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Passage: Psalms 40-45

On Friday, June 30, 2017, Yujin wrote,

In God we have boasted all day long,
And we will give thanks to Your name forever. Selah.

Yet You have rejected us and brought us to dishonor,
And do not go out with our armies (Psalm 44:8-9).

A dear lady has been faithful in serving, praying, encouraging, and giving to those in need. She has a young daughter, who suffers a physical malady, which has caused discomfort, pain and embarrassment. Doctor after doctor has seen her without a clear diagnosis. Finally, after lots of tears and prayers, she finally got a clear diagnosis. Her daughter has a permanent condition that will require continual medical intervention for the rest of her life. 

As I think about this dear lady's plight, tears come to my eyes, and my heart feels constrained. Immediately after I read her Facebook entry, I read today's chapters from the Psalms, and it is about how they were faithful to the LORD, yet He was pleased to allow them to suffer. The common refrain and attitude in these psalms is reflected in the words of Psalm 43:5,

Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

The dear lady shared a precious song called "Even If" from Mercy Me (link). She wrote,

As i was driving alone today, this song came on the radio and as i was singing along when i got to these words, tears just started flowing....

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul

God does not always answer our prayers in the way we want. Even the Lord Jesus prayed in the Garden, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42). We walk in the footsteps of our Lord. From the song above, there is another moving line:

I know you are able
And I know you can
Save through the fire
With Your mighty hand,

But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

Even if He does not deliver us out of our suffering, our embarrassment, and our struggle; even so, our hope is in Him alone. He is our hope! Don't let the temporal overshadow the eternal. Dear friends, put your hope in God, for we will yet praise Him, our Savior and our God!

Passage: Psalms 40-45

On Sunday, June 30, 2013, Otto wrote,

So strange that you write this....I've fallen away from reading every day (again, I know, I know...) then decide to read this earlier this week, and what do you say? That I get to read these words, not that I have to! Thank you. Looking forward to getting to do this!

Passage: Psalms 40-45

On Sunday, June 30, 2013 (Last Updated on 6/29/2015), Yujin wrote,

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm 42:1-2)

I love the image of the dear thirsting for water as a metaphor for the soul thirsting for God; however, what resonates with me more than this is the question that follows: "When shall I come and appear before God?" 

It is not simply a question seeking information. It is an expression of yearning. It's like my child, who has a wonderful time playing a game with her daddy and says, "I want to do this every day." 

The question simply seeks permission, for the willingness is already there. 

Some people look at personal quiet time and Bible study as something they HAVE to do. But instead they should see this is something they GET to do. Rather than a MUST DO we should see this is a MAY DO. Yes, it is a necessity, but it is also a great privilege. Oh, that we would all have the heart of David, who so yearned after God that his every thought was, "When shall I come and appear before God?" 

This is why David also writes,

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27:4).

Friends, let us seek the LORD and His Word with such yearning!

Passage: Psalms 40-45

On Saturday, June 30, 2012 (Last Updated on 6/29/2015), Yujin wrote,

You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand—you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings. Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” (Psalm 40:6-8 NLT)

The writer of the Book of Hebrews may have had this passage in mind when speaking of God's provision of the body of Christ in place of sacrifices and offerings for the forgiveness of sins:

For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God,“You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer. You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin. Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—as is written about me in the Scriptures.’” First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. (Hebrews 10:4-10 NLT)

When David writes in the Psalm, "Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures," Hebrews ascribes these words to Jesus. David spoke prophetically about the Messiah, who would come, according to the Scriptures, to fulfill what human beings could not accomplish and what Old Testament sacrifices and offerings could not satisfy with respect to the justice of God. Jesus offered His body as a sin offering to accomplish what the Law could not do. He made us holy. 

This is what David understood. There was no animal sacrifice or offering that could save David's soul. After all, these sacrifices and offerings only covered unintentional sins. They did not cover his deliberate acts of adultery and murder.  Thus, he cries out in the penitential psalm associated with these sins,

Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. (Psalm 51:14, 16, 17 NLT)

David had only "a broken and repentant heart" to appeal to God for forgiveness. By the Mosaic Law he was worthy of death and condemnation. But God forgave him not according to Law but according to grace. As John writes in his gospel,

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).

