In the volume of the book - ספר במגלת bimgillath sepher, "in the roll of the book." Anciently, books were written on skins and rolled up. Among the Romans these were called volumina, from volvo, I roll; and the Pentateuch, in the Jewish synagogues, is still written in this way. There are two wooden rollers; on one they roll on, on the other they roll off, as they proceed in reading. The book mentioned here must be the Pentateuch, or five books of Moses; for in David's time no other part of Divine revelation had been committed to writing. This whole book speaks about Christ, and his accomplishing the will of God; not only in, The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent, and, In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, but in all the sacrifices and sacrificial rites mentioned in the law.
To do thy will - God willed not the sacrifices under the law, but he willed that a human victim of infinite merit should be offered for the redemption of mankind. That there might be such a victim, a body was prepared for the eternal Logos; and in that body he came to do the will of God, that is, to suffer and die for the sins of the world.
Then said I - “I the Messiah.” Paul applies this directly to Christ, showing that he regarded the passage in the Psalms as referring to him as the speaker.
Lo, I come - Come into the world; Hebrews 10:5. It is not easy to see how this could be applied to David in any circumstance of his life. There was no situation in which he could say that, since sacrifices and offerings were not what was demanded, he came to do the will of God in the place or stead of them. The time here referred to by the word “then” is when it was manifest that sacrifices and offerings for sin would not answer all the purposes desirable, or when in view of that fact the purpose of the Redeemer is conceived as formed to enter upon a work which would effect what they could not.
In the volume of the book it is written of me - The word rendered here “volume “ - κεφαλίς kephalis- means properly “a little head;” and then a knob, and here refers doubtless to the head or knob of the rod on which the Hebrew manuscripts were rolled. Books were usually so written as to be rolled up, and when they were read they were unrolled at one end of the manuscript, and rolled up at the other as fast as they were read; see notes on Luke 4:17. The rods on which they were rolled had small heads, either for the purpose of holding them, or for ornament, and hence, the name head came metaphorically to be given to the roll or volume. But what volume is here intended? And where is that written which is here referred to? If David was the author of the Psalm from which this is quoted John 5:46, and by the apostles (compare Acts 26:22, Acts 26:3), and that the general spirit of the institutions of Moses had reference to him is abundantly demonstrated in this Epistle. The meaning here is, “I come to do thy will in making an atonement, for no other offering would expiate sin. That I would do this is the language of the Scriptures which predict my coming, and of the whole spirit and design of the ancient dispensation.” To do thy will, O God - This expresses the amount of all that the Redeemer came to do. He came to do the will of God: (1)by perfect obedience to his Law, and, (2)by making an atonement for sin - becoming “obedient unto death;” Philemon 2:8. The latter is the principal thought here, for the apostle is showing that sacrifice and offering such as were made under the Law would not put away sin, and that Christ came in contradistinction from them to make a sacrifice that would be efficacious. Everywhere in the Scriptures it is held out as being the “will of God” that such an atonement should be made. There was salvation in no other way, nor was it possible that the race should be saved unless the Redeemer drank that cup of bitter sorrows; see Matthew 26:39. We are not to suppose, however, that it was by mere arbitrary will that those sufferings were demanded. There were good reasons for all that the Saviour was to endure, though those reasons are not all made known to us.
To do thy will, O God - This expresses the amount of all that the Redeemer came to do. He came to do the will of God:
(1)by perfect obedience to his Law, and,
(2)by making an atonement for sin - becoming “obedient unto death;” Philemon 2:8.
The latter is the principal thought here, for the apostle is showing that sacrifice and offering such as were made under the Law would not put away sin, and that Christ came in contradistinction from them to make a sacrifice that would be efficacious. Everywhere in the Scriptures it is held out as being the “will of God” that such an atonement should be made. There was salvation in no other way, nor was it possible that the race should be saved unless the Redeemer drank that cup of bitter sorrows; see Matthew 26:39. We are not to suppose, however, that it was by mere arbitrary will that those sufferings were demanded. There were good reasons for all that the Saviour was to endure, though those reasons are not all made known to us.
