Psalms 69:21, “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”
This verse in Psalms is a prophecy about the Messiah and His suffering on the Cross. The Gospel of John 19:28-30 says, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
God uses physical things to symbolize spiritual things. Certainly the details surrounding Jesus crucifixion teach us some important spiritual truths. The key thing about vinegar for example is that it is very bitter. The fact that Jesus was given vinegar helps us to understand the bitterness of His suffering and death on the cross. Can you imagine serving God faithfully all your life, sacrificing everything then dying a cruel death and finding yourself taking on the sins of the world and being separated from God and facing His wrath? This is exactly what Jesus did.
Anyone who follows Jesus will certainly have the opportunity to taste of the bitterness of the cross. The servant is not greater than his master. But no matter how bitter the gospel road might seem for you at times you can be thankful and encourage in the fact that it will never be as bitter as it was for Jesus.
It is a very sad shame that there are many people who do not come to Christ because of fear of suffering and there are many who stop following Christ for the same reason. It is a privilege and an honour to suffer for Christ.
The truth is suffering is part of life. There is no way around it. One way of looking at is that you have two choices in life you can live life for yourself and suffer for your sins or you can live life for Jesus and face the suffering of the gospel road. Either way you are going to suffer. But it is much better to suffer for righteousness.
Philippians 3:7-10 says, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
There is no fellowship in this world that compares to the fellowship found in the gospel. Those who taste of the vinegar of the gospel will always find that after the bitterness comes great glory and everlasting joy.
Jesus’ death was a bloody death. All that blood pouring out of His body should make us think about how passionate God is in pouring out His love on us. When you do taste of the vinegar of the gospel instead it making you bitter it should help you to understand and to appreciate just what it is that Christ has done for you.
The next several verses in Psalms give us some interesting details about the future fate of those who reject the gospel of Jesus Christ. Psalms 69:22-28, “Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”
These verses give a good description of what happens to people that reject the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel becomes a stumbling block to them. They turn farther into darkness. And eventually they must face the judgment of God.
The worst decision in the world that a person can make in their life time is to reject the gospel of Jesus Christ when the Holy Spirit comes to them and whispers to them of their need for salvation. Even though you are created in the image of God, even though God loves you with a great eternal love and sent His Son Jesus to suffer and die for your sins, even though God has a glorious and wonderful future in eternity that He wants to give to you, you can choose to reject all of that and to go your own way in life. God is not going to stop you. God is not going to force you.
Psalms 69 verses 27 and 28 teach us some very important truths in regards to the gospel. Verse 27 says, “Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.”
Even though man has a free will God has a free will too. And God’s free will is more powerful than man’s free will. God is always the one with the final decision. God decided how He would author the plan of salvation. You don’t decide how you can get into heaven. God has decided that. God is the potter and we are the clay.
Yes man has a free will but man is not all powerful like God is. Man gives himself too much credit and often thinks to much or you could say thinks to highly oh himself in regards to his own free will. For example look at it this way. You had no say in the fact that you born into this world. God decided that. And you have no say in the fact that one day you are going to die. Looking at it this way you should realize that you have much less power and control than you think you do. God lets us make decisions but then He reinforces those decisions.
Jesus said in Matthew , “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Romans 9:18, “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”
Why would God reinforce the decisions that we make? He does it because He is all powerful and He can do whatever He wants to do. Man has a free will and man enjoys His free will. God certainly enjoys His free will too. Remember God is the potter and we are the clay.
Look at it this way, when a person decides to turn from their sins to Jesus, God reinforces that decision. God promises that that person will be conformed to the image of God. God promises that He will never leave nor forsake that person. And God makes many other promises in the Bible that show when a person decides to follow Christ God reinforces that decision. Why would God not do the same for a person who turns away from Him; do the same in the sense of reinforcing their decision?
We sometimes do not think about the fact that God is a being with feelings and emotions. It certainly hurts God when He does all that He does for a person reaching out to them with His love and they reject Him.
Just think of it in human terms. If a human being offered their love to another person and that person whole heartedly rejected them what would you expect to happen? Most people when they chose to reject Jesus do so very strong willed, very callously with no love or care or regard for what Jesus did for them. Often they do so with great anger and hatred in their hearts towards God. Why should God keep coming to a person over and over and touching their heart if their heart is hardened and they are just going to reject Him?
