Psalms Chapter 40

Psalms Chapter 40 #Wicked #Righteous #condemn #deliver #Righteous #Hope ##TrustGod #CALM #stormsurge will occur, but HE ALONE IS GOD! #YouAreNotAlone #GodIsGood #Godis enough!  (Unless otherwise stated all Scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible.)

“God promises a safe landing but not a calm passage.” – Anonymous

Context

Although Psalm 40 is actually a lament, David begins the psalm as if it is a psalm of thanksgiving. (See verses 1-12. The psalm may lead the reader to muse on the fact that it reads like two separate psalms; however, David is reflecting on his relationship with God and the joy that it has brought him. In the middle of his internal conflict and emotional turmoil he holds on to that part of his relationship with God and remembers the joy that it brought him. Then, he goes back to the current reality of his situation and turns to God as a new crisis looms large in his life. Longman notes “Interestingly, the second half of the psalm (vv. 13– 17) is nearly identical to Psalm 70.”

Father God, I Want TO Do Your Will!

  • 1(To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 
  • 2He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
  • 3And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. 
  • 4Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

David declares the praises that are only due to God. We do not know the source of his torment in Chapter 39. 

Could it have been:

  1. His personal sin with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah the Hittite  2 Sam. 11,
  2. Absalom’s treachery [the fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy 2 Sam. 15– 18
  3. The death of Absalom 2 Sam. 18:19– 33 

We know that it has something to do with his sin. Each of the above scenarios is a result of David sin. Right now he is just praising God for who He is and all that He has done for David.

(To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  He waited for God to act, and God did just that. Christ did likewise in Matthew 26:36-46 

  • 36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
  • 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
  • 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
  • 39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
  • 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
  • 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
  • 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
  • 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
  • 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
  • 45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
  • 46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me. Christ trusts His father to answer him. The fact that He did not take the cross from the heavenly plan shows that He answered Jesus’ prayer. We all say Hallelujah for that answer. 

We live in a society that believes in instant results for everything. When they do not come as we expect we take things into our own hands. When we pray for God to act, we must also be willing to wait for Him to solve the problem. IF we choose not wait, then we pick up the issue ourselves and take it out of His hands. He will allow us to reap what we have sown. Just look at the recognition of the power of God over David’s life.

  • 2He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. [Jesus is our rock in that hard place where we are standing. He can merely crush it and save us. That is what he went to the cross for!}
  • 3And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.  [Joy

David’s concluding statement at this juncture:

  • 4Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

In other words, be like the 3 Hebrew children who placed their complete trust in God.

5Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

His trust in God is unwavering here. When we trust God with everything in our lives, we don’t operate in panic mode when something goes wrong. See Isa. 44:6– 23; Jer. 10:1– 22.  We cannot verbalize the works of God manifested in our lives. We are blessed and highly favored. God loves us and gives us joy that is beyond measure. His provision in our lives is beyond our ability to understand. 2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”

  • Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
  • 7Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
  • I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

 How does a New Testament Christian relate to these verses? Regardless of the ritualistic requirements of the OT laws [Psalms 19:14; 50:7-15; 51:15-17; 69:30-31; Isa. 1:10-15; Jer. 7:21-26; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:6-8; Matt. 23:23} David is making it clear that we could sacrifice and offer all we want that is not “required” by God. Christ came to fulfill the legal requirements of the OT rituals [Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill [the law].] Christ’s coming made it possible for Hebrews 10:16 to be a reality in our lives. This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;” WHY? We have a high priest. It is Jesus! Hebrews 10:10-12 “ By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” 

Longman (2014)  clears up the disparity that many people experience when they read these verses. “These three verses are the most difficult in the psalm, especially in the light of its use in the New Testament (see Meaning ). Verse 6a ( sacrifice and offering you did not desire ) and verse 6c ( burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require ) seem out of keeping with the Torah, which mandates sacrifices (see particularly Lev. 1 – 7)

9I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

David taught about the good news of who God is to his people. He never “refrained” his lips, or stopped talking about the goodness of God, and or about God’s righteousness. Note he clarified who was righteousness in verse 10. “ Thy righteousness within my heart; ”

  1. Share the good news of who God is.
  2. Share the good news about his marvelous Son and his death on the cross.
  3. Share the good news about what it is like to be a child of God in 2018. That is declaring His faithfulness in our lives.

We do not have to be ordained pastors to follow the Great Commission. Scriptures do not state that ONLY pastors are supposed to share the gospel. It is our responsibility. All of us!

  • Mark 16:15 NKJV And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
  • Luke 14:23 NKJVThen the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
  • Acts 1:7-8 (NKJV) And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

David saw “God’s salvation as a covenantal act, as indicated by those divine qualities which he extols (righteousness, faithfulness, love [or loyalty; ḥ esed ])” (Longman, 188).

