Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 40 – A

Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart. This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 40

1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 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.
3 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.

He inclined to me. He bent down to me.

The psalms speak of the Lords bending down to the saint in many passages. I will supply a few verses that use the very same Hebrew word David uses here, but as you read through the psalms, it will become evident the image of the King of Glory “bending down” is quite regular.

Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! – Psalm 31:2

In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me! – Psalm 71:2

A Prayer of David. Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. – Psalm 86:1

Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry! – Psalm 88:2

Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call! – Psalm 102:2

Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. – Psalm 116:2

As I was gathering these verses, I was simply looking for the Hebrew word that is translated as “incline” in Psalm 40:1. I was hoping to simply display the fact that the Lord of Glory would incline towards the saint through this simple study, but something much more specific has been observed. Can you see it?

The Lord inclined His ear! He listened to the saint. He took time (I speak as a fool again) to consider the saints concerns and troubles. This was a wonder to the Old Testament saint, a blessing from the hand of God, and a privilege the saint experienced.

How so for us in the church? Do we have this privilege, of the Lord inclining His ear to us?

Oh my friends, we have much more than that. He inclined His life to us, taking on the form of a servant, and was born in our likeness.

He “inclined” totally!

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. – Philippians 2:6-8 ESV

This is a mystery that is beyond me when I seek to understand it, and rightly so. The very fact that He took time to listen in days of old speaks volumes, for the Old Testament saint did not have a God who was indifferent or standoffish.

How much more for us, in that He not simply listened to the ones he heard, but rubbed shoulders with us, ate with us, walked with us and died for us.

Verse 2 speaks of His deliverance of our lives and a phrase caught my attention as I was a ruminating! He drew me up, “out of the miry bog”

When I first believed, I was so excited about escaping the fires of hell, but not so with the Psalmist. David has a different emphasis in this verse. He does not say He drew me up out of the fiery flames. No no no

The miry bog. A pit of clay. A hole without escape. Not to get too technical, but clay, when wet, has no bearing capacity, in not confined. It is a condition that the more you struggle and fight, the more the clay grabs you, holds you, even consumes you. No hope of escape on your own. A condition of distress, confusion and helplessness.

How often have you been in this condition? All is dark, with no seeming hope and nothing positive on the horizon? This is the condition David recounts as he begins this psalm and speaks of the unilateral help of the only true God in giving us deliverance.

He is the only One active in this set of verses, with the saint being the benefactor, the recipient of the goodness of God.

He is good. Think on these things and praise Him for His many mercies to us!


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