From The Pit And Mire To The Pulpit And Choir (Psalm 40)


1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. 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, Out 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. 4 Blessed [is] that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. 5 Many, O LORD my God, [are] Your wonderful works [Which] You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; [If] I would declare and speak [of them], They are more than can be numbered.

PSALM 40:1-5


Have you ever had a dirty rotten, no good day? Ever feel like you have fallen in a hole and left for dead? Every feel like you are covered in the grossness of slime? David did… Apparently even God’s chosen kings may face slimy pitts. 

David wrote a song about it… well not really that, but how the LORD picks his servants up from stuff like that. How God’s done it before and how He will most certainly do it again! 

David teaches us how to have joy in the midst of sorrow. 

Verse one is kind of scary to me. I’ve never waited patiently for the Lord until I had to. I’ve always tried to figure out how to get out of a fix and then when I’m exhausted I end up giving it all back to God. 

Have you ever found yourself in a situation, where you knew that if God didn’t do something, that nothing would happen? You are at the end of your rope. There is nothing else for you to do but call to God and wait. 

In verse two we really aren’t told much about David’s situation. It could have been literal. Later the prophet Jeremiah would be thrown into the bottom of a well and literally have to wait for help from others. It might just be a metaphor though for another time that David found himself in a jam. 

It might have been family difficulty. David had plenty of serious issues with his wives, adultery, misbehaving children, grown kids who caused a civil war, etc.

It might have been his personal sin that led him there. Like when he committed adultery with Bathsheba, killed Uriah or like when he was proud of himself and declared a census.

It might have been adversity like when he was on the run from king Saul.

It might have been emotional distress like when he was caught in Goliath’s hometown with Goliath’s sword and he pretended to be insane and act the fool, drooling down his beard. 

We don’t know what the pit was, so that gives us a little freedom as we read, to read our story into it as well. I asked the question on FB, “what are some of your favorite hymns or praise songs and why.”  One of my former student pastors shared a hymn that his grandfather used to sing, but that he also pictured himself in the hymn…. It had a double meaning. It meant something to his grandfather and it meant something to him. They could both sing it and offer praise to God.

We can join David here in this Psalm because if you are a believer the LORD has delivered you out of a slimy pit. 

This provoked a NEW SONG for David. The old songs wouldn’t do. God had delivered him again, he needed to sing a new song for this moment of deliverance. So he wrote one! 

Praise God for new songs! New Songs mean that there are new generations and new circumstances of deliverance! God is still on the move! Movements that gave us most of our hymnals are contemporary when you consider that Christianity has been around for more than 2000 years!

David professes a blessing on those who put their trust in the LORD. Indeed He is the only one who can deliver us from the mire of sin and shame. He is the only one that can lift us out of our circumstances. He is the one to whom we lift our heads.

At any moment the Lord is doing a billion acts on our behalf of which we are completely unaware…. Doesn’t that get you excited?! The Lord is worthy of all Praise, honor and glory!


Father, Thank you that you are the kind of God who delivers his people from miry clay and sets our feet on solid ground. I can’t help but see you again as a Good Shepherd who delivers His sheep no matter how lost they get and how tangled or muddy they become. Your love and grace are greater than I can imagine. Thank you for loving me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

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