The Book of Psalms Bible Study Psalm 40

Psalm 40 

Always remain hopeful in the L-rd. When we sin we need to repent quickly. If we don’t turn away from G-d, He will remain active in our lives to restore, to edify us etc. In this Psalm David confesses his iniquities/sins to G-d. He understands that this is an important principle. This has nothing to do with attacking the sovereignty of G-d. Although He knows we have sinned and although He knows what the sin was He has set forth spiritual laws whereby it is for our good to confess to G-d what He already knows. When we are in sin we empower and embolden our enemies. 

v1: ‘Waited patiently’ – shows hope (hope is always related to, and rooted in, the promises of G-d). David knows that G-d, by His nature, loves to forgive and to be merciful (Matt 9:36).

  • ‘Inclined…heard’ – G-d is listening for those who are crying out to Him.

v2: The word translated ‘horrible’ is a word that has to do with a loud noise or a disturbance – something that is unsettling (like the disturbing voices in our head when we have done wrong and are guilty). 

  • Miry or slimy clay, like quicksand, is not easy to get out of. 
  • set my feet upon the rock – G-d repositions David. When we feel like we are on an unsure foundation we need to ask G-d to reposition us on a sure foundation.
  • When G-d establishes our steps it means that He orders our strides in order that we can walk in His purposes and in His ways. 

v3: ‘New song’ – This speaks about a change. Newness speaks about the purposes of G-d being renewed in our lives. 

  • ‘Our G-d’ – What G-d does for David He will also do for us. 
  • Many will see (..will fear…will trust): Never underestimate the importance of testimony. Many saw David in the pit, but many also saw the power of G-d to bring him out of it. They saw the change (the new) that took place in David’s life, and in David’s words.
  • Fear – in this context this is a word related to giving G-d priority in their lives.
  • Trust in the L-rd – G-d becomes their security (In modern Hebrew this same word is related to insurance). 

v4: ‘Blessed’/happy – same word used in the Beatitudes. 

  • The proud – those who have a degree of arrogance and who lift themselves up way beyond where they should
  • Lies – empty promises. Pride causes people to lie. However, pride will also lead to us being easily deceived. When we are thinking pridefully we will not have discernment or be able to identify what is of G-d and what is not. Pride positions us for defeat. 

v5: My G-d – David is in a covenantal relationship with G-d. G-d is personal to him. Never underestimate the significance of a new covenantal relationship with G-d. It changes everything. 

  • Toward us – even though David started this verse off on a personal note (my G-d) he wants us to realise that all the wonderful things G-d has done have been for all of mankind in general (us)
  • More than can be numbered – we can’t fully comprehend the many things that G-d does wondrously in our lives. We need to constantly declare and speak of G-d’s works – being grateful to Him for everything He has done in our lives. 

v6: ‘Sacrifices’ usually refer to blood sacrifices and ‘offerings’ usually refer to grain sacrifices (“gifts”). Sacrifices are not what motive G-d to work and to act in our lives. G-d prefers people to walk with Him, to walk in His ways – to serve Him, and to obey Him (eg Enoch) – 1 Sam 15:22

v7-8: David wants to come before G-d in order to do His will. 

  • Scroll of the Book – The Torah, Books of the Law
  • Within my heart – the pit of my stomach. G-d’s law touches David in his innermost being. 

v9: to proclaim = to evangelize. 

  • Great congregation is an abundant group. 
  • Do not restrain – do not close up.
  • You yourself know – G-d knows David’s history and He knows how consistently David has behaved (sin being the exception to the rule rather than the norm). 

v10: David does not want to conceal righteousness and only think about it in his heart (his innermost being, his thoughts), but he wants to proclaim it. 

  • In this verse we can see the relationship between righteousness, faith and salvation. A person is a candidate for salvation when he desires righteousness – when he wants to turn away from sin. We are saved by faith. When we become saved (Roms 10:9-10) G-d declares us righteous and that declaration should work itself out in a process called sanctification. Sanctification (which manifests righteousness) sets us apart for the purposes of G-d.  
  • Lovingkindness is another name for grace. Again (like we have seen so often) we see grace and truth again linked together. The five things mentioned in this verse are the things that really interest every true believer.

v11: It is G-d’s lovingkindness (grace) and truth that keep us, preserve us, guard us, keep us out of trouble. G-d’s grace works in the life of a believer not just to save them but also to turn them toward the truth of G-d so that they desire to turn away from sin and live according to His truth. 

v12: David is speaking here about the condition that he is in currently. Why is David, a man after G-d’s heart, in the situation he finds himself in? 

  • Not able to look up – When we are committing sin it is going to cause us to not have a Biblical perspective on things i.e we will not have discernment in order to see things correctly. This causes us to be deceived.
  • Heart fails – In this situation David is totally confused – discouraged, lack of perspective etc

v13: Be pleased – David wants G-d’s desire to be one of wanting to save or rescue him. 

  • Make haste – move quickly

v14: David is sensing the enemy’s desire to utterly destroy him. He knows that this mess that he is in is his own fault. But he also knows that G-d can rescue him from this mess. 

  • Wish me evil – these people desire the things that are not G-d’s will. They are not submissive to the things of G-d (sometimes things that look right from a human perspective are not right in the eyes of the L-rd – Judges 21:25). 

v15: When we seek our own will (and not G-ds) it is going to lead to shame. 

  • Aha, aha – this is related to this idea of accusing. satan is called the accuser. He likes to deceive us and push us into sin. These people are not servants of G-d as instead of encouraging repentance and wanting to help David find restoration they are happy when he trips up and are quick to point fingers. 

v16: All those who seek You – when we are seeking G-d it means that we want to know Him, know His will etc. Those who are out of G-d’s will experience shame, those who seek G-d’s will experience rejoicing and gladness. 

  • love Your salvation…say continually – salvation allows us to experience the greatness of G-d in order that we might share it with others. The first great thing we experience when we believe is His forgiveness, His mercy, His compassion. 

v17: Poor and needy – spiritually, David is bankrupt. When we confess that we are at the end of ourselves and that we need G-d it is an invitation for Him to come and move in our lives. 

  • Deliverer – one who sets free. G-d is able to set us free from all those things that are shameful in our lives, all the consequences of our disobedience.

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