Daily in the Psalms : Psalm 40
THE HORRIBLE STATE OF THE SINNER
I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And 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. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, 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. Psalms 40:1-5
Although I believe it is impossible to accurately interpret this Psalm, I do believe it is a prophetic Psalm referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is one of my favorite Psalms. The psalmist states his situation that he is in a horrible pit, in the miry clay. This represents the situation for everyone that is not saved, without Christ. The sinner has sunk low in guilt and corruption because that is where his sinful nature always leads him. His sad situation steals all the beauty that he could ever have in the sight of a Holy God. He is an outcast, apart from God, His favor and His protection. The reference here is to a prison, a dungeon, a grave or a dark well. The sun may be flooding the world with its bright beams, but for the lost person it is dark as midnight. All this life has to offer without Christ is pain, sorrow, and a dark state of sin. All through the Bible, those that are without Christ are presented as in darkness, and those that are saved as in the light.
...when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. (Micah 7:8).
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18).
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (Romans 13:12).
The lost sinner is indeed in a horrible place. It is as though he is in a deep, dark pit, with great noise and seems to be filled with great horrors. David not only felt that he was in darkness, but he was in misery also. That is the place where sin always takes us; sin will bring you to a place on this earth that will cause you to think of Hell. He was in the miry clay, stuck in the mud, as it were. There is no stability or firm footing in sin. There is nothing you can do to insure your own deliverance from your sin or the consequences of that sin. The more you struggle, the deeper you sink. The lost sinner is indeed in a helpless state. If some strong arm does not come along to deliver, the lost person must continue in that state until he faces an eternity that is far worse. There is no way of escape, so as far is the sinner is concerned, he is hopeless and helpless. The lost sinner is in a sad situation, of darkness, distress and helplessness.
The reason many do not participate in soul-winning is because they do not see or they have forgotten the horrible pit of sin. May the Lord remind and convict us today of those that need Godís saving grace, their only hope for deliverance.
A GREAT SALVATION
I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. Psalms 40:1-2
This Great Salvation Was In Answer To Prayer. We are fast losing this truth today; many think they just have salvation thrown on them because of what they do or who they are. All are sinners and all have to call upon the Lord to save them. His salvation comes to us as a result of our asking for it. This is a gift of God that He expects every weary and sin-laden sinner to use. The reason many are shying away from this truth is because they donít want to see themselves down in that horrible pit, in the slime of this life, in need of Redemption. That is one of the reasons salvation is so wonderful, in the deepest, darkest, most horrible pit, the Lord hears our prayer and saves us. In that sad situation, even the faintest cry is heard by the loving ears of the Saviour. Every earnest prayer reaches the throne of a Holy God, and that prayer will be answered. That is the way it is for every prayer that is prayed to God. Although some may require patience, some are not always answered instantly, they are all heard and, if we wait patiently, the answer will come. David persevered in prayer, he prayed, waiting for the answer to come.
There is a truth that we do not need to miss here. We say, and rightly so, that salvation is instant. But that does not mean that we are instantly lifted from the circumstances of having been in the pit, especially if we have been there for a long time. But, if we wait patiently for the Lord to work in our lives, we will find ourselves out of those slimy circumstances and our feet on the Solid Rock. How sad it is to see some that need the Lord so badly, they are in a deep pit and they have been there for a long time. But, because the Lord does not lift them out instantly, they do not wait on Him and they miss their deliverance. At salvation, out position is changed instantly, but our physical condition may take some time.
The Psalmist was delivered, rescued from his sin and his past. Thank God that there is complete deliverance for all that come to Christ for salvation. Gone! Gone, thank God my sins are gone! The Psalmist was elevated, far above the roaring and raging war that he once was in. God saves us and raises us up from the deep, dark, horrible pit, lifts our soul up from despair into the light and hope and is found only in Him.
The Psalmist was established. The saved person has his feet safely on a sure foundation, the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ. Where there was once no sure footing, there is now a sure and safe place in which we stand. On Him we build our life, our hope, our character etc.
