declares it as such. (Which Hebrews 7:22 seems to do.) So perhaps we ought to call this a shadow or an analogy or an illustration rather than a type. But for our purposes here let’s use “type” for simplicity.
Psalms 119, the magnificent Acrostic Psalm of God’s Word, displays God’s Word using 14 Hebrew synonyms and 11 English synonyms to communicate the grand spectrum and immensity of the written Word of God. Certainly, many of these synonyms also apply to Jesus Christ, the Word in the flesh. Jesus is the Word, the logos, in the flesh as the Bible is the Word, the logos, in writing. Jesus also called himself the way and the truth (two more of the synonyms), and he fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law (another one of those synonyms).
As the red thread running throughout the entire Word of God, Jesus is the grand subject that binds together the Word of God from Genesis 3:15 to Revelation 22:21. In Psalms, Jesus is the song. “Song” is put by metonymy for the reason for the song. He is the reason for our song of praise (Psalms 28:7; 40:3; 108:1), our song of deliverance (Psalms 32:7), and the new song in our hearts (Psalms 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1).
The only verse in the Acrostic Psalm of God’s Word that doesn’t contain one of the synonymous words for the written Word of God conceals a reference to the Word in the flesh, Jesus Christ. E.W. Bullinger after the note I mentioned in His companion Bible earlier, he references Proverbs 11:15 and Hebrews 7:22.
by so much also hath Jesus become the surety of a better covenant.
Jesus is a surety of our better covenant. He is the guaranteer.
He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.
Christ became surety for his people who were strangers (like it says in Ephesians 2:12) and he smarted for it. He read from Isaiah what becoming surety would require and the price he would have to pay, but he did it anyway.
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
We couldn’t pay our debt, so our surety paid it for us.
As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
Since the earliest recording of the written Word of God men have desired the appearing of the seed of the woman, the redeemer, our messiah, the savior from sin. We find Job speaking of his longing in what is likely the first book of the Bible ever written, Job.
For he [God] is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. 33 Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
Job wanted a daysman, a mediator, to intercede for him with God. The hope of the Old Testament believers was the first coming of Christ. Our hope today is his second coming. Just as we long today for his return, they longed for his first arrival.