Psalm 40 Commentary

Psalm 40 Commentary

“Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us.” Totally agreed. And this very psalm is one of them! When you read the Book of Hebrews and hear what the Spirit says about this psalm, then you realize our own understanding of much of what we read in the scripture is absolutely nothing.

There is much treasure to be had from these lines.

The first verse turns our heads towards the value of patience in the Christian walk. Prayer plus patience can see you stand on a rock. Great prayer, good and acceptable motivation for it but without patience, you can as well forget about the wonders the LORD has planned for you.

It is a scandal of serious spiritual sickness if the saint can be lost for words because they cannot see the wonders of the LORD right in front of them. A spiritually health saint is mouthless because they simply cannot count the many blessings of the LORD in their lives.

Then the LORD opens the eyes of the psalmist to one critically important blessing or wonder of the LORD – “the things you planned for us.”

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire but my ears you have opened; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.

What is the psalmist saying? The LORD didn’t desire the holiest rituals inscribed by the holiest law? Any other person saying things like this, other than David, was going to face a death sentence!

Ok, David, tell us what God really desired – the things the LORD planned for us.

At this point, the New Testament reader knows we are no longer talking about David. The master plan involves a man having the law of the LORD within himself. That is how He fulfilled the law. He is the Law by Himself and for Himself. The LORD Jesus Christ is the wonder that the LORD kept for us. He came to do God’s will or the things the LORD desires.

Life looks so ‘orderly and so peaceful’ that you wonder if at all the LORD has it all under control. The confusion and loss of direction lead many to ask if at all God has a plan for humanity. This psalm provides an answer: the LORD Jesus Christ is the master plan of Heaven for humanity.

He could be one option many are yet to try. Once they taste His goodness, they won’t keep quiet. They will proclaim His saving acts in the Assembly. They won’t hide His righteousness. A transformed heart won’t conceal God’s love.

Heaven receives more repentance from the righteous than it does from the wicked! Very strange! Once your eyes are opened, the holiness of the LORD becomes obvious and you know just how unworthy you are in the LORD’s presence. You then pray:

Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. 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.

Sinners won’t know the difference. Fools won’t know when their own house is on fire. Probably, that is the difference.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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