Psalm 40

An old Bits and Pieces magazine tells the story about an Ozark hound dog sitting in a country store howling as hounds do.

In comes a stranger and says to the storekeeper, “What’s the matter with the dog?”

“He’s sittin’ on a cocklebur.”

“Why doesn’t he get off it?”

“He’d rather holler,” the clerk replied.

Some folks are like the old hound dog, they’d rather complain about their problems than do something to solve them. As therapist and author Virginia Satir once observed, “Problems are not the problem; coping is the problem.”

As most rational people come to realize, problems are a part of life’s challenges. Unfortunately, some have preached a gospel that says, “If you become a Christian, God will remove all your troubles.” Sadly, too many have swallowed that false notion. Then they’re disillusioned when trials arise.

David, identified in Scripture as “a man after God’s own heart,” enjoyed a special relationship with the Lord. But he was not exempt from the problems, pressures and heartaches of life. Many of his Psalms reveal these struggles.

In Psalm 40 David speaks of three problems he was facing.

#1 The guilt of sin.

You can hear David’s anguish as he admits and confesses his wrongs.

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.

Human nature and the problem of sin hasn’t changed in 3,000 years. Sin hurts. It brings emotional, mental and spiritual pain. Sometimes even physical pain. Sin blinds our minds. Overwhelms our feelings. And pierces the heart with sorrow and remorse. The guilt of sin is real. David knew it. And so do we.

#2 The hostility of his enemies.

In verse 14, he spoke of those who sought to destroy his life. And who desired to ruin him.

This began after David slew Goliath. King Saul in fits of rage and jealousy tried to kill David. Other enemies hounded him both prior to David taking the throne and afterward. The Philistines were a constant thorn in his flesh. Then his own son, Absalom, later led a rebellion against David and tried to overthrow the throne.

Just like David, when we serve the Lord, we will encounter opposition. It may be from those in positions of power. Or even from within our own family. Don’t be surprised when you speak and stand for Truth that God’s enemies seek to suppress you.

#3 The wound of contempt.

In verse 15 David alludes to some who ridiculed and mocked him. Although he was praised by multitudes, others scorned him with taunts and disdain.
Ridicule stings. It doesn’t feel good. Especially when it’s undeserved.

So, what did David do?

#1 He “waited patiently for the Lord.”

Waiting is hard. And waiting with patience is even harder. But it’s a continual theme throughout the Psalms. In Psalm 27:14, David wrote:

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

We sing the song, “In His Time.” God’s purpose and providence will be exercised by Divine order, not by a human time table. Furthermore, God may choose more than one method to soothe our hurts and solve our problems.

“Sometimes God calms the storm, but sometimes God lets the storm rage and calms His child,” observed author Leslie Gould.

#2 David praised God.

In verses 4-10, David acknowledged God’s righteousness , faithfulness and loving kindness. He further recognized that God is the source of salvation and the author of Truth. He deserves our praise and adoration.

Too often when problems arise, people skip worship. Stay home. And focus on their troubles. Instead, more than ever, you need to worship. See God’s goodness. Trust in His promises. And join the great assembly in worship.

#3 David prayed (vs.11-17)

The Psalms teach us that prayer ought to be our response when we’re hurting, facing trials, experiencing problems, and feeling weak. David’s plea is for help, deliverance, and compassion. His example is one we ought to emulate.

“Every problem is an opportunity to prove God’s power,” wrote Chuck Swindoll. “Every day we encounter countless golden opportunities, brilliantly disguised as insurmountable problems.”

When you struggle with life’s problems, seek the Lord and apply David’s solution. In the words of Corrie Ten Boom, “Let God’s promises shine on your problems.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



Filed under Passage To Ponder, Psalms

2 responses to “Psalm 40

  1. Peggy Hobbs

    Ken, a beautiful Psalm with so much meaning. Corrie Ten Boom’s quote is so fitting, Let God’s promises shine on your problems.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Weekly Recap: March 6-10 | ThePreachersWord

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