The psalmist was motivated to move ahead for the Lord. His goings were established. When God delivers the sinner, He does not deliver him to sit still, He delivers him from his sin to start a new journey to holiness and Heaven and He gives him the guidance to stay on that journey. God bids us to go forward for Him and He gives us the guidance and strength to do so.
THE JOY OF OUR SALVATION
And 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. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, 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. Psalms 40:3-5
God help us not to get cold and stale in our praise to the God that saved us, that pulled us from that horrible pit and placed us on that Solid Rock. Every day ought to be a new occasion for singing and our praise ought to always be fresh. Salvation is a joyous and blessed thing. The salvation of the Lord tunes our life to music, not the wicked music of the world, but a new song from Glory! The heart of the saved ought to always be filled with beauty and song. What God has done in our lives ought to be declared to others. When a personís life has been changed from above, it must be manifested below. What God has done in our lives ought also to command reverence. David is not speaking of dread, but a fearful and holy reverence to the God that had been so good to him. Our God is indeed an awesome God, but the way we sing and speak about it today is not the way David sang and spoke about it. It wasnít about stirring the flesh; it was about smiting the heart. What God has done in our lives ought to make others want to trust Him. As people mark the change that has taken place in our lives, they ought to see such a display of His faithfulness and goodness that it leads them to seek the Lord that has done that work for us. As others see the work of grace in us, let them seek that grace for themselves. Do our lives show such divine, powerful, influential grace? Does our life make others want to know Him?
Davidís response to Godís grace was like a celebration. The one who truly trust the Lord will reject all other objects of confidence. It is sad to see those in the Church look to the proud of this world and expect blessing and help from them. That is why our faith is weak and our worship corrupted. Nothing in this world or no man in this world is adequate enough to gain the confidence of one who has trusted in the God of Heaven. The Christian must place his whole confidence in God. The God that is mighty and faithful to save is worthy of all of our trust. Those that learn this truth and act upon it and will never be sorry for that decision. They quickly discover that those that trust the Lord are blessed. The provisions, the gifts and the power of God in our lives are all testimony of the fact the God is working for us. Those works are wonderful. The fact that a Holy God would even consider us is wonderful, how mush more the fact that He condescends down to where we are and performs His great work in our lives. Eternity will be a short time to praise and thank Him for all that He has done for us. God does not act on impulse, what He does in our lives is the result of His thoughts to and about us. He knows what we are, where we are, and what we need. He does not give us a thought every once in a while; His thoughts are so many that they cannot be numbered. The average person thinks from 10 to 12 thousand thoughts each day. It is possible to count all the thoughts that are person could have for a lifetime. So, if every thought you ever had was about God, they could be numbered, but the thoughts that God has for us cannot be numbered.
The phrase ďreckoned up in orderĒ indicates to us that there is an order in all of Godís works, but because they are so many, to present them to us all at once would overwhelm us, we would not know where to even begin. After all that we could possibly say about the wonderful works of God is said, there would still be a mountain so high we could not even see the crest. May the joy of our salvation overflow today.
OUR OFFERING TO GOD
6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psalms 40:6-8).
Now, we move from what the Lord has done for us, to what we will do for the Lord. What can the sinner offer to the God that saved him? The only thing we have is an offering of thanksgiving. How can we express our gratitude to Him? David speaks of four offerings here, sacrifice, offering, burnt offering and sin offering. These represent all the sacrifices known to the Hebrews. These are the things that the Lord had commanded of them, but it was not what He was looking for to express gratitude for His blessings and work in our lives. He is looking for obedience.
