Psalm 40

1650 psalter

Messiah exhibited as our once-for-all Sacrifice, and all our Salvation

The use of this psalm in Hebrews 10:5 & 6, gives it an undeniably Messianic content. Though David is the suffering servant, he is also the singing king. This new song, which he composed, is one that celebrates the Messiah King. David’s experience is a shadow that is used to prophetically point to a greater suffering Servant. But notice that God put the new song in David’s mouth. The Spirit of Christ, the Word, imbues David with thoughts, and words equal to express those thoughts. This is not a product of his imagination, but of inspiration. That is the difference between psalmody and hymnody.

We are taught that suffering is the environment in which to practise waiting, and waiting patiently. The trial of our faith worketh patience. There is a sense of endurance in these words, but also of active waiting. It is not done in passivity, but a constant activity. There was no refraining or hiding from declaring and preaching righteousness by David or Christ. Suffering actually emboldened them.

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: St Paul

St Paul

Psalm 40

¹I waited for the LORD my God,
And patiently did bear;
At length to me he did incline
My voice and cry to hear.

²He took me from a fearful pit,
And from the miry clay,
And on a rock he set my feet,
Establishing my way.

³He put a new song in my mouth,
Our God to magnify:
Many shall see it, and shall fear,
And on the LORD rely.

⁴O blessed is the man whose trust
Upon the LORD relies;
Respecting not the proud, nor such
As turn aside to lies.

⁵O LORD my God, full many are
The wonders thou hast done;
Thy gracious thoughts to usward far
Above all thoughts are gone:

In order none can reckon them
To thee: if them declare,
And speak of them I would, they more
Than can be number’d are.

⁶No sacrifice nor offering
Didst thou at all desire;
Mine ears thou bor’d: sinoff’ring thou
And burnt didst not require:

⁷Then to the Lord these were my words,
I come, behold and see;
Within the volume of the book
It written is of me:

⁸To do thy will I take delight,
O thou my God that art;
Yea, that most holy law of thine
I have within my heart.

⁹Within the congregation great
I righteousness did preach:
Lo, thou dost know, O LORD, that I
Refrained not my speech.

¹⁰I never did within my heart
Conceal thy righteousness;
I thy salvation have declar’d,
And shown thy faithfulness:

Thy kindness, which most loving is,
Concealed have not I,
Nor from the congregation great
Have hid thy verity.

¹¹Thy tender mercies, LORD, from me
O do thou not restrain;
Thy lovingkindness, and thy truth,
Let them me still maintain.

¹²For ills past reck’ning compass me,
And mine iniquities
Such hold upon me taken have,
I cannot lift mine eyes:

They more than hairs are on mine head,
Thence is my heart dismay’d.
¹³Be pleased, LORD, to rescue me;
LORD, hasten to mine aid.

¹⁴Sham’d and confounded be they all
That seek my soul to kill;
Yea, let them backward driven be,
And sham’d, that wish me ill.

¹⁵For a reward of this their shame
Confounded let them be.
That in this manner scoffing say,
Aha, aha! to me.

¹⁶In thee let all be glad, and joy,
Who seeking thee abide;
Who thy salvation love, say still,
The LORD be magnified.

¹⁷I’m poor and needy, yet the Lord
Of me a care doth take:
Thou art my help and saviour,
My God, no tarrying make.