Psalms 40

Psalm 40

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My Help and My Deliverer

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

40   I waited patiently for the LORD;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
  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.
  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.
  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!
  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.
  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.
  Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
    in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
  I delight to do your will, O my God;
    your law is within my heart.”
  I have told the glad news of deliverance
    in the great congregation;
  behold, I have not restrained my lips,
    as you know, O LORD.
  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.
  As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain
    your mercy from me;
  your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
    ever preserve me!
  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.
  Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me!
    O LORD, make haste to help me!
  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!
  Let those be appalled because of their shame
    who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”
  But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
  may those who love your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the LORD!”
  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!


Psalm 40 Commentary

by Hank Workman

“Deep inside my heart I know You’ve won
I know You’ve overcome
And even in the dark when I’m undone
I still believe it

I live by faith and not by sight
Sometimes miracles take time

While I wait I will worship
Lord I’ll worship Your name
While I wait I will trust You
Lord I’ll trust You all the same

When I fall apart You are my strength
Help me not forget
Seeing ev’ry scar You make me whole
You’re my healer

You’re faithful ev’ry day Your promises remain
You’re faithful ev’ry day Your promises remain
You’re faithful ev’ry day Your promises remain
You’re faithful ev’ry day Your promises remain

Though I don’t understand it
I will worship with my pain
You are God You are worthy
You are with me all the way
So while I wait I will worship
Lord I’ll worship Your name
Though I don’t have all the answers
Still I’ll trust You all the same”

Lincoln Brewster “While I Wait”

This song. These lyrics tumble around in my mind almost daily it seems here of late.

Waiting on God to move is an ongoing aspect of our relationship with Him.  He knows when the timing is right, which is honestly never ours, and when He does move it is usually in pretty dramatic ways.  This is particularly true when it comes to burdens we bear and situations we are enduring.  In such times, it’s easy to get misdirected with our own thoughts.  We sense God possibly going silent.  We wonder if He will ever resolve the issue and sometimes even question ourselves in the matter as to if we heard right.

But waiting on God is a major part of growing trust in Him.  For our waiting not only is God lining up things for His perfect will to come together, but it does a remarkable thing within us.  There are aspects of God in our own lives that are developed through the waiting period.

During such times, as we lean in and trust despite the facts, He lifts us from the despair of the situation.  This is only the Holy Spirit that can bring a song in the night, in the darkness of what He’s doing.  Think of Paul and Silas as they were imprisoned and in the darkest of night began to sing!  This is what He does in each of us as we trust. It’s a silent trust in Jesus having full control.

Our waiting on God also has Him taking us higher than ourselves, placing our feet on the Rock.  He lifts us from the ongoing turmoil and through the power of the Spirit brings peace as our feet firmly rest on Jesus, His Son.  In this, He gives each of us a place to stand.  This is particularly true when everything around us is falling apart.  Beautifully, our waiting brings one more thing worth noting.  He puts a new song in our mouth.  Through His lifting us beyond the situation as our quiet trust grows, His praise bursts forth from deep within.  Once again this speaks to Paul and Silas.  Singing in the darkness – that many will see and hear and put their trust in God!

As their story unfolded, it would be through the miraculous lifting of their praise an earthquake hit the prison and everyone’s chains became loose and the doors opened.  The jailer who witnessed this all had listened to the songs of praise was so fearful of what had happened and his own future with the potential of prisoners escaping he was to kill himself.  Paul let him know they were all still in place.

Then a remarkable thing happened.  The jailer ran and threw himself before them asking what he must do to be saved!  God used all these things as Paul and Silas were faithful in their trust through the situation and brought a lost soul into the Kingdom because of it.

When the darkness hits, when the situation continues and there is no seeming answer or relief in sight – do you trust Him?  Only He can lift you from the despair you sense.  Only He can put your feet on the Rock of Jesus.  Only He can give you a firm place to stand even when everything is falling apart.  And only He can put a new song in your mouth.

While you wait, worship Him.  His promises remain.  Hold firm to this as you watch and see what He is about to do in His timing.

Psalm 40 Commentary

by Brad Boyles


Some days it seems to escape us. Our day starts off on the wrong foot and we struggle to regroup. Problems pile up and we find every reason to gripe and complain about how miserable we are in life. Sometimes we do it without even realizing it. This is true for me. When I am struggling with something physical or spiritual it is often hard for me to be grateful for what I do have. I stumble into the pit of cynicism. The irony is that for some reason we believe it will make us feel better to complain but the reality is, it only drives us further into despair.

“Sin is cosmic ingratitude. It gives you the delusion that you have the ability to conduct and hold your life together. Actually, every day that your heart keeps pumping, your country is not invaded, and your brain keeps functioning is wholly an undeserved gift of God. We ought to live simple, normal, uneventful days full of amazed, thankful joy.”

Tim Keller

So what does this have to do with Psalm 40?

Happy are those who trust the LORD, who do not turn to idols or join those who worship false gods. 5 You have done many things for us, O LORD our God; there is no one like you! You have made many wonderful plans for us. I could never speak of them all— their number is so great!

Psalms 40:4-5 GNB

Gratitude leads to thankfulness. Thankfulness leads to praise. Praise leads to joy. Joy transforms our perspective on life and aligns us toward God’s heart. The psalmist goes on to connect our joy in Him to obedience.

Psalms 40:6-7 GNB You do not want sacrifices and offerings; you do not ask for animals burned whole on the altar or for sacrifices to take away sins. Instead, you have given me ears to hear you, 7 and so I answered, “Here I am; your instructions for me are in the book of the Law.

This is an interesting concept. Obviously, things have changed for us spiritually since these words were penned. Jesus stepped onto the scene and took away the dead religion of animal sacrifices. But, we can certainly apply this context to our current spiritual condition. The psalmist is making the point that God’s desire is not for us to stay in the same rut day after day. For some of that time, it was acceptable to fall into the repetitive pattern of sinning and offering sacrifices.

This “bare minimum attitude” produced hypocrites with clipboards and checklists. It may not have seemed like a big deal to break the law because the sacrifices would atone for the sin. The people forgot that the sacrifices were not constructed for their comfort, they were put in place so they could live and grow in their relationship with God!

What does that mean for us today? Well, some are still content to do the bare minimum. Many Christians today come to church and go about their week trying to be “good people.” They don’t meet with Jesus or engage in regular prayer. They don’t meditate on His Word and apply it to their lives. They are content to stay the same people and rely on grace to cover their repetitive disobedience. Don’t get me wrong – Jesus’ blood DOES cover all sin. But this kind of attitude directly opposes the writings of James and Paul.

Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. 23 If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are. 24 They take a good look at themselves and then go away and at once forget what they look like. 25 But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.

James 1:22-25 GNB

What shall we say, then? Should we continue to live in sin so that God’s grace will increase? 2 Certainly not! We have died to sin—how then can we go on living in it? 3 For surely you know that when we were baptized into union with Christ Jesus, we were baptized into union with his death.

Romans 6:1-3 GNB

God does not want us to continue in sin. How do we break this cycle? Using the pattern of Psalm 40, we can start with grateful hearts. Gratitude leads to thankfulness. Thankfulness leads to praise. Praise leads to joy. Joy transforms our perspective on life and aligns us toward God’s heart. This is what it means to obey. What are you grateful for today?

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