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.
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened[c]—
burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.
May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.
Psalm 40:1-3 is what I call, “The Redemption Rhythm of God.” These three verses are the crying out to God, His saving of us, and His continued work in our lives as we live by faith and tell others the good news. God gives us a rhythmic cycle of redemption in these poetic words. Over and over and over again through all generations and all time, the gospel is at work. God hears; He saves, and He gives a new song for us to sing to all who will listen. We are participants in this rhythm, because not only is it “once and done”—our saving—but it continues in God’s work in our every day in the ordinary ups and downs of our lives, in our sanctification, our coming to look more like Him.
These three verses are also an overview of the rest of Psalm 40. Our study is going to be primarily based on the redemption rhythm verses, how they connect to the rest of the Psalm and how the themes presented therein apply to our lives. Because the story of God as given to us in the Bible is a vast tapestry of God’s interactions with humanity, we can’t help but let the psalm lead us into the rest of the story to see what God would teach us through the fullness of His Word.