For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
4 Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
5 Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened—
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.
14 May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”
17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.
(Psalm 40:1-17 NIV)
Today’s psalm was written by David, as David rejoices in what God has done for him. Many psalms begin with the psalmist crying out to God for help, recognizing God’s goodness and love, and then worshipping for who God is and what He does. Today’s psalm basically reverses that order, and begins with David’s recognition and worship for what God has already done, and ends with David’s original plea for God’s help to which God had already responded.
So what do we see in this psalm?
- God’s response to David’s pleas for help (vv. 1-3)
- David worshipping the Lord for God’s help (vv. 4-5)
- God’s expectations of relationship and not religion (vv. 6-8)
- David’s worship and public proclamation of God (vv. 9-10)
- David’s confession of sin before a righteous and holy God (vv. 11-12)
- David’s original plea for God’s help (vv. 13-17)
So what does this psalm tell us about God?
- God hears us and listens to us when we call out to Him
- God is both able and willing to help us when we humbly ask Him
- God wants heart and soul connection (relationship) with us, not detached duty
- God longs to forgive us and reconcile our relationship to Himself when we ask
- God’s attributes that He extends to us:
- Compassion (mercy)
So how should we respond to the Lord?
- In humility – carrying our troubles (things outside our control) to the Lord
- In repentance – confessing our sins to the Lord
- In relationship – focusing on our heart and soul connection to the Lord
- In faith – trusting that the Lord knows what is best for us and will redeem our hurts
- In worship – thankful to the Lord for His character and His redemption
- In justice – trusting the Lord to deal with the evil that threatens us
- In partnership – proclaiming God’s truth and character to all who will listen
May we carry these truths in our hearts and souls, not as facts, but as Living Reality.