When can we truthfully say, we ever waited – “patiently” – for anything without anxiety or frustration? We are all familiar with Psalm 40; it may also be one of our favourites, since it’s a Messianic psalm. It was, I believe, a favourite of the prophets. How could it not be when it speaks of God not wanting burnt offerings but an “open ear” and a “delight” in doing God’s will from His people.
Verse 6 speaks of “ears you [God] have opened”. This literally means “ears you have dug out for me”. It is as if our ears are all blocked up and only if God can dig it all out can we actually hear Him!
What has filled and blocked our ears so we cannot hear God today? Is the doing of God’s will so tedious and burdensome? Is it a duty or is it a delight? Young lovers take great delight in doing any little favours for their beloved; why can we not be as eager to do favours for God?
“Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust…” says verse 4.
The happy or the blessed make the Lord their trust. However, our personal history has taught us that those who trust in the Lord are not always sheltered from difficulty. We do find ourselves in difficulty and even in agony. Why? Because trusting God means we serve God courageously in a world that is not in tune with God. This blessedness is a puzzle to those outside the kingdom of God, but is an assuring calm for those who have made the Lord their trust.
Verse 11 says, “Let your lovingkindness and your truth continually preserve me.” It is God’s steadfastness, God’s faithfulness that will endure and win the day; if we triumph it is God doing so vicariously through us. What does “continually” mean? What does David the psalmist here have in mind? I believe he is expressing the confidence that God will preserve him for a long, long time in his earthly life.
But we know something about eternity, about the time beyond that measured by time. The blessedness we desire may be glimpsed here and there, or enjoyed for a while, but then not; and yet we believe that if we trust the Lord, if we believe and adhere to God, after this world is no more, after God has brought all things to consummation, there will be a happiness exponentially more glorious than even the ultimate happiness the world seduces us with. This relationship with God, begun now, known through a glass darkly, will finally be a reality, and all will be joy.
With much blessings,
In Christ Rev. Robert Chew