>Psalm 40 speaks to me

>I am amazed at how God’s Word spoke directly to me this morning.

Regular readers will know that I’ve been slowly working through the Psalms. This morning I nearly skipped reading the next Psalm. I have four writing projects that must be completed by tomorrow evening; it would be better if they were completed today, but I have a meeting this afternoon for which I still have hours of preparation. I didn’t feel that I really had time for devotions or blogging this morning.

But I read Psalm 40. This is the Psalm that begins:

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 (ESV, 1-2).

Whenever I read these words, I feel that they apply specifically to me. I’ve been in the pit of depression and the miry bog of anxiety. God has drawn me up from the pit and out of the bog. He’s set my feet upon Christ, the solid rock, and made my steps secure.

I’ve also been in work situations that were miserable. But God provided amazing opportunities for me to write.

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 (3).

I don’t know how effective my work is in God’s kingdom, but he knows. He can use even my feeble words to work in hearts.

Blessed in the man who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie! (v.4).

It doesn’t matter if I ever hold a book with my name on the cover. Thinking of that as fulfillment is turning toward pride and going after a lie.

You have multipled, O LORD my God,
your wondrous deed 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 (5).

The stories I need to write proclaim God’s wondrous work, which is more than I can tell.

Sacrifice and offering you have not desired,
but you have given me an open ear (6a).

God doesn’t desire that I write in an obligatory “works righteous” mode. He has given me an ear that is open to hearing and recording people’s personal stories.

I was feeling more and more as if this Psalm was written thousands of years ago for my particular benefit this morning, when I read:

Then I said, “Behold I have come;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart” (8).

All I have ever wanted to do was write for the Lord.

God has given me many opportunities to do that.

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 (9-10).

Two recently published stories were about rescues after the Haitian earthquake: widely read stories of God’s great deliverance. One of the stories I need to write is a follow-up.

By this time in my reading of Psalm 40, I had undergone a transformation. Instead of feeling as if my pressing deadlines were strangling me, I felt as if my loving Father was wrapping his arms around me.

As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain
your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness
will ever preserve me! (11).

I felt encouraged that God would provide just what I needed for this day. Somehow the preparations will be made. Somehow the meeting will accomplish its aims. Somehow the stories will be written.

The Psalmist then cries for help and asks that those who seek his destruction will be throughly thwarted (13-15). He concludes his prayer with words that need no comment from me:

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! (16-17).


2 thoughts on “>Psalm 40 speaks to me

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s