Furthermore, there were not enough animals to cover all David's sins, as he himself recognized:

For troubles surround me—too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage. (Psalm 40:12 NLT)

The writer of the Book of Hebrews cites Psalm 40 as a psalm expressing the grace of God. And that is exactly what it teaches. This is what David understood. And this is how we ought to understand it as well. Even when David did not know the name of Jesus, he understood that ultimate forgiveness came only through the provision of God and not through human obedience. The words, "Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart" is not David's declaration to obey God but the declaration of the Messiah, who would come to offer His body for the forgiveness of sin, for David and for all who would trust in Him. 

Friends, what David finally understood let us not take for granted. Our hope is in the provision of God alone, in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. This is what we are to declare to the nations. So David also writes in concluding this psalm:

But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The LORD is great!” (Psalm 40:16 NLT)

Passage: Psalms 40-45

On Friday, July 1, 2011, Unmi wrote,
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. 
13 Be pleased to save me, LORD; 
   come quickly, LORD, to help me. (Psalm 40:12-13)

We all know of David's sin of adultery and murder. Here, David confesses that his sinful nature overwhelmed him to the point that he could not see straight.  Like David, we know what we ought to do, but our sinful nature often takes the better of us.  There are so many self help books out there to help people deal with the problem areas in their lives. However, David acknowledges his frailty and instead of turning to a 7 or 12 step program, he ask the LORD, the only one who is able to cleanse his heart, to come rescue him.  The Lord is the only one who can provide true deliverance from our sin. 

   You are my help and my deliverer; 
   you are my God, do not delay. (Psalm 40:17)

If there are problem areas in our lives, let us turn to the LORD for deliverance...
1  I waited patiently for the LORD; 
   he turned to me and heard my cry. 
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. 
3  He put a new song in my mouth, 
   a hymn of praise to our God. (Psalm 40:1-3)

Jesus is my rock, my firm foundation!


Passage: Psalms 40-45

On Thursday, June 30, 2011, Misty wrote,

wow. That's all I can say. Psalms 40-45 are pretty amazing chapters. The emotions that David expresses are pretty wide. From anger, to hurt, to pleading, to joy, to praise, to conviction, to doubt, and so on. The verses that stood out to me are in Ps. 42 and 43,

Ps 42:1-5 pretty much describes my walk with Christ. At times I long for God, and at times Satan says: Where is God in all of this? And one day I am leading the "festive procession to the House of God with joyful and thankful shouts", and the next Im so" depressed and full of turmoil." But at the same time, all I have to do is look at pictures of my nephew and family, or the beach, or the mountains, or waterfalls in some far away land that I will prolly never get to visit, and my attitude changes.

Ps. 42:8 pretty much sums up who the Lord is. :The Lord will send his faithful love by day; His song will be with me in the night--a prayer to the God of my life." That's who He is. By the word Day, I think the writer is speaking of the times when all is going well in our lives, verses the night when we are in stormy situations that we can't deal with alone..

Psalms 43 goes right along with this verse. 43:3-4 says "Send them Your light and Your truth; let them lead me. Let them (light and truth) bring me to your Holy Mountain, to your dwelling place. Then I will come to the altar of God, to God, My GREATEST joy, I will praise you with the lyre, God, my God."

Chapter 42 and 43 correspond, and they are tied together with these verses: 42:11 and 43:5 Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my savior and my God.

It sounds like David is trying to convince himself, that even though he's depressed and full of turmoil, He's gonna praise God anyway. He's going to put his Hope in God, anyway. And that's all we can do sometimes is put Him first anyway, even though we aren't in the best of circumstances. Even though we are walking in the night, and we can't see anything that God is doing. Just praise him anyway. Just hope in him anyway. For his plans for your life are good and full of hope to give you a future.

Sometimes, that is all that I can cling to.

Passage: Psalms 40-45

On Thursday, June 30, 2011, Stephen wrote,

I've been slacking off lately after I came back from the mission trip partly because of physical weakness and mostly because of my laziness that crept in me. But still reading God's Word has never been forgotten! I was greatly encouraged by today and yesterday's readings. The psalmists were going through some sort of hardships in their lives and crying out to God who seemed silent at the moment. But they would not stay in despair and gave their wills to praise Him because they trusted in God's enduring love. I was talking to one of FB friends who said he wants a better answer than trusting in God's sovereignty when facing hardships. A better answer? I think that he was looking for an answer that may be able to scratch his audience's itchy ear by saying something fancy. We just don't like God being in control over everything in our lives and want autonomy over ourselves. Social injustice, poverty, wars, diseases, ethnic or religious conflicts that we see in this world are the pitiful outcome of default of God in our lives. Although our need of the Savior is the only choice, we are still so stiff-necked as to push God aside; we strive to establish our own righteousness. Humble conviction of our depravity! That's what we need. Let's cry out to God and wait patiently for the Lord while we go through daily lives!

