I am planning to do 2 more Psalms this week which will take us to the end of Book 1, so today we will read Psalm 40 together.I heard a really helpful sermon on this when I was up in Keswick this year, and some of the following is passing on the key points from that.
Perhaps the first 3 verses will be a bit more familiar to you because of its graphic language of ‘the slimy pit’, and ‘the mud and mire’.Here is a great thank you to God for what He has done in the Psalmist’s life, a rescue mission, which has echoed in the experience of many other people down the years, they have felt it too.
The modern chorus, ‘When I was lost you came and rescued me’ puts to music these early verses https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCoin1k0s48; and so does one of U2’s early songs, “40” (because it is quoting Psalm 40!!).
In verses 6-8, with its strange reference to pierced ears, which is about having clear out, but actually saying obedience is better than sacrifice. And these verses are quoted in Hebrews Chapter 10 verses 5 to 7 which tells us that they are ultimately about Jesus and His one perfect obedient sacrifice.
And in verse 9-10 the Psalmist is publicly (in the great assembly) shouting out his thank you’s to the Lord.
However, from v.11 onwards there is a change in tone, because we realise that the Psalmist is still in trouble, that despite his best intentions, his sin has come back, of his own making, and so in a way he is back to square 1, and needing the Lord’s help to get out of the pit again. So David is like Peter, and many others down the years, including us, who can testify to God’s rescue mission when it first gloriously happened, but also more shame-facedly when it happens again, and so we need to keep coming back to the rescuer/Saviour and pleading for mercy.
In our cycle of prayer today, let us pray for 2 of our overseas contacts, praying for their ministries and their personal lives,- Hannah in Tunisia- Fidel and Christine, Amani and Joy in Kenya