Partner with as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Psalms 40

Verses 1-17

Psalms 40:1-17

I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, he set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings ( Psalms 40:1-2 ).

Now his last prayer was, "Lord, help me, save me from the strokes and so forth," and now, "I waited patiently for the Lord. He inclined unto me; He heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock and established my goings." Oh, when I look back and see the horrible pit that God took me out of, how thankful I am. I realize I was sinking, I was going down, but God put my feet upon a solid rock. He established my life in Christ.

He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and reverence, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that makes the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies ( Psalms 40:3-4 ).

As we were driving home this afternoon, we were driving down Newport Boulevard and I saw in the rear view mirror, a sharp, sharp, sharp, sharp, little Ford, probably a 1929 vintage or something that was really fixed up with a full blown type of a caddy engine in the thing. And, of course, everything was all chrome and everything was all opened, and this guy was just sitting there, you know, just... It was just perfection, you know. Everything was just so sparkling and shining and everything else, and he was driving down Newport Boulevard. And I saw him in the rear view mirror as he was coming past us on Kay's side, and I said, "Hey, Kay, take a look over to the right and see that fellow driving his god down the street." And you could tell by the way, that it was. And she looked over and then she looked back real quickly, she said, "I don't want to give him the satisfaction of staring at it." She said, "Because that's what he wants." And then she said, and she quoted this scripture, "Blessed is the man that respects not the proud." And she said, "He is proud of that thing and I don't want to respect him." And, "Nor such as turn aside to lies."

Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts towards us: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered ( Psalms 40:5 ).

You can't even number the thoughts that God has concerning you.

Sacrifice and offerings you did not desire; my ears hast thou opened ( Psalms 40:6 ):

Now, God doesn't really desire that you give to Him sacrifices and offerings as much as He desires that you submit to Him your life.

And this phrase, "My ear hath He opened." When a servant had served a six-year term, according to the law he had to be released. You could not keep a servant more than six years. The seventh year was the year of release and all of the servants were released from their bondage or from their servitude in the seventh year. Except if a servant would come to you and say, "I enjoy serving you. I am happy here. I don't want to go out free. I want to remain your servant." Then you would take an awl, and you would go over to the door post of your house and you would put his earlobe up against the doorpost, and you take this awl and pin him with the awl through the earlobe to the doorpost of your house. You just drive the pin through and just pin him there to the doorpost. Actually, it was just an ear-piercing process. And then they would put a gold ring in the hole that was made. So that if you saw a servant or a slave with a gold ring in his ear, you knew that he was a servant by choice. He was a servant willingly. He had offered himself. He had said, "I don't want to be set free. I want to be your servant for life."

Now God is saying, "Look, I really don't want sacrifice or offering. The ear, I want to open it. I want you to submit unto a life of service. I want your life." And so I am a servant by choice. Lord, I love serving You. Lord, I don't want to do anything else but serve You. There is no other life for me, Lord, than a life of service unto You. And so mine ear hath He pierced. I am a servant by choice.

burnt offerings, sin offerings you did not require ( Psalms 40:6 ).

Now a prophecy relating to Jesus. And, of course, this is all prophecy relating to Jesus. Mine ear hath He pierced. He was in the form of God, thought it not robbery or something to be grasped to be equal with God. But He humbled Himself and came in the likeness of man and as a servant. Humbled Himself, became as a servant. A servant willingly. "Mine ear hath He pierced."

Then said I ( Psalms 40:7 ),

and quoted of Jesus in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews,

Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me ( Psalms 40:7 ),

So, the volume of this book, the volume of the Old Testament is actually written concerning Jesus Christ. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You do search the scriptures because in them you think you have life, but they actually testify of Me, but you will not come to Me that you might have life" ( John 5:39-40 ). "I have come, as it is written of Me in the volume of the book, to do Thy will, O Lord" ( Hebrews 10:7 ).

And I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart ( Psalms 40:8 ).

And that is what it means. When God has written His law in your heart, is that it becomes the delight and the pleasure of your life. Doing the will of God is not some horrible awful thing to me. It is not some cross that I have to bear or carry. Doing the will of God is the most exciting, delightful experience of my life. In fact, I really don't desire anything else. It is so glorious just doing God's will. For He has written His will in the fleshly tablets of my heart. That is, He has created the desires in my heart so that I delight doing His will. It's the delight of my life.

I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy loving-kindness and thy truth from the great congregation. Withhold not thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy loving-kindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart fails me. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha ( Psalms 40:9-15 ).

There you have it again. Those dirty words that they were saying to David, whatever they might have meant.

Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified ( Psalms 40:16 ).

Now this is a phrase, I don't know why it hasn't been taken up by the people of God, but surely it is a phrase that we ought to be using all of the time. Along with the "Praise the Lord," or, "Bless God," or whatever, there is a phrase that we should be using and that is the phrase, "The Lord be magnified." "Let those that love thy salvation say continually." It should be a constant phrase on our lips. When we are greeting each other and all we should be saying, "Hey, the Lord be magnified." "Let them say continually, 'The Lord be magnified.'" Now try and add that phrase to your vocabulary and start using it.

I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks about me ( Psalms 40:17 ):

That is great.

thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God ( Psalms 40:17 ).

Verse Psalms 40:13 he says, "Help, make haste to help me." And now he says, "Don't tarry, Lord. Deliver me, make no tarry."

Now we are going to leave it at that. Next week we will take the next ten chapters from 41-50. We will go ten chapters a week for a while, as we have gotten into some of the longer psalms. And then when we get to 121 we'll take twenty chapters, because they are shorties. Or twenty psalms, they are really not chapters. They are... each one is a psalm, complete within themselves.

Shall we stand.

Now may the Lord be with you to watch over you and to keep you in all your ways. May your steps be directed of the Lord this week. That He might delight in the path that you take. And I pray that there are some of you that will come and say, "Lord, I want to serve You. I love You. I am satisfied. I don't want any other life. Go ahead, Lord, pierce my ear, open my ear. I am willing to take the mark of a bondslave of Jesus Christ." And may you know the joy and the delight and the blessing of serving the Lord. If some of you have come tonight and you haven't given your lives to Jesus Christ and you would like to do so, if you will go back into the prayer room, the pastors will be glad to pray with you back there and lead you to a real commitment of your life unto the Lord. Really living in this world today with all of its turmoil, with all of its problems, I don't know how a person can exist without a firm relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. I wouldn't want to try and even go on tomorrow without the strength and the guidance and the help of the Lord. And so I would encourage you to just open up your heart and life to Him. For He wants to help you, and to lead you into His path of righteousness. God be with you. Watch over, keep, bless, and use you as His servant this week. In Jesus' name. "

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 40". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.