Some people probably think I only read the Psalms. I want to assure you that it isn't true. But, if you want to listen to some good sermons on the psalms - Josh Harris at CovLife in Gaithersburg is currently preaching a series on them. There is so much life and theology in the psalms. One can find out so much about God's character and how we, as His children, are to interact with Him.
Even as I sent a prayer request to some folks this morning and used some of Ps 40 in my prayer - it made me so quickly reevaluate my prayer life (or the lack thereof). So, here we go...
Ps 40 (man, now that I've looked at it even more - I love it even more - I love the WORD)
1. David was waiting on the LORD. Period. How my prayers often work is I tell everyone else about the prayer request and my little brain thinking is - well, that works as me saying the prayer too. WRONG! I need to first and foremost look to my LORD as my audience for prayers. He is the only one who can answer, the only One to offer relief. And the answer came. Yes, there is biblical commands for intercession and community of prayer - but never should we forgo taking our requests to God first!
2. "He drew me up" - God is working on our behalf. It is not a we thing. It is a God only thing.
3. I love this verse! Praise! Praise to our God - I think also of Romans 11.33-36 (see I do read other books of the Bible). All of our praise is due Him and no other - this is where it all comes from. And for what purpose is our praise: (one of them) is that people will "see and fear and put their trust in God." One of the reasons God answers our prayers is so that people will see HIM (not just the answer).
4. "who makes the Lord his trust, and does not turn to the proud" - concentrated gaze on God!
5. "You have multiplied your thoughts toward us" I love the idea of that - God thinks about me. HIS very Words (God-breathed) says that - and God doesn't lie. There is thankfulness and praise as a result of answered prayers.
6. I like this in light of Ps 50 (see next blog entry).
7-10. Declaration of our immediate obedience. Delight to do your will, law is within my heart, told the glad news of deliverance, I have not restrained my lips.
10-11. David extols the character of God that he declares: deliverance, faithfulness, salvation, steadfast love, faithfulness (again), mercy, steadfast love (again), and faithfulness (yet, again). These are so important characteristics when we have waited and waited and waited to see God work in an area of our lives - and finally (or maybe not yet) have seen the movement of God.
13. He takes joy to deliver me! But the deliverance may not come in how we think it will come. But, God is so WISE (as I have definitely learned over the last month)!
16-17. "But may all who see you, rejoice and be glad in you, may those who love your salvation, say continually Great is the Lord! As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer, do not delay, O My God!" This is David's resounding confidence - not in the answer - but in the Answerer! (Ps 16.11)
Matthew Henry, great theologian that he was, said this: "From God he (David) expected relief, and he was BIG with expectation. Not doubting but it would come in DUE time. And resolved to continue believing, and hoping, and praying till it did come."