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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 40

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The First Book of Psalms (c 1-41)
Message: Patiently Doing God's Will (v 1-17)

Psalms 40 Commentary

(40:1-3) Waiting for God's Will - Waiting for God to help us is not easy, but David received at least four benefits from waiting: (1) God lifted him out of his despair; (2) God set his feet on a rock; (3) God established his steps (steadied him as he walked); and (4) God put a new song of praise in his mouth. Often, blessings cannot be received unless we go through the trial of waiting. 

(40:6) Going Through the Motions - "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire." The religious ritual of David's day involved sacrificing animals at the tabernacle. David recognized that these acts were meaningless unless done for the right reasons. Today going to church, taking Communion, or paying tithes can become empty rituals if we don't do these things for the right reasons. God isn't impressed with our rituals (sacrifices and offerings) apart from an attitude of devotion to him. The prophet Samuel told Saul, "To obey is better than sacrifice (I Samuel 15:22), meaning that who we are becoming is always more important than what we are doing. Make sure you give God his rightful place in your heart, and then whatever you do will be a beautiful result of your love for him. 

(40:7-8) Obeying and Serving God - "I delight to do thy will, O my God." Jesus portrayed this attitude of obeying and serving God (John 4:34; 5:30). He came as the prophets foretold, proclaiming the Good News of God's righteousness and forgiveness of sins. In Hebrews 10:5-10, the words of Psalm 

(40:6-8) Are applied to Jesus. 

(40:9-10) God's Faithfulness - David said he had spoken of God's faithfulness and salvation to those around him. When we experience the impact of God's righteousness on our lives, we cannot keep it hidden. We want to tell other people what God has done for us. If God's faithfulness has changed your life, don't be timid. We are quick to share a good deal on a purchase with others or recommend a skillful doctor, so sharing what God has done for us can come just as naturally if we truly grasp the incredible value of an eternal relationship with almighty God. 

(40:10) When we think of faithfulness, a friend or a spouse may come to mind. Friends who are faithful to us accept and love us, even when we are difficult to love. Faithful people keep their promises, whether promises of support or promises made in marriage vows. God's faithfulness is like human faithfulness--only perfect. His love is absolute, and his promises are irrevocable. He loves us in spite of our constant bent toward sin, and he keeps all the promises he has made to us, even when we break our promises to him. 

(40:17) God Knows You - The leader of your country probably does not know you by name, let alone think about you. Here David is asking the king of all creation to think about him. And the truth is that he is thinking about you -right now! The ruler of the universe constantly has you on his mind. Allow this truth to sink in and comfort you. If God always has us in his thoughts, is there anything we could do to keep him in our thoughts more?

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Waiting on the Lord

Each day, we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Psalms with Chapter 40. In our text today, we see a theme of waiting on the Lord can be His will for your life. As we wait, we are to love the Lord, continuing to serve Him. We are to serve others and tell them about Him. In making an application, we see that God's Will for our lives can involve waiting. We believe we are to go, go, go, but sometimes the Lord says to wait. We will have seasons of waiting, and many times, the Lord wants us to learn something so we will be ready to do the following task He has for us. How about You? Are you in a season of waiting for the Lord to move in your life? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to be reminded to be obedient, even if that obedience means waiting.


Psalm 40

Psalm 40

 1I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

 2He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

 3And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

 4Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

 5Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

 6Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

 7Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

 8I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

 9I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.

 10I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

 11Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

 12For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.

 13Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.

 14Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.

 15Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.

 16Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

 17But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.