Psalms 40

God Sustains His Servant.

1 I 1waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and 2heard my cry.
2 He brought me up out of the 3pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And 4He set my feet upon a rock 5making my footsteps firm.
3 He put a 6new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will 7see and fear And will trust in the LORD.
4 How 8blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And 9has not turned to the proud, nor to those who 10lapse into falsehood.
5 Many, O LORD my God, are 11the wonders which You have done, And Your 12thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They 13would be too numerous to count.
6 14Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
7 Then I said, "Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 15I delight to do Your will, O my God; 16Your Law is within my heart."
9 I have 17proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will 18not restrain my lips, O LORD, 19You know.
10 I have 20not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have 21spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.
11 You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your 22lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
12 For evils beyond * number have 23surrounded me; My 24iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; They are 25more numerous than the hairs of my head, And my 26heart has failed me.
13 27Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; Make 28haste, O LORD, to help me.
14 Let those be 29ashamed and humiliated together Who 30seek my life to destroy it; Let those be turned back and dishonored Who delight in my hurt.
15 Let those 31be appalled because * of their shame Who 32say to me, "Aha, aha!"
16 33Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your salvation 34say continually, "The LORD be magnified!"
17 Since 35I am afflicted and needy, 36Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.

Psalms 40 Commentary

Chapter 40

Confidence for deliverance. (1-5) Christ's work of redemption. (6-10) Prayer for mercy and grace. (11-17)

Verses 1-5 Doubts and fears about the eternal state, are a horrible pit and miry clay, and have been so to many a dear child of God. There is power enough in God to help the weakest, and grace enough to help the unworthiest of all that trust in him. The psalmist waited patiently; he continued believing, hoping, and praying. This is applicable to Christ. His agony, in the garden and on the cross, was a horrible pit and miry clay. But those that wait patiently for God do not wait in vain. Those that have been under religious melancholy, and by the grace of God have been relieved, may apply ver. Verse 2 very feelingly to themselves; they are brought up out of a horrible pit. Christ is the Rock on which a poor soul can alone stand fast. Where God has given stedfast hope, he expects there should be a steady, regular walk and conduct. God filled the psalmist with joy, as well as peace in believing. Multitudes, by faith beholding the sufferings and glory of Christ, have learned to fear the justice and trust in the mercy of God through Him. Many are the benefits with which we are daily loaded, both by the providence and by the grace of God.

Verses 6-10 The psalmist foretells that work of wonder, redemption by our Lord Jesus Christ. The Substance must come, which is Christ, who must bring that glory to God, and that grace to man, which it was impossible the sacrifices should ever do. Observe the setting apart of our Lord Jesus to the work and office of Mediator. In the volume, or roll, of the book it was written of him. In the close rolls of the Divine decrees and counsel, the covenant of redemption was recorded. Also, in all the volumes of the Old Testament something was written of him, ( John 19:28 ) . Now the purchase of our salvation is made, the proclamation is sent forth, calling us to come and accept it. It was preached freely and openly. Whoever undertook to preach the gospel of Christ, would be under great temptation to conceal it; but Christ, and those he calls to that work, are carried on in it. May we believe his testimony, trust his promise, and submit to his authority.

Verses 11-17 The best saints see themselves undone, unless continually preserved by the grace of God. But see the frightful view the psalmist had of sin. This made the discovery of a Redeemer so welcome. In all his reflections upon each step of his life, he discovered something amiss. The sight and sense of our sins in their own colours, must distract us, if we have not at the same time some sight of a Saviour. If Christ has triumphed over our spiritual enemies, then we, through him, shall be more than conquerors. This may encourage all that seek God and love his salvation, to rejoice in him, and to praise him. No griefs nor poverty can render those miserable who fear the Lord. Their God, and all that he has or does, is the ground of their joy. The prayer of faith can unlock his fulness, which is adapted to all their wants. The promises are sure, the moment of fulfilment hastens forward. He who once came in great humility, shall come again in glorious majesty.

Cross References 36

  • 1. Psalms 25:5; Psalms 27:14; Psalms 37:7
  • 2. Psalms 34:15
  • 3. Psalms 69:2, 14; Jeremiah 38:6
  • 4. Psalms 27:5
  • 5. Psalms 37:23
  • 6. Psalms 32:7; Psalms 33:3
  • 7. Psalms 52:6; Psalms 64:9
  • 8. Psalms 34:8; Psalms 84:12
  • 9. Job 37:24
  • 10. Psalms 125:5
  • 11. Job 5:9; Psalms 136:4
  • 12. Psalms 139:17; Isaiah 55:8
  • 13. Psalms 71:15; Psalms 139:18
  • 14. 1 Samuel 15:22; Psalms 51:16; Isaiah 1:11; Jeremiah 6:20; Jeremiah 7:22, 23; Amos 5:22; Micah 6:6-8; Hebrews 10:5-7
  • 15. John 4:34
  • 16. Psalms 37:31; Jeremiah 31:33; 2 Corinthians 3:3
  • 17. Psalms 22:22, 25
  • 18. Psalms 119:13
  • 19. Joshua 22:22; Psalms 139:4
  • 20. Acts 20:20, 27
  • 21. Psalms 89:1
  • 22. Psalms 43:3; Psalms 57:3; Psalms 61:7; Proverbs 20:28
  • 23. Psalms 18:5; Psalms 116:3
  • 24. Psalms 38:4; Psalms 65:3
  • 25. Psalms 69:4
  • 26. Psalms 73:26
  • 27. Psalms 70:1
  • 28. Psalms 22:19; Psalms 71:12
  • 29. Psalms 35:4, 26; Psalms 70:2; Psalms 71:13
  • 30. Psalms 63:9
  • 31. Psalms 70:3
  • 32. Psalms 35:21; Psalms 70:3
  • 33. Psalms 70:4
  • 34. Psalms 35:27
  • 35. Psalms 70:5; Psalms 86:1; Psalms 109:22
  • 36. Psalms 40:5; 1 Peter 5:7

Footnotes 12

Chapter Summary

Psalms 40 Commentaries