Summary: David responds to the goodness of God, how do we engage with God that we too might sing a new song of praise?
Psalm 40, responding to the goodness of God!
It interests me in life how often we hear of people who through some circumstance or other suddenly develop an interest in God. That kind of “it’s all gone to pack sort of, I’m out in the harbour in a storm and the motors packed in”, or “the cars broken down in the middle of nowhere and it’s miles to walk up hill, in a torrential downpour, in bare feet on sharp gravel while being chased by a vicious swarm of bees”,
You know the sort of thing. Then it strikes them, “God; the refuge of fools and tyrants!” So I’ve heard him described by someone who would otherwise not have called on him, “I’ll cry out to God and see what happens.”
“God if you can just get me through this! God if the motor starts, God if you can organise a ride, I’ll dedicate the rest of my life, my first born, half my income, ten percent of my income, my lotto winnings (when it happens), I’ll go to church, I’ll look after my neighbour, volunteer at the SCPA, hospital, I’ll stop using that naughty word, I’ll be nice to people…well I’ll try!”
Have you heard those stories, nothing like a bargain with God emergency prayer, slap a few conditions on it and hope for the best? God hears all prayers and I pick that he answers those ones as well. I wonder if all those who make these bargains respond as they said they would?
In Psalm 40 we have this depiction of King David, praying in what we could think was a prayer a bit like this except that it’s a bit different.
King David’s circumstances might have been desperate, there is some thought that he was gravely ill on his death bed. There is other thinking that he was as he was being chased down by enemies, or that maybe he was in some sort of moral dilemma. What we do know is that he was in a spot of bother, what he describes as in “mud and mire”, as a “slippery pit”. He was in deep dire circumstances; his situation was not getting any better.
Have you ever been there, I can remember a time when I was asked by my Father to take a trailer load of rubbish to the tip. Sixteen years old and driving Dad’s new Cortina, I decided to see how the car would go with a bit of peddle on the gravel road at a place called Appleby. I was not being what I thought was too excessive but the trailer jack-knifed into the bank slid the car. It’s about then helpful people turn up, stranger lending a hand, “your old man won’t be too impressed then?” Mum when I got dropped off at her work…car had to be towed away, “I don’t know what your Fathers going to do”. Well what he didn't do was speak to me for three days and when he did, I didn't want to hear it. I’m sure most of us can recount a time or two?
King David cried out in whatever his circumstances were to the Lord who responded by lifting him out of the mud and mire and set him on a firm place…a place where he was no longer slipping around where his feet where firm. David was safe!