Read Psalm 40
I’ve been in that slimy pit. Maybe you have too. Slippery and dirty and muddy. It feels impossible to get your footing to step out of the mess. The only way out is to wait for God’s hand to pull you up and out and onto a firm surface.
And when He finally does, now that’s cause for praise! Praise to Almighty God who hears and lends His saving help. Who even gives the words of praise and a new song to sing so others can join in.
Psalm 40 tells a story of sorts. It’s a story of a man (David) who knew what it was like to wait in the depths of despair. He’d spent time in the slimy pit. Much too much time. Then God lifted him out of the slime and gave him reason to praise the One and Only God. Not only that, but He gave him a new song to do it with, too.
So David sings his new song (vv. 4-10). It’s a song about trust and submission. A love song about God’s faithfulness and worthiness. The book of Hebrews tells us this song is even one that Jesus sang when He was here on the earth.
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then i said, “Here I am — it is written about me in the scroll — I have come to do your will, O God” (Psalm 40:6-8; Hebrews 10:5-7).
I’d call that a good song.
It’s rather difficult to sing, though. Because it speaks of complete and unadulterated submission to God as the Master of one’s life.
“My ears you have pierced” (Ps. 40:6).
“Here I am . . . ” (Ps. 40:7).
See, David (and Jesus) knew it was not about following the dictates of the Mosaic Law. Rather, true worship of God was about offering himself so that he might do everything God asked. It’s an offering initiated by only the sincerest love. Like the slave who loved his master so much that he offered the rest of his life to serve. (See Ex. 21:5-6.)
Then it happens again. The slippery, muddy mess. And the Psalm 40 story ends with David back in the pit.
“Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me” (v. 13).
The hard times do not stop. Neither, though, do the dependency and submission. That’s how David knows exactly where to turn as he touches his ear and remembers whose he is. And he waits.