We may not understand all the reasons why God decides to reinforce the decisions that we make in our hearts when it comes to whether we will follow Him or not but we certainly can understand the purpose behind it.
Romans 9:17, “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.”
Romans 9:22-23, “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.”
God’s purpose is to show forth His power and the riches of His glory. This should be a dire warning to people. If you harden your heart against God; God may very well decide to reinforce that decision just like He did with Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. Even though Jesus suffered and died for the sins of the world opportunity is still limited. At the very least opportunity is limited to the time a person is alive on this earth. But you do not know how many times God is going to come to a person in their life and knock on the door of their heart and invite them to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus. It may be one time in their life time or it may be 1000 times. That is a decision that God alone makes on a case by case basis with each individual in the world. He made us. He knows our hearts and He knows the future. He knows the decisions we are going to make ahead of time. He is the potter and we are the clay. And will either make you into a vessel of mercy or a vessel of wrath. So you had better choose wisely when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Verse 27 says, “Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.” This is exactly what happens to a person who turns away from Jesus. They go on sinning and sinning and unless they at some point repent and turn to Jesus, they will never find themselves clothed in the righteousness of God. This means that one day they will be destined to die and to stand before the judge of the whole earth still lost in their sins. Looking at it this way a person who determined to go their own way in life instead of God’s way is better off dying young than living to be old. Just how many sins a person will have committed by the time they are 80 years old than by the time they are 20? They are just going to add iniquity unto their iniquity and hell will be that much hotter for them.
Psalms 69:28, “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” The Book of life is mentioned quite a few times in the New Testament mostly in the last book of the Bible the book of Revelation.
If a person’s name can be blotted out of the book of life then that means there name is in the book of life to begin with. This does not mean that a person can lose their salvation. But rather it shows us just how much God loves us and wants us to be saved.
It makes sense to think that every time God creates a soul He puts their name in the book of life. God wants everyone to be saved. Jesus died for all the world. God looks to the future and hopes that everyone will make the right decision. And God does everything He can to work in a persons life to try and get them to repent of their sins. The fact that God has a book which He calls the book of life and which has everyone’s name in it shows us just how possible it is for a person to be saved. Everyone has the opportunity.
Psalms 69:29 says, “But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.”
When I think about everything that salvation involves I find it very strange anyone would reject God’s great eternal gift. A person who trusts in Jesus goes from being poor and naked spiritually to becoming immeasurably rich in the righteousness of God. In these verses the term used is, “set me up on high.”
When you turn to Jesus from your sins you go from being alienated from God to being part of the family of God. You go from being poor spiritually to becoming a joint heir with Christ. In other words you inherit all that God owns. And God owns all the universe. You become a King and a Priest with God. Revelation says, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” There are many other details given in the Bible in regards to the ways in which God is going to honour and glorify and to uplift and to set on high His children. Why any one in the world would want to turn down such rewards and opportunities and blessings to remain filthy in their sins and to be destined to burn in hell for ever seems a strange thing to me.
Psalms 69:30-32, “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs. The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God. For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners. Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.”
Considering all that God has done and will do for us we should certainly be thankful to Him. God certainly considers praise and thanksgiving to Him much more important than religious ceremony. God certainly deserves praise and there certainly are infinite reasons to praise God. We can praise God for giving us life, for giving us good things in our life. We certainly can praise God for sending His Son Jesus to die for our sins.
In talking about praising God and giving thanks to God what is specifically mentioned here is that God heareth the poor and despiseth not the prisoner. There are always a lot of poor people in the world regardless of which country you live in. For the most part people that are rich and people that are powerful and governments themselves do not care about the poor but care about increasing their riches and their power. God cares about the poor though and God will certainly help those that trust in Him.
Of course spiritually speaking we are all poor without the righteousness of Christ. Without Christ we are all prisoners of sin. God will hear the prayer of anyone who cries out to Him to be released from the bondage of sin and who cries out to him to be pulled out of the poverty of their own righteousness and brought into the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Psalms 69:35-36 says, “For
God will save
69 ends with God talking about the great future that He has planned for
loved Abraham. Abraham had great faith in God. And therefore God made special
promises to him. Genesis ,
“And in thy seed shall all the nations
of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Through the nation of Israel God gave His Word both the Old and the
New Testament. Through the nation of
This should be an important lesson to us about faith. Faith pleases God and the more faith you have in God the greater are the things that God will do through you.
Of course truth faith in God begins at
the cross of
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