Pavid is praising God in this storm of his life.

https://youtu.be/DoqbKyeKOBI

Dear God Please Save ME!

  • 11Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
  • 12For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
  • 13Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.

David has reached a climax in this psalms. The celebration is over, and he is back to talking about how God delivered him from his past. Now he wants God to do the same thing in his current situation. Longman opens up the discussion to explain the emotional impact of the offerings on the person giving the offering.

  • 54. For instance, the burnt offering produces smoke which is ‘an aroma pleasing to the Lord’ (Lev. 1:9).
  • 55. It is God who has opened their ears; the Hebrew is literally: ‘ears you have dug for me.’
  • 56. If we read this psalm as a royal psalm (with David as the author), then the reference may be more specifically to the law of kingship found in Deut. 17:14– 20.
  •  57 He asks that God’s love (or loyalty; ḥ esed ) and faithfulness continue to protect him as it had in the past (cf. v. 11b with v. 10). He is in the midst of trouble, trouble that he understands is connected to his own sinful actions (which are as abundant as the hairs of his head ). He has no resources to save himself ( my heart fails within me ), so he appeals to God to rescue him yet again (v. 13).

We also experience the same moments of anxiety that David experienced in this psalm when we are in trouble, and we need God to intervene.

  1. Like David, do we pray for God to continue to be merciful to us?  “1Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD:”
  2. Do we pray that His “lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve [us?”.
  3. When we feel as if our world is falling apart and there is no one anywhere who can help us to we recognize that this verse “12For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me” describes our circumstances. Now for the most important part. Do we always pray:
  4. 13″Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me” and believe that it will happen? Praying for Him to help us but NOT believing that He will actually do it is a waste of our time and His.
    • We are just mouthing words that other people have told us that we should say.
  5. It is like sitting on the sofa with our loved ones and saying things to them that we do not mean. But we are telling them because that is what society expects us to say.  Truthful communication between people is crucial to the sustenance of their relationships.

 

Oh, My Soul is Attacked for No Reason; Make Them Feel Ashamed Dear God!

  • 14Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
  • 15Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.
  • 16Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
  • 17But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

David is not being vindictive here, but he calls for God to act on his behalf by letting

  • them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; [Not only does he want them to be ashamed he is also precise in this request to God about where he wants them to be when it is all over.
  • “let them be driven backward and put to shame.” [WHY is he saying this?} Because they “wished” evil [on him].” He wants them destroyed. “Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.”

Have you experienced relationship meltdowns like this one like the one that David is experiencing?

A relationship that has turned sour and where your soul is troubled is a conundrum for your soul.

  1. How do you resolve this conflict?
  2. Who do you turn to self your reach the solution that you know God a has for this problem. David knows who he should call on. He did not call on Joab, his military commander. He called on God. 
  3. God is the only one who can indeed solve our problems.

“I am poor and needy.”

  • It is interesting that David, the king, calls himself “poor and needy.” Compared to God he is and so are we. Money and all that is attached to wealth and our riches do not give us salvation. That alone comes from God. Money cannot provide us with absolute protection. Only God can do that. David knew this, and he calls on God to come to his rescue.
  • Consequently, David still experiences spiritual joy in his circumstances. Just look at what he said ” 16Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

Sometimes we don’t want to praise Him during the storms of life, but Psalm 40 is a reminder to us that when we experience life challenges today, we should remember how God delivered us from similar situation in the past.

When we thank Him for the blessings from the past, it leads us to trust Him more in the present. David talks to God about how he offered up sacrifices to HIM. Today we walk into our places of worship, and we can vocalize the words to worship songs, but our hearts are not lined up with the words we are singing.  I want to end this psalm with some words of advice from Longman 2014.

The author of Hebrews cites verses 6– 8 as it contrasts the sacrifices of the Old Testament with Christ’s sacrifice. First, we should note that, in citing the Septuagint version, there are some noticeable differences with the Hebrew text. For instance, rather than ‘my ears you have opened’ (lit. ‘ears you have dug for me’), the New Testament has ‘a body you have prepared for me’. This difference does not change the meaning, and we may see that the ears are to the body as a part to the whole. Jesus not only listens and obeys; he offers his whole body as a once-and-for-all sacrifice on our behalf (Cimosa 2010: 439). And he does this great act in fulfilment of Scripture (‘it is written about me in the scroll’, Heb. 10:7). 57. Although the niv translates v. 9b as ‘I do not seal my lips’, a literal translation would be: ‘I do not withhold my lips’ – the verb is the same as that used in v. 11a ( kl’ ).

Christ offered up his body as a sacrifice for us. The least we can do is offer up ours and our hearts in worship to Him, regardless of our circumstances.

https://youtu.be/_Js5OnLeunQ

 

References

Cayce, Ken. 2017. “Books of the Bible.”  http://www.bible-studys.org/About%20Me.html. Accessed October 10, 2018

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed October 10, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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