Psalm 40

LORD, do not withhold Your compassion from me; Your constant love and truth will always guard me. For troubles without number have surrounded me; my sins have overtaken me; I am unable to see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my courage leaves me. LORD, be pleased to deliver me; hurry to help me, LORD … Though I am afflicted and needy, the Lord thinks of me. You are my help and my deliverer; my God, do not delay (vv. 11–13, 17).

My sins always catch up with me, There is a ripple effect with sin. Like a pebble dropped into the water that creates ever widening circles, an act of sin has expanding consequences. The Lord forgives and erases the guilt, but he does not change history. Much of my pain emanates from the effects of sin that have continued past the original act.

David too is hurting. Overwhelmed by the number of his sins (“more than the hairs of my head”) and the extent of his troubles, he is about ready to give up, to throw in the towel. Yet he cries out for mercy and for the protection of God’s loyal love and flawless truth.

David may be down about his own sin, but he’s very much aware of the sins of others as well, and he still has energy left to pray about the enemies who pursue him relentlessly. He petitions the Lord for their confusion, shame, and disgrace (vv. 14–15). In contrast, he also prays for the salvation, help, and deliverance of those who seek the Lord. This dual theme reminds us that, above all, God alone is worthy to be exalted and magnified (v. 16).

Though I am poor and needy, like David I recognize that the Lord is my help and deliverance. David closes his exquisite “Sonatina of Sacrifice” by focusing on the majesty and glory of God.

Personal Prayer

Lord, may I seek you, rejoice and be glad in you, and may you always be exalted and magnified in my life and work.

Don Wyrtzen

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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