I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1 (NIV)
Here in Psalm 40, King David writes about patient and prayerful waiting; waiting for God’s timing. Yet, one of the hardest things in life is waiting; waiting for a final diagnosis, waiting for a job offer or acceptance at university, etc.
While we wait, we can love God, serve and tell others about Him.
In verses 1-4, as David waits upon God, he remembers God’s past mercies of answered prayer. His trust in God had been vindicated. His weeping had turned to song and praise. From the depth of the pit, he was raised to a place of assurance. As you wait, reflect on God’s past mercies in your life!
As you wait, you need to remember God’s faithfulness, and share about his goodness and grace to you. In verses 5-10, David delights in the ‘too many to declare’ wonders of God. We marvel that he ‘opened our ears’ (verse 6) and touched our hearts and made us his children. You should be sharing this good news with others, that God did not desire or require our works, but only, hearts because, in verse 7, he points to a future king, who does the work of salvation (cf Hebrews 10:5-10). Your response should be one of gratitude coupled with a desire to bring glory to our awesome God (verse 8). You should publicly testify about his love. In verses 9-10, David says: ‘I proclaim, I do not seal my lips, I do not hide, and, I do not conceal’. We need to examine our hearts, to see if we are delighting in his Word and in sharing the gospel.
But, I do know, how weak and sinful my own heart is, how difficult certain circumstances can be, and how terrifying the world can be, and acknowledge, how much I need God’s guidance and help, like David. In verses 11-15, David is surrounded by trouble and conscious of his failings, and flings himself on God’s mercy; he pleads for help, strength and protection.
This leads us to the worship of the true and perfect King and Saviour. Focussing on God (verses 16-17), gives us true perspective on our circumstances. The good news of Jesus’ sacrifice provides the strength to pray and to hope, and to rejoice in the Lord, our Deliverer. You need to pray for continued mercies, even as you remember his past mercies, as you wait.
Ref: Varner, Williams “Awake O Harp; NBC, Carson et al