Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 40 – B

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

4 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!
5 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.

Let’s continue with this incredible psalm, remembering that David earlier described the actions of the Lord in rescuing him from the miry pit and setting him on a firm foundation. The natural expected response to this show of grace to the sinner was that we would make the Lord our trust. Those who do make the Lord their trust, they are blessed.

But what does it look like to make the Lord their trust? David gives us some direction in this regard, by providing two descriptions of those who do not trust the Lord.

Trusting the Proud

David speaks of the one who makes the Lord his trust as one who does not turn to the proud.

First off, this implies a difference between the saint and the sinner, since a typical characteristic of those who do not know and trust the Lord in His mercies, these poor souls only have themselves to depend on (or at least another mere man) for their guidance and stability, which naturally breeds a pride and arrogance in their lives. This is an inevitable outcome of trusting our own thoughts and opinions. I cannot depend on my own thoughts and at the same time truly consider myself to be humble, for I have elevated my accumulated bank of wisdom over all others.

Consider a man that has attained a high level of education, excelled in his career, and is confident of his abilities. It is a rare that he will consider others opinions to be equal to his, although for the sake of social graces and professional appearance, this may seem to occur.

Trusting the Lord is a different matter, since many, if not all of the precepts of the Lord go against our natural inclination, and rub against our pride. A believer, trusting in the Lord, will exhibit a willingness to be subdued by the Word as he hears it, and will reject a dependence on those who are confident in their own status.

Trusting the Liar

Many times in the ancient writings, the Hebrews would use a type of poetry that is not familiar to us. Where we tend to look for words that rhyme, or for a certain cadence to the verse, for the Hebrew prophet, much poetry started with a statement, followed by a clarification of the statement.

A prophet using a synonymous poetry style, is seen in the following passages.

Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue. – Psalm 120:2

Notice how lying lips are further defined as a deceitful tongue

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, – Proverbs 3:11

Notice that discipline is further refined as reproof.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. – Isaiah 53:5

Multiple parallels in this short passage. Take a moment to identify at least two parallel descriptions in the verse above.

Lets return to our passage in Ps 40 where David speaks of the one who does not make the Lord his trust. Consider that to turn to the proud, is refined in this couplet as going after a lie! Pride and lies are common bedfellows in both the Old and New Testament.

The relation between humility and trust is again brought to my attention, and I ask those who may be reading, to consider the place of humility in trusting the Lord in their experience with the Lord.

Deeds and Thoughts Toward Us

David reverts to considering the One to whom he is praying, the One who has rescued him from the miry pit, and has set his feet on solid ground.

His thoughts and deeds are toward us, toward the hurting and helpless, toward those who suffer and are ignored, toward those who are weak and without guidance. The Lord’s deeds and thoughts are more than can be spoken. More than can be revealed. More than can be communicated.

His character of grace and mercy towards those who trust Him, (and those who don’t) cannot be fully expressed. Of course those who do not know Him, are still the recipients of multitudinous mercies on a daily basis, and yet they have no knowledge. We who claim to know Him, will naturally proclaim Him, even though it is impossible to fully communicate each and every one of His gracious thoughts and deeds toward us.

He is toward us, He is good and He is to be trusted.


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