PSALM 40 Reading Guide. October 6-12, 2013

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1 PSALM 40 Reading Guide October 6-12, 2013

2 PSALM 40 2 PSALM 40 1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. 4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! 5 You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. 6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. [a] Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. 7 Then I said, Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: 8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. 9 I have told the glad news of deliverance [b] in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD. 10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. 11 As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! 12 For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.

3 PSALM Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me! 14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! 15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, Aha, Aha! 16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, Great is the LORD! 17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!

4 PSALM 40 4 DAY 1 Read through Psalm 40 once writing down what you find interesting, what you find helpful, and what you don t fully understand. Psalm 40 seems like two unconnected prayers. The first prayer, in verses 1-10, David celebrates the Lord s past help. The second prayer, in verses 11-17, David cries out for the Lord s help in the midst of present need. In putting them together, David allows God s past deliverance to help strengthen his faith in God, which he needs in light of his present situation. And, it reminds David and all God s people that there is never a time we don t need God. We see that constant need in joy or pain expressed in Annie S. Hawks s hymn, I Need Thee Every Hour. Most gracious Lord; No tender voice like thine Can peace afford. I need thee, O I need thee, Ev ry hour I need thee, O bless me now, my Saviour, I come to thee. Stay thou near by; Temptations lose their pow r When thou art nigh. In joy or pain; Come quickly, and abide, Or life is vain. Teach me thy will, And thy rich promises In me fulfil. Most Holy One; O make me thine indeed, Thou blessed Son. Read through the notes on Psalm 40 in the ESV Study Bible. Write at least one paragraph highlighting what you learned from the study notes. Reread Psalm 40, personalizing the Psalm as your own prayer. Write out that prayer.

5 PSALM 40 5 DAY 2 Read Psalm 40 again, especially focusing on verses 6-8. In verses 6-8 David responds to his deliverance (as described in verses 1-3) by offering his obedience. He knows God isn t pleased with empty religious ritual. Therefore, he says, Behold, I have come... I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart (Ps. 40:7-8). As King, David was to lead God s people by example in his keeping God s law. He is sincere in his desire to do so. Yet he failed to fulfill that desire. His sin was great: My iniquities have overtaken me... they are more than the hairs of my head (Ps. 40:12). Hebrews 10:5-7 lets us know that Jesus quoted Psalm 40 about himself. Therefore, we know that David was not only speaking of his own desires, he was also pointing to a greater king who would perfectly keep God s law. Jesus succeeded where David (and all of us) failed. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book. Because Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to God, we can be God s sons and daughters, though we have not lived that life of perfect obedience to God. As Paul writes in Romans 5:19: By the one man s obedience the many will be made righteous. Write a prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus, thanking him for facing every temptation you have faced and choosing not to sin. If you want to, add verse 8 to your prayer I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart and ask Jesus to help you fulfill your God-honoring desire. DAY 3 Read Psalm 40 again. In verses 1-3, David retells the way God delivered him: He waited for a long time for God to act ( waited patiently ). Eventually God delivered him, not only from danger ( the pit of destruction ) but also to a place of safety and security ( set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure ). David sings the new song God gave him so that many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. And then, in verse 11, David counts himself among the many that need to trust in the Lord in times of trouble. For, as David writes in verse 12, now evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me. Read verses 1-10 and verses again. Pick the section that best describes your present situation. Briefly describe the situation in writing. If verses 1-10, write a prayer of thanksgiving to God, specifically thanking him for the ways he has helped you. If verses 11-

6 PSALM , write a prayer of longing, specifically asking God to deliver you from your present situation. DAY 4 Read Psalm 40 again. Throughout Psalm 40, David models and calls forth the proper response to God s work in our lives. Read verses 3, 4-5, 9-10, and 16 again and write out how David responds to God s work in his life as well as what David encourages you to do in response to God s work in your own life. The new song David mentions in verse 3 is simply another new testimony to God s work in his life. Think of a specific way God has worked in your life over the last week. Based on verses 3, 4-5, 9-10, and 16, write out your new song to God, praising him for his new work in your life. Following David s example in verse 5 I will proclaim and tell of God s wondrous deeds think of someone you know who would be encouraged by the testimony you just wrote. Find a time this week to contact them and tell them what God has done for you. DAY 5 Read through Psalm 40 twice. Write out at least two paragraphs reflecting on what you ve learned about God, yourself, and others from Psalm 40. Write out at least one thing you hope to apply to your life from Psalm 40. Spend at least 15 minutes sharing what you wrote with a trusted friend or family member. If they read Psalm 40 this week, ask them to do the same. End your time in prayer, thanking God for what he taught you this week. * Purchasing an ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Bibles, 2008.) will aid you in your understanding of the Psalms. The first day s reading each week assumes you will have access to the notes in the ESV Study Bible. The ESV Study Bible is the most comprehensive study Bible ever published. It will help you understand not just the Psalms, but also the rest of the Bible in a deeper way. You can either buy the Bible (amazon.com, search: ESV Study Bible) or purchase online access to the notes at

7 PSALM 40 7 Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved Elliot Grudem.

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