Psalm 40

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.
1 I waited patiently for the LORD. He turned to me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay. He set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God. Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. 4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, and doesn’t respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. 5 Many, LORD, my God, are the wonderful works which you have done, and your thoughts which are towards us. They can’t be declared back to you. If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. 6 Sacrifice and offering you didn’t desire. You have opened my ears. You have not required burnt offering and sin offering. 7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come. It is written about me in the book in the scroll. 8 I delight to do your will, my God. Yes, your law is within my heart.” 9 I have proclaimed glad news of righteousness in the great assembly. Behold, I will not seal my lips, LORD, you know. 10 I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart. I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation. I have not concealed your loving kindness and your truth from the great assembly. 11 Don’t withhold your tender mercies from me, LORD. Let your loving kindness and your truth continually preserve me. 12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me. My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up. They are more than the hairs of my head. My heart has failed me. 13 Be pleased, LORD, to deliver me. Hurry to help me, LORD. 14 Let them be disappointed and confounded together who seek after my soul to destroy it. Let them be turned backward and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt. 15 Let them be desolate by reason of their shame that tell me, “Aha! Aha!” 16 Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let such as love your salvation say continually, “Let the LORD be exalted!” 17 But I am poor and needy. May the Lord think about me. You are my help and my deliverer. Don’t delay, my God.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–5

Doubts and fears about the eternal state, are a horrible pit and miry clay, and have been so to many a dear child of God. There is power enough in God to help the weakest, and grace enough to help the unworthiest of all that trust in him. The psalmist waited patiently; he continued believing, hoping, and praying. This is applicable to Christ. His agony, in the garden and on the cross, was a horrible pit and miry clay. But those that wait patiently for God do not wait in vain. Those that have been under religious melancholy, and by the grace of God have been relieved, may apply ver. #(2) very feelingly to themselves; they are brought up out of a horrible pit. Christ is the Rock on which a poor soul can alone stand fast. Where God has given stedfast hope, he expects there should be a steady, regular walk and conduct. God filled the psalmist with joy, as well as peace in believing. Multitudes, by faith beholding the sufferings and glory of Christ, have learned to fear the justice and trust in the mercy of God through Him. Many are the benefits with which we are daily loaded, both by the providence and by the grace of God.

Verses 6–10

The psalmist foretells that work of wonder, redemption by our Lord Jesus Christ. The Substance must come, which is Christ, who must bring that glory to God, and that grace to man, which it was impossible the sacrifices should ever do. Observe the setting apart of our Lord Jesus to the work and office of Mediator. In the volume, or roll, of the book it was written of him. In the close rolls of the Divine decrees and counsel, the covenant of redemption was recorded. Also, in all the volumes of the Old Testament something was written of him, Joh 19:28. Now the purchase of our salvation is made, the proclamation is sent forth, calling us to come and accept it. It was preached freely and openly. Whoever undertook to preach the gospel of Christ, would be under great temptation to conceal it; but Christ, and those he calls to that work, are carried on in it. May we believe his testimony, trust his promise, and submit to his authority.

Verses 11–17

The best saints see themselves undone, unless continually preserved by the grace of God. But see the frightful view the psalmist had of sin. This made the discovery of a Redeemer so welcome. In all his reflections upon each step of his life, he discovered something amiss. The sight and sense of our sins in their own colours, must distract us, if we have not at the same time some sight of a Saviour. If Christ has triumphed over our spiritual enemies, then we, through him, shall be more than conquerors. This may encourage all that seek God and love his salvation, to rejoice in him, and to praise him. No griefs nor poverty can render those miserable who fear the Lord. Their God, and all that he has or does, is the ground of their joy. The prayer of faith can unlock his fulness, which is adapted to all their wants. The promises are sure, the moment of fulfilment hastens forward. He who once came in great humility, shall come again in glorious majesty.

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