Those who seek God in all their perplexities shall rejoice and be glad in Him,
for He will not only be found of them, but will be their bountiful rewarder, wherefore, they should say continually, “The Lord be magnified” (v. 16).
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.
14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.
16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 40:1-10 – A Joyous Testimony
This psalm follows appropriately on the two former, in which the psalmist had been detailing his sufferings. Here he celebrates deliverance. But a Greater than David is here. Hebrews 10:5-7 puts Psalm 40:6-8 upon the lips of Christ, and we hear His voice speaking through these olden words.
In deep distress, Psalm 40:1-3, what can the soul do but wait patiently until the Lord inclines and hears? The horrible pit is a “pit of roaring;” that is, a ravine where the deep waters rush and roar. What Jeremiah experienced literally, Jeremiah 38:6, we pass through spiritually. But God will leave no child of His there; He will lift him to stand on the rock, his mouth filled with songs.
When we are delivered let us set our gladness to music and embody it in renewed consecration, Psalm 40:4-10. Let us not hide God’s love in our hearts, but tell it out. The bored ear, Psalm 40:6, in reference to Exodus 21:6, means obedience forever, absolute consecration, the glad submission of the will. This is dearer to God than the most elaborate ceremonial or ritual. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 40:7-8—I delight to do thy will, O my God.
The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 10) lays great stress on these words. He says that this yielding up of Christ’s will to his Father’s was consummated on the cross, and was the inner heart of our Savior’s passion. “By the which will (surrendered and given back to God) we are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:10). He then proceeds to suggest that it is only as we enter into a living oneness with Jesus in this that we can pass from the outer court and have boldness to enter into the Holiest of all. This, he says, is the new and living way. Jesus entered into the Holiest because He gave Himself absolutely to his Father. We cannot expect to go thither till we have become possessed of the same spirit.
It is a solemn question for each. Have we all stood at the cross, as the slave of old at the doorpost of his masters house, and said, “I love my master… I will not go out free” (Exodus 21:5)? Have we been united to that cross, as by the boring of the awl? Have we so embraced the will of God that we are prepared to follow it, though it lead to the Cross and grave? Then one condition at least is fulfilled for our standing unabashed where angels veil their faces.
But there is yet another condition. We can have no right to stand within the Holiest, except through the blood of Jesus, shed for sin on the cross. This is necessary ere sinners can have boldness in the presence of Divine Purity.
When Rutherford was like to die of sore illness, instead of a martyr’s death, he said, “I would think it a more glorious way of going home, to lay down my life for the cause at the cross of Edinburgh or St. Andrew’s; but I submit to my Masters will. Oh for arms to embrace Him!” —Our Daily Homily
Psalm 40:11-17 – A Cry for Deliverance
To the end of life we shall continually need God’s lovingkindness, to deal mercifully with our failures and sins, and His truth, that is, His faithfulness. The Covenant, ordered in all things and sure, and that which binds him irrevocably, is the rock of our comfort, whether we are compassed by innumerable evils or overtaken by iniquities, Psalm 40:12.
Our sense of sin grows with our increasing knowledge of the holiness and love of God. They who are nearest to the heart of God are least able to forgive themselves, though they know that they are forgiven. But while we think hard thoughts against ourselves, and confess ourselves to be poor and needy, we may take great comfort in God’s thoughts for us, Psalm 40:17. They are tender and loving, Jeremiah 29:11. Poverty and need are never reasons for despair. These things do not alienate God’s interest. They rather attract Him; just as a sick child will get more of the mother’s care than the healthy members of the home-circle. —Through the Bible Day by Day