Reflections on Psalm 40


I waited for the Lord . . .

Waiting. Everyone is waiting. The whole world is in expectation. Such is the way of time, that each moment passes and a new one is coming, and we await to see what it brings us. Will it be good or bad? Blessings or curses? What is to become of us? The Psalmist waited on the Lord, and was brought out of the mire to the sturdy land, where he could stand, walk firmly, and gaze ahead. He felt strong in the Lord and he was able to put behind fear and hope in the Lord.

Happy the person whose hope is in the name of the Lord . . .

Notwithstanding what faces us, what tragedy, or epidemic, or war, looms before us, so that the future seems so uncertain, and tomorrow can bring doom, we must put our hope in He who overcomes fear, He who transcends time, He who holds the world in His hands. Many put faith in vanities, in things of a day, in riches, and reputation, and power, but the Psalmist put hope in the one and only certainty in life, God.

In a scroll of a book it is written of me . . .

The book is the Lord’s and God is the author. I can only read it in retrospect. But the book has been written, and God knows. It is for me to trust in God’s authorship, His plan, the Chapters that remain, and I will hold fast to what God wills for me. Perhaps the book ends tomorrow, or the next day, or in ten or twenty years. There is a certainty–if hidden from me.

The glad news of righteousness . . .

There is good news, notwithstanding what happens today or tomorrow. The news is always good when it is the Lord’s. Human news is never good. The Lord’s news is truly good news. It is the news that reassures us that all is well—even when it appears otherwise.

My heart failed me . . .

It does in each moment. I am not alone, knowing that the Psalmist felt the same way, so many thousands of years ago. Each moment brings more bad news, more fears, more to worry about. But the Psalmist declared, and I agree, “Let the Lord be magnified!”

Poor I am and needy . . .

Always. I am never rich and full. It is the consequence of moving time, that I can feel momentarily rich and full only to have it siphon out, and I am alone again, waiting.

O my God, do not delay.

About theamericanplutarch

Writer, thinker, historian.
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