Psalm 40 — Praising a Good God — Reading the Psalms


For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay;
And he set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 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.
4 Blessed is the man that maketh the LORD his trust,
And respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonderful works which thou hast done,
And thy thoughts which are to us-ward:
They cannot be set in order unto thee;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering thou hast no delight in;
Mine ears hast thou opened:
Burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
7 Then said I, Lo, I am come;
In the roll 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.
9 I have published righteousness in the great congregation;
Lo, I will not refrain 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 overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of mine head, and my heart hath failed me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me:
Make haste to help me, O LORD.
14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together
That seek after my soul to destroy it:
Let them be turned backward and brought to dishonour
That delight in my hurt.
15 Let them be desolate by reason 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.
17 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.

In this exciting psalm of praise David lifts his Lord on high, speaks his own commitment to goodness, and prays for deliverance. These oft repeated ideas ring out loud and clear as he draws us in with his words. We too cry out praises and devotion to God with David as we read.

God’s work for David begins by giving him a foundation on which to stand. Standing on the strong rock, where all can see, David knows he is safe and wishes to praise God. Yet how does one praise so mighty a Lord? Words are not enough, failing to speak the whole of God’s greatness. So too do sacrifices fail.

David thus declares his desire to work goodness and share the good news of God with others. He declares God’s faithfulness and salvation. He publishes righteousness in the congregation. He delights in God’s law and to perform his words.

Yet, when he looks around, he still sees he’s surrounded by trouble. Even standing on the rock, David still seeks hsi Savior’s help. Deliverance, once received from God, has no substitute. No deed by man can compare with the work of the Lord to help protect and save.

Thus, we ourselves cry with David: Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee!


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