March 17 2023
Today, Friday March 17
“A New Song in My Mouth”
I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth-- Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.”
Psalm 40 has been a favorite Psalm for so many of us over the years because we can relate to it in our own personal lives and experiences. This morning as I was preparing to do this chat, I was thinking how that the Psalms never grow old. For over 50 years I’ve been reading and memorizing them on a daily basis, but each time I read them they are refreshing, comforting, encouraging and very enriching.
Sometimes it seems that the Psalms say the same thing over and over again, but it doesn’t matter to most of us because that is the way life is. We basically deal with the same issues, challenges and problems over and over again. They just come in different forms, from different people, and from different situations and circumstances. I’ve said it before, but I need to say it again, “I love the Psalms!” And I especially love this one!
One of the great lessons we learn from this song is that we should remember the blessings and deliverances of the LORD, especially in the difficult and tough times. One of my favorite songs over these past few years is “I Will Remember” by Tommy Walker. We need to remind ourselves of how great our God is and how He always keeps His promises!
No matter what our trouble or trial, it's always good to look back and recall the goodness of the Lord. David remembered how long he had waited before the Lord delivered him from his enemies and from Saul, but the day came when God inclined His ear (Psalm 31:3), heard his cries, and lifted him up from the pit. If David learned anything from his exile years, it was that ultimate success depends on faith in the Lord and patience during His providential working (Psalm 5:3; 33:20; 37:34; 38:15; Hebrews 6:12).
We are not to take the description of the “horrible pit” literally (slime, mud, mire), but figuratively, as a picture of those difficult years David endured. "The pit" is also a term for sheol, the realm of the dead, and David's life was certainly in danger. A quaint country preacher used verses 2-3 for a sermon text, and his "points" were: God brought him up, God stood him up, and God tuned him up! David had a new beginning with a new song of praise in his mouth (Psalm 18:49; 22:22; 33:3).
God helped David because he trusted in the Lord, did not show respect to the arrogant who opposed God, and remained true to the God of Israel. "Lies" in verse 4 refers to idols. Unlike David, King Saul was a proud man who trusted in himself and made himself more important than God. In looking back on those years as an exile and a hunted man, David saw the greatness of God's works (wonders) and the wisdom of His plans (v. 5).
David also recognized that others were watching him and wondering if his faith and trust was the real thing. And if the Lord would be there for him in the difficult times. That is why he wrote: “Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD (v. 3). We need to remember that our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors, our associates, our friends, and many others that we don’t even know, are watching us to see how we will respond to the pain and suffering, the disappointments, and the challenging times that come into our lives.
Our patience, our faith, our hope, and our trust in the LORD will encourage them to fear the LORD and trust Him also. If we truly trust Him, He will put a new song in our hearts and mouths and people will hear us praising instead of moaning and complaining!