4. Paul a Friend of the Erring—The apostle Paul found it necessary to reprove wrong in the church, but he did not lose his self-control in reproving error. He anxiously explains the reason of his action. How carefully he wrought so as to leave the impression that he was a friend of the erring! He made them understand that it cost him pain to give them pain. He left the impression upon their minds that his interest was identified with theirs [2 Corinthians 2:4 quoted] (Letter 16a, 1895). 6BC 1094.1
11 (Ephesians 6:12; see EGW on 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; 13:5). Give Satan No Advantage—In the conflict with satanic agencies there are decisive moments that determine the victory either on the side of God or on the side of the prince of this world. If those engaged in the warfare are not wide awake, earnest, vigilant, praying for wisdom, watching unto prayer, ... Satan comes off victor, when he might have been vanquished by the armies of the Lord.... God's faithful sentinels are to give the evil powers no advantage.... 6BC 1094.2
We have unseen foes to meet, evil men are agents for the powers of darkness to work through, and without spiritual discernment the soul will be ignorant of Satan's devices, and be ensnared and stumble and fall. He who would overcome must hold fast to Christ. He must not look back, but keep the eye ever upward. Mount up by the Mediator, keeping hold of the Mediator, reaching upward to one line of work after another, making no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. 6BC 1094.3
There is no such thing as our entering the heavenly portals through indulgence and folly, amusement, selfishness, but only by constant watchfulness and unceasing prayer. Spiritual vigilance on our part individually is the price of safety. Swerve not to Satan's side a single inch, lest he gain advantage over you (Letter 47, 1893). 6BC 1094.4
14-17. The Boldness of a Sanctified Conscience—[2 Corinthians 2:14-17 quoted.] These words of Paul do not denote a spiritual pride, but a deep knowledge of Christ. As one of God's messengers sent to confirm the truth of the Word, he knew what was truth; and with the boldness of a sanctified conscience he gloried in that knowledge. He knew that he was called of God to preach the gospel with all the assurance which his confidence in the message gave him. He was called to be God's ambassador to the people, and he preached the gospel as one who was called (Manuscript 43, 1907). 6BC 1094.5Read in context »
Nearly two thousand years ago, a voice of mysterious import was heard in heaven, from the throne of God, “Lo, I come.” “Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me.... Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:5-7. In these words is announced the fulfillment of the purpose that had been hidden from eternal ages. Christ was about to visit our world, and to become incarnate. He says, “A body hast Thou prepared Me.” Had He appeared with the glory that was His with the Father before the world was, we could not have endured the light of His presence. That we might behold it and not be destroyed, the manifestation of His glory was shrouded. His divinity was veiled with humanity,—the invisible glory in the visible human form. DA 23.1
This great purpose had been shadowed forth in types and symbols. The burning bush, in which Christ appeared to Moses, revealed God. The symbol chosen for the representation of the Deity was a lowly shrub, that seemingly had no attractions. This enshrined the Infinite. The all-merciful God shrouded His glory in a most humble type, that Moses could look upon it and live. So in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, God communicated with Israel, revealing to men His will, and imparting to them His grace. God's glory was subdued, and His majesty veiled, that the weak vision of finite men might behold it. So Christ was to come in “the body of our humiliation” (Philippians 3:21, R. V.), “in the likeness of men.” In the eyes of the world He possessed no beauty that they should desire Him; yet He was the incarnate God, the light of heaven and earth. His glory was veiled, His greatness and majesty were hidden, that He might draw near to sorrowful, tempted men. DA 23.2
God commanded Moses for Israel, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8), and He abode in the sanctuary, in the midst of His people. Through all their weary wandering in the desert, the symbol of His presence was with them. So Christ set up His tabernacle in the midst of our human encampment. He pitched His tent by the side of the tents of men, that He might dwell among us, and make us familiar with His divine character and life. “The Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the Only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.” John 1:14, R. V., margin. DA 23.3Read in context »
But One surpassing all that imagination can present came from heaven to this world. Nearly 2000 years ago a voice of strange and mysterious import was heard from the throne of God, “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.... Lo, I come ... to do thy will, O God.” LHU 34.4Read in context »
All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God's Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living way is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God is come according to His word, “Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.” “By His own blood” He entereth “in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 10:7; 9:12. DA 757.1
Christ did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do, and with His parting breath He exclaimed, “It is finished.” John 19:30. The battle had been won. His right hand and His holy arm had gotten Him the victory. As a Conqueror He planted His banner on the eternal heights. Was there not joy among the angels? All heaven triumphed in the Saviour's victory. Satan was defeated, and knew that his kingdom was lost. DA 758.1Read in context »