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FRAMEWORKS: Psalm 40: Testimony & Petition


For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.


[Preliminary Comments: Another song of testimony and petition from David. It starts with testimony [v.1-3], declaring the principle that the Lord blessed those who trust in Him [v.4] for His activities are many and plain to be seen [v.5]. The Lord hadn't wanted lots of sacrifices from David [v.6], just his obedience [v.7,8] and David had already testified to the Lord's goodness to him [v.9,10] yet there are still prevailing circumstances where he needs the Lord's help [v.11-13] for he still has enemies who would seek to pull him down [v.14,15]. He knows the Lord delivers those who seek Him [v.16] and he needs the Lord to do that for him now [v.17]. Yes a mixture of testimony to the Lord's goodness [seen mostly in verses 1-10] and David's need to experience it afresh [seen in verses 11-17].





v.1-3 The Lord has saved David from a calamity


v.1  I waited patiently for the Lord;
     he turned to me and heard my cry.
v.2   He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
v.3   He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.


v.4 The consequence of trusting the Lord alone


v.4  Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.

v.5 God has been highly active on David's behalf


v.5  Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.


v.6 The Lord hadn't wanted lots of sacrifices


v.6  Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
    but my ears you have opened—
    burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.

v.7,8 (Implied) All he had wanted and found was David's obedience


v.7  Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
    it is written about me in the scroll.
v.8  I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”


v.9,10 David had testified before all of the God's great goodness


v.9  I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.
v.10  I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.



Part 2: v.11-17: Petition


v.11-13 Yet now David need His help


v.11  Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
v.12  For troubles without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails within me.
v.13  Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.


v.14,15 He needs help from those who would seek to pull him down


v.14  May all who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.
v.15  May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
    be appalled at their own shame.

v.16 As a general principle those who seek God will be saved


v.16  But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”


v.17 David knows this but still awaits for it in the present circumstances


v.17  But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    you are my God, do not delay.



[Additional Thoughts: The writer to the Hebrews attributes verses 6 to 8 prophetically to Jesus – see Heb 10:5-10. David, being a man after God's own heart, reflects the heart of the Son of God prophetically in the midst of this song of testimony (v.1-10)and petition (v.11-17) that reveals yet again David's trust in the Lord.]



Continue to Psa 41