Passage: Psalms 40-45

On Thursday, June 30, 2011 (Last Updated on 6/29/2015), Yujin wrote,

Psalms 42 and 43 may be a couplet, connected by a common refrain:

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
The help of my countenance and my God (Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5).

David seems to be composing this psalm in his distress (Psalm 42:9-10; 43:1-2). What is fascinating here is that there is not only prayer to God but also a kind of self-talk. At the same time that David is seeking God's help and deliverance, he is also reminding himself to keep his hope in the Lord and to wait for Him with confident expectation.

Someone once said to me, "I don't want to read the Bible every day because I can't do it sincerely." Another said to me, "I only sing praise when I can do it with all my heart." As "spiritual" as this sounds, this is truly garbage logic. Would you not work because you don't feel like working? Would you not feed your baby simply because you don't feel like feeding him? Reading the Bible and praising God are not options for believers. We don't do them because we can do them sincerely. We don't do even do them because of some perceived benefit we think we might gain. We do them because God commands it, because God is worthy of it, and because we must. In fact, I would challenge you to do this. The more you don't feel like reading and praising, to that extent do even more reading and praising. And keep doing it until you feel like it. And keep doing it even if you never feel like it. It is food for your soul. It is water for your spirit.

Now, consider David in this psalm. He confesses that he is "cast down" and his soul "disquieted." In view of this, what does he do? Does he say, "It's okay. You can take a break from worshiping God. Just praise Him after things get better." No way! In his self-talk, David commands his soul, "Hope in God!" Even though things look bleak, he declares that he will still praise God. Why? Because the LORD is his Savior and because the LORD is his God. David worships God because of who God is, not because of how he feels. This is how God tested Abraham when He commanded him to sacrifice Isaac, his only son (Genesis 22:1-19). This is how God tested Israel in the wilderness when he caused them to be hungry and thirsty (Deuteronomy 8:2-3). God even tested Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). And Paul too received this test when he was given a thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). So, do you not think that God would test you and me in the same way?

Therefore, friends, let us take the example of David in these psalms and do a little self-talk. Let us command our souls to keep hoping in God, even when there are storm clouds in our lives. Let us persist in worshpping Him, in reading His Word, in praying to Him, and in praising Him because we know that what we think or feel does not take anything away from the reality of who God is. And to you, my friends, who have left off in your daily reading and meditation on God's Word, choose to begin again today. Don't postpone what you know is the right thing to do, for  delayed obedience is disobedience. As more reason for doing it, I testify that it will bring great blessing, wisdom, and assurance in this life for you.

Passage: Psalms 40-45

On Thursday, June 30, 2011, Fernando wrote,

40:6 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.

      Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand
      you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.

I love how God showed early on legalism isn't the way to God's heart. Even though that is what it seemed, and really was the only thing they had. 

Passage: Psalms 40-45

On Wednesday, June 30, 2010, Yujin wrote,

David writes in Psalm 40:12, "For evils beyond number have surrounded meMy iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; They are more numerous than the hairs of my head, and my heart has failed me." This verse is remarkable to me because David does not just point out the number of wicked people around him. He also points out the number of sins within him. He is troubled by both. He is not a blameless man among the guilty. He is a guilty man among other guilty men. This is very much like Isaiah's confession: "I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips" (Isaiah 6:5). Yet, as with Isaiah, there is a distinction between David and the other guilty men. David has put his trust in the LORD (Psalm 40:3). The greater part of Psalm 40 is David's expression of trust in God's unfailing love, even His faithfulness to keep His covenant promises to David (Psalm 40:10). Others may rely on their personal self-worth, their position over others, the security in their wealth or family, but David makes his transparent and unguarded appeal to God alone (Psalm 40:1, 16-17): "Since I am afflicted and needy, let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God" (verse 17).

Let us then have such a view of things. Let us extol the virtues of our God and appeal to Him alone for our healing and restoration.