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Psalm 40 June 2, 2019

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Psalm 40.

Summary: In this passage, David declares that God has delivered him from a predicament; thus, he praises Him – and declares that others will follow his example. After contrasting the omnipotence of God with the impotence of false deities, he asserts that his desire to honor God is manifested in words – and deeds – of praise.

He concludes by praying that God would:

  • deliver him from his enemies
  • defeat his enemies
  • vindicate those who trust in Him – enabling them to praise Him.

Thoughts: Here, David displays his confidence in God. Spurgeon offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary on verse 1:

Patient waiting upon God was a special characteristic of our Lord Jesus. All through his agony in the garden, his trial of cruel mockings before Herod and Pilate, and his passion on the tree, he waited in omnipotence of patience. No glance of wrath, no word of murmuring, no deed of vengeance came from God’s patient Lamb. And shall we be petulant and rebellious?

While Spurgeon’s thoughts are correct, I am curious as to why he chose to apply this passage to Jesus. The reference to “my sins” in verse 12 implies that this passage should (at least in some sense) refer to David himself. I am also unaware of any New Testament references to this passage that attribute it to Jesus. Thus, I anticipate meeting David and Spurgeon in the next life and probing them on this point. Did David intend that this passage be interpreted as a Messianic psalm? How would he have responded to Spurgeon’s interpretation of it?

In verses 9 and 10, David asserts that he proclaims the excellence of God in the presence of “the great assembly.” Spurgeon offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary on verse 9:

Hide not your lights, but reveal to others what your God has revealed to you, and especially by your lives testify for holiness, be champions for the right, both in word and deed.

This is a valuable reminder that we should anticipate – and capitalize on – opportunities to praise God for His work in our lives. These words of praise can strengthen and encourage fellow believers; they can also have a positive impact on nonbelievers. Spurgeon’s thoughts are especially pertinent when we are in the midst of – or have overcome – severe trials. Recounting God’s abundant provision of grace and strength in the midst of our afflictions can equip others for similar trials.

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