By: John N Darby

These first thirteen discourses were delivered without any thought of extending them beyond the immediate congregation to whom they were addressed. They were taken down by one of the congregation, and are now at the desire of a brother made public, with the permission, but without any revision of the preacher. Dublin, 1838.

[The Editor would say here, once for all, that the contents of this volume in general being mere notes, he has taken the liberty of correcting the more obvious slips, most of which are perhaps due to such a means of transmission. The author is not justly responsible save for the substance, though no doubt the words are often his own; if he corrected, he would assuredly do so much more freely than another would feel free to do.]

The whole of this Psalm evidently contains the words and experience of the Lord Jesus Christ. It begins with one of His most momentous sentences, as if a direct quotation from prophecy: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” and gives the very words of the infidel Jews, when the Saviour was expiring on the tree, in the eighth verse: “He trusted in the Lord, that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.”

The whole Psalm is an accurate scene of our Lord’s sufferings. In the verse preceding the text, His agony of soul is described: “Save me from the lion’s mouth!” the intenseness of which agony is thus described in Hebrews 5:7: “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears”; and of which we have witnessed the facts in the garden of Gethsemane, where His soul was “sore amazed,” and He prayed, if it were possible, to have this cup pass from Him. And in the concluding part of verse 21 (“Thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns”), we have Him brought to the crisis of extreme suffering, on the very horns of the altar, as describing the sacrifice bound and laid on. We have His delivery thence, “Thou hast heard me,” as in Psalm 40: “I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry: he brought me up also from out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and ordered my goings.” The very next verse describes Him thus: “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation [or church] will I praise thee.”

Here we read our Lord’s testimony after He had been heard, after He had come out of the horrible pit, after the agony, and suffering, and woe, and death had been past; in short, at His resurrection. It is just at that time this verse describes Him: and in it we see, first, the office He has taken in declaring God’s name to His brethren; and, secondly, we see Him as He stands in the midst of His church, as its Head.

And who is it that thus testifies, “I will declare”? Who it is we cannot mistake, from the entire tenor and express words of the Psalm. It is the Lord Jesus Christ. And what does He declare? “Thy name”: “I will declare thy name unto my brethren”; the name of Him to whom He appeals as His God. And that, brethren, is the only way we know anything of God; when the Lord Jesus Christ Himself reveals Him and declares Him. It is God’s appointed way of communicating anything of Himself; and without a knowledge of God through Christ we never can know peace. In declaring God’s name, Christ declares His own: He testifies what He has done for man, and the consequences of it. Immediately after the work is finished, He communicates it to His brethren: “Save me from the lion’s mouth; for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.” And immediately after His delivery, He exclaims, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren.”

121 The Psalm, throughout, gives us the sufferings of the Lord Jesus, and also His strength, and comfort, and trust in God in the midst of them, which prophecies meet their fulfilment so accurately and fully in His life: “I knew that thou hearest me always”; “I am not alone, for the Father is with me” But there was one hour, one period of darkness, and of agony, when Satan was let loose to buffet Him, but not yet able to turn Him aside – to take Him off from His high trust in God, when He was brought so low as to say, “The waters have come in even unto my soul”: “My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.” The very height of His trouble was the hiding of God’s countenance.

The Suffering of Christ…..