Spurgeon: Our Lord was no fainthearted sentimentalist

As I read Psalm 69:1-18 today, I thought of my life and struggles I have faced. I thought of friends facing ugly, impossible situations.  I thought of David and the enemies that were pursuing him. Indeed, our circumstances can seem to be a “miry pit” or “deep waters.”

    Save me, O God!
        For the waters have come up to my neck.
    I sink in deep mire,
        where there is no foothold;
    I have come into deep waters,
        and the flood sweeps over me. —Psalm 69:1-2 ESV

But Spurgeon has a way of getting to the heart. Reading his comments in the Treasury of David opened my eyes to see this passage from the standpoint of Jesus, our Redeemer, who entered the “great dismal swamp” FOR us!

In water one might swim, but in mud and mire all struggling is hopeless; the mire sucks down its victim. Where there is no standing. Everything gave way under the Sufferer; he could not get foothold for support—this is a worse fate than drowning. Here our Lord pictures the close, clinging nature of his heart’s woes. “He began to be sorrowful, and very heavy.” Sin is as mire for its filthiness, and the holy soul of the Saviour must have loathed even that connection with it which was necessary for its expiation. His pure and sensitive nature seemed to sink in it, for it was not his element, he was not like us born and acclimatised to this great dismal swamp. Here our Redeemer became another Jeremiah, of whom it is recorded (Jer 38:6) that his enemies cast him into a dungeon wherein “was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.” Let our hearts feel the emotions, both of contrition and gratitude, as we see in this simile the deep humiliation of our Lord. I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. The sorrow gathers even greater force; he is as one cast into the sea, the waters go over his head. His sorrows were first within, then around, and now above him. Our Lord was no fainthearted sentimentalist; his were real woes, and though he bore them heroically, yet were they terrible even to him. His sufferings were unlike all others in degree, the waters were such as soaked into the soul; the mire was the mire of the abyss itself, and the floods were deep and overflowing.

To us the promise is, “the rivers shall not overflow thee, “but no such word of consolation was vouchsafed to him. My soul, thy Well beloved endured all this for thee. Many waters could not quench his love, neither could the floods drown it; and, because of this, thou hast the rich benefit of that covenant assurance, “as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.”

He stemmed the torrent of almighty wrath, that we might for ever rest in Jehovah’s love.


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