Praise Habit: Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
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.

Happy are those who make
the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after false gods.
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts towards us;
none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
they would be more than can be counted.

Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt-offering and sin-offering
you have not required.
Then I said, ‘Here I am;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.’

I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your saving help 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.

Do not, O Lord, withhold
your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
keep me safe for ever.
For evils have encompassed me
without number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
until I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails me.

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let all those be put to shame and confusion
who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonour
who desire my hurt.
Let those be appalled because of their shame
who say to me, ‘Aha, Aha!’

But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
say continually, ‘Great is the Lord!’
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.

Psalm 40 (NRSV)

Our Abba God thinks about us; He is mindful and listens to our words… and then He acts. Gods actions in our situations can only be called one thing: salvation. These salvation actions are something that only God does, because only God can do salvation.

Too often there is some expectation we put on God, some demand that He act out deliverance for us now and in this way. but who are we to determine How God should deliver us? Waiting on the Lord is not something we talk think about very much because we are an instant society. But waiting patiently on the Lord is a life of faith. Waiting patiently is trusting that God will act as he said He would by saving us. We can rest in the word of the Lord he is sure to fill.

When God does save us, we don’t tend to talk about it. We sing some generic songs on Sunday mornings, but we don’t tell people that God has inclined His ear and heard our cry. But out proclamation of the salvation works of God (complete with a new song of praise in our mouths) is how people see and have the -fear-of-the-Lord and trust is the Lord. And trust in the Lord produces the kind of person that can wait patiently on the Lord.

We should not be silent about the wonders of God that he has multiplied in our lives! This praise that erupts from our being is the real sacrifice that is pleasing to God. God delivers and we respond with praise. This is the rhythm of salvation.

But are we part of that rhythm, or do we merely see the wondrous works of God and continue on with our day?

I don’t talk about the salvation acts of God enough. I know I am self involved, ungrateful, and still overrun by my iniquities. So again and again I come to God and cry , “Do not withhold your mercy from me , O Lord! Let your steadfast love and faithfulness keep me safe forever. Deliver me Lord, and be pleased to do so!”

Because I seek You, O my Lord, because I love your salvation, because You take thought for me, even though I am poor and needy, I will say continually, “Great is the Lord!” and rejoice and be glad in You. I will praise You and ever will I proclaim the gospel of deliverance before all mankind.

You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.

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