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 1Samuel 15:22
God desires that the Christian willingly obey and perform the Divine commands given in His Word. The external sacrifices of material things will be rejected by God as thanksgiving for what He does in your life, because that is an attempt to purchase His favor, something that cannot be done. The only way material sacrifice can be pleasing to God is if they are the result of the grateful expressions of our heart. That is why the Bible says that God loves a cheerful giver. He is looking for the giver, for those that sacrifice gladly because of what God has done for them. Then, that giving or sacrifice must be accompanied by obedience to His commands. When our sacrifice represents our obedience, then and only then is it acceptable to God. When the heart is grateful to God, the physical sacrifices will follow. But, the heart must be presented to God first. The demonstration that the heart is given to God is our obedience to Him. For the New Testament Christians, there is no sacrifice required, the One acceptable sacrifice has been offered and accepted. All that is left for us is obedience. David didnít do as many are doing today, making up their own rules and expecting God to accept them. David came to the same place that you and I must go to find out what our obedience must be; he went to the Bible. David placed the Word of God in his heart, not to possess, but to obey. Today there seems to be confusion about what the will of God is, but David removes all confusion, he said, ďGo to the Book, there you will find out what you are to do.Ē Godís will and His requirements of us are clearly unfolded in the Bible. The Christian is not to have the will of God prescribed for him; he is to have it inscribed in him. When the will of God is written in our hearts, it is a joy and a delight to do our duty. The reason many will not obey the will and Word of God is because it has not been communicated to their hearts. They may hear it, but they have not opened their minds, ears and hearts to receive it. David is says that before, he was not in tune with the Lord, so, he did not always obey. But now, what he needs to do is more that information; it has been placed in his heart by the Spirit of God. Those that take pleasure in obeying the Lord are those that God has done a work in their hearts, He has inclined them to obey.
PROCLAIMING GODíS GREATNESS AND SEEKING HIM IN PRAYER
9 I 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. 11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. 12 For 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. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. (Psalms 40:9-13).
It is an impossibility to shut up the goodness of God in your soul; it is necessary to express or to proclaim it. The love and gratitude of the true believer compels him to speak of the goodness of God. What is living must show signs of life. When Christ lives in you, it will show on you and it will grow from you in word and deed. David Preached the righteousness of God - The Lord is righteous is all of His ways. He declared the faithfulness of God - What He has promised, He will perform, He is worthy of all expectation. He did not conceal the loving-kindness of God - God is good to us all. He declared His salvation - He made known what God had done for him personally.
David went public with his proclamation of the goodness of God. He went to the House of God, to the great congregation. There is no better place to speak of what God has done for us or to hear what He has done for others than in the Church. After expressing great confidence in God, we find David confessing his sins, making known his troubles and asking for help. Our thankfulness and trust in God are the foundations for our prayers to God. While we are commanded to trust and praise God, we are not to forget our daily communion with Him. The sure Christian is the prayerful Christian. David gives painful mention of his sins. THEIR NUMBER - they are many, more than the hairs of his head. When we really consider our sins, those open sins, the hidden sins, the sins of omission, the sins of imperfection, the sins of our mind and conscience and many others, they seem immeasurable. THEIR GRASP - They take hold on us. There are so many that are held in sin with an iron grip, because they let down their guard to keep from falling. THEIR EFFECT - He was not able to look up, his heart failed. There are so many that cannot see their way because of the weight of sin in their lives. They are not strong enough to face the circumstances of their life because of the sin that they have allowed to come in. We must be careful to avoid sin. There are many that may see Davidís prayer as exaggerated, but the heart that is closely in tune with God knows the awfulness of sin that the results that it will bring. We ought to be alarmed when we are aware of any sin at all in our lives. There are Innumerable evils that are all around and no one is immune to the effects and consequences of sin.
God will remove the guilt - We are forgiven
It is a wonderful thing to be able to go to God for deliverance. Our prayers need not be long and filled with religious tones, they can be brief, expressive and sincere and we can have confidence that they will be heard.
A PRAYER TO OUR DELIVERER
14 Let 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. 15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. 16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God. (Psalms 40:14-17).
David prayed for relief from his enemies. And he prayed for all those that loved and trusted in the Lord. The answer to both of these prayers merits our praise to the Lord. David then offers an expression of need and confidence in God to supply that need. Thank God that in times of sin and suffering, the Christian has a recourse, prayer!
In the Lord we have:
Iíve known Godís presence in times of pain,
I know not what the events of this day may bring,
So Glad To Be So Saved
Danny "Preacher" Bezet