From Psalms 40-45
David recalls a dire situation in his life. He cried out to the LORD and he was rescued. He could have been killed but the LORD saved him. In gratitude for what the LORD has done David praises the LORD. Previously he was in distress and fearful, but now he is joyful and relieved because of what the LORD has done for him. Even more, David knows that others will see what the LORD has done and fear him. When people fear the LORD they put their trust in him.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
This Psalm has been put to music many times. Sons of Korah is a Christian music band and has one example.
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. (Ps 40.1-3)
David recalls a dire situation in his life. He cried out to the LORD and he was rescued.
He could have been killed but the LORD saved him. In gratitude for what the LORD has done David praises the LORD.
Previously he was in distress and fearful, but now he is joyful and relieved because of what the LORD has done for him. Even more, David knows that others will see what the LORD has done and fear him. When people fear the LORD they put their trust in him.
4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!
5 You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. (Ps 40.4-5)
David comments on the effect trusting the LORD has on a persons life.
It changes the people they turn to, want to hang out with. No longer will they want to associate with liars. David is grateful for the LORD’s blessings. He knows the LORD blesses many of his people. David like speaking of what the LORD has done. What he does is commendable, something we should emulate.
6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” (Ps 40.6-8)
David has long since realised the LORD does not require sacrifices and offerings. Its a bold statement since these are commanded in the LORD. But he is right. Performance of these commands does not please the LORD, nor does he need them.
Hundreds of years before Paul David has recognised these ‘works of law’ do not justify (Rom 3.28; Gal 2.16).
David presents himself before the LORD. He knows what the LORD wants and what pleases him. This the way he wants to walk. David mentions the law is within his heart, echoing a promise the LORD will make many years later (Jer 31.33).
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. (Ps 40.9-10)
David has been rescued by the LORD and is keen to share this with others. This seems to be something David does often and something we should learn from.
How often do we tell our friends and family what the LORD has done for us?
David speaks of how faithful the LORD has been to his covenant promises and saving him.
11 As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!
12 For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me. (Ps 40.11-12)
David tells us of the deliverance he experienced. Evils encompassed him. Perhaps he was surrounded by his enemies who wanted to kill him. This could have happened while he was on patrol against the Philistines or perhaps when Saul was pursuing him. David sometimes associates situations like these with the LORD’s disfavour. Hence he says ‘my iniquities have overtaken me’. But he knows the LORD saves.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!
14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt!
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, “Aha, Aha!” (Ps 40.13-15)
David calls out for the LORD to rescue him from those who surround him. He is confident the LORD will. He trusts in the LORD.
16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! (Ps 40.16-17)
David identifies himself as ‘poor and needy’. In doing so, he presents God as someone who protects and cares for the down and out. Another common theme in Psalms regularly associated with righteousness.
The righteous care for the poor and needy.
David’s statements form implicit exhortations. Everyone should seek the LORD, everyone should rejoice, be glad in him and love his salvation.
The Psalm ends with David still surrounded by his enemies. But you wouldn’t know it because he is so trusting in the LORD and confident he will rescue him.
Story of Jesus
The same theme of awaiting rescue is now experienced by all believers in Jesus. Jesus has died and risen from the dead. He has gone away for a time, but he will return. We wait for him to come. When he does his Spirit will raise people from the dead and He will judge the world and set it right. Its not always easy for us to keep waiting for him, some many have died since he left, but we must keep waiting and hoping for his return.
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,4 that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thes 4.13-18)
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.