3-Week Series: Double Blessing

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Summary: The psalm divides into 5 sections: Part 1 David’s Conviction (verses 1-5) Part 2 David’s Consecration (verses 6-8) Part 3 David’s Confession (verses 9-10) Part 4 David’s Contrition (verses 11-13) Part 5 David’s Consolation (verses 14-17)

February 10, 2014

Tom Lowe

Title: PSALM 40: PAST TRIUMPHS AND PRESENT TROUBLES (Part 1)

A psalm of David.

ALL FIVE PARTS ARE ON THIS PAGE

Part 1 David’s Conviction (verses 1-5)

Part 2 David’s Consecration (verses 6-8)

Part 3 David’s Confession (verses 9-10)

Part 4 David’s Contrition (verses 11-13)

Part 5 David’s Consolation (verses 14-17)

Psalm 40 (KJV)

Part 1 David’s Conviction (verses 1-5)

1 {To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2 He 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.

3 And 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.

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

5 Many, 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.

Introduction to Psalm 40

There is no doubt that David wrote this psalm, but when he wrote it is another matter. Some place its composition during his outlaw years when he was the special object of King Saul’s hate, and there certainly seems to be an echo of 1 Samuel 15:22 in the middle of it—“Samuel said, “Does the LORD delight as much in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the LORD? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.

We remember how Saul forfeited his right to reign over Israel. Having solemnly reminded Saul of his calling and coronation, Samuel the prophet sent him on a special mission from God. Amalek, the ancestral foe of Israel was to be utterly destroyed—Amalek, and Amalek’s King Agag, and everything that is connected with him. But Saul kept Agag alive and he also kept the best of the sheep and the oxen alive; and then, when challenged by the prophet, angrily excused himself by saying he had kept the animals for sacrifice. But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22)NIV. There is an echo of that in verses 6-8 of this psalm: “Sacrifice and offering thou hast no delight in; Mine ears hast thou opened: Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I am come; In the roll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do thy will, O my God; Yea, thy law is within my heart.”

But the psalm could just as easily have been written during the time of the Absalom rebellion. Absalom began his revolt by holding a sacrificial feast. Indeed, he tried to cast dust in David’s eyes by requesting permission to leave Jerusalem in order to go to Hebron to pay a vow he had made to the Lord (2 Samuel 15:7-8). Hebron, of course, was the focal point of the rebellion and the meeting place of Absalom’s clans. David’s words in verse 6 of the psalm might well be an echo of David’s warning to the Absalom rebels who concealed their insurrection under a shell of religion.

The words themselves, of course, are prophetic. They are picked up and quoted by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 10:5 as speaking primarily of Christ—“Hence, when He [Christ] entered into the world, He said, Sacrifices and offerings You have not desired, but instead You have made ready a body for Me [to offer]AMP” (Hebrews 10:5). That is the reason that this psalm may be typed as Messianic; that is, referring at least in part to Christ.

The psalm divides into 5 sections:

Part 1 David’s Conviction (verses 1-5)

Part 2 David’s Consecration (verses 6-8)

Part 3 David’s Confession (verses 9-10)

Part 4 David’s Contrition (verses 11-13)

Part 5 David’s Consolation (verses 14-17)

There is a sharp break when we come to verse 11, a break so sharp that some have suggested the psalm is a composite—that is, that fragments of two of David’s psalms were later patched together by an editor (perhaps King Hezekiah) and welded into one. It is just as likely that David wrote the whole psalm as it now appears in our Bible and that in the first verses he is looking back over past triumphs and in the closing verses he was occupied with present troubles.

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