Praying through the Psalms

Praying through the Psalms

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Why Wait?

Psalm 40

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.
Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

Here is another psalm by David telling of his patience in waiting for God to deliver him. The idea of David waiting is common in a lot of his psalms. For a lot of us it might be said, "I waited impatiently on the Lord." (Spurgeon) No one likes waiting. I often get impatient at stop lights when people take time getting started when the light turn green. I get impatient when someone takes a long time to get out of a parking space at the grocery store.  And we have all been there when someone can't figure out their order at the drive through. Annoying right!  No, we don't like waiting very much.

And we also don't like waiting on the Lord.  We would rather have him answer us right away, after all shouldn't He? But like a child if we got everything thing we asked for instantly, we would become spoiled.

But in this particular psalm the Lord inclined toward, or turned to David and heard his cry.  "The word inclined has the sense of God bending down to David in his affliction, removing any perceived distance between the Lord and His servant. When David knew God heard his cry he was confident of a favorable answer." (Guzik)  

The prize for waiting is David met God in a very personal way. David knew that God had reached down to help him.  It was worth the wait to see God responding to his prayer, further cementing David's trust in Him. Not only did God incline his ear toward David, he answered his cry for deliverance.  David went from the pit to higher ground.  In the pit there was miry clay, the kind that made you feel stuck with no relief.  David felt powerless over his circumstances, whatever they were.  But God reached him down and pulled him up.  

Therefore David could praise God, because God had heard his cry and answered it.  David could praise God because of a very difficult circumstance where he patiently waited for God to hear him and pull him out of the mud.  The rest of the psalm goes on to show how David uses this situation to glorify God and testify to his goodness and faithfulness. So ultimately David uses his situation to bring others to know His God. 

Where do you need to wait patiently on the Lord?  What is this process doing in terms of your personal relationship with God?  How can other experiences you have had in waiting for the Lord help you to wait on God and expect his eventual deliverance?  What witness are you giving to others as you wait patiently on the Lord?


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