Wait upon the Lord

Psalm 40 begins with tremendous instruction to the children of Israel that is easy to miss because of the way that some modern bible translators lay out the words.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.

2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, put of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.

3 He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.

The problem caused by laying out the scripture this way is that it implies that there is a title to the Psalm, “To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.”

The reality is that this is not so much a title, it is the first words of the Psalm that gives instruction about the importance of the following words.  Let me put it this way.  This is King David writing a psalm for all people to be able to use in worship to God and at the very start of it he is saying, ‘This works for me, it will work for you too.’

David was the King.  He didn’t have to wait for anything; things were done for him whenever he asked, and yet even he had to humble himself to wait upon the Lord.  If it was so for the King then it should also be so for his people.

It is a lovely poetic statement that he makes here in the first verse:  If David was prepared to bow down to the Lord, the Lord was also prepared to bow down to hear his cry.  How true that is for us today, when we clear our minds of the pressure that we live in; we find God there, hearing our prayers and guiding us.

King David continues his Psalm saying, not only did the Lord hear his cry but He also brought him out of that horrible pit, out of the miry clay and set his feet upon a rock.  

How does that work for us?

When we stop trying to resolve the impossible for ourselves; when we stop trying to manipulate systems to work for us; when we stop trying to be in charge of our lives and hand them over to the Lord (wait patiently for Him).  It is then that God can perform the miracle that we need and give us a resolution to the problem that vexes us; show us the way out of the trouble that we are in; set our feet upon a path that leads to righteousness.

King David continues in verse 3 saying that He has put a new song in his mouth - Praise to God that many will see and hear and trust in the Lord.

Again, how true this is for us today.  When we are in a place of despair the wail that comes from our mouths is negative and despondent; when God has does something wonderful for us the noise that we make is no longer a wail of despondency, it turns into a roar of victory and praise to our God.  That sound is elevated above the clamour of this world to reach the ears of those who will listen and turn them to God as well.

King David continues his Psalm saying that those who will make their trust in the Lord are blessed.

Where can we find this same truth expressed again in the New Testament?

1 Peter 5:6-7 - Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.