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Psalm 40

Thanksgiving for Deliverance and Prayer for Help

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.


I waited patiently for the L ord;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.


He drew me up from the desolate pit,

out of the miry bog,

and set my feet upon a rock,

making my steps secure.


He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear,

and put their trust in the L ord.



Happy are those who make

the L ord their trust,

who do not turn to the proud,

to those who go astray after false gods.


You have multiplied, O L ord my God,

your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;

none can compare with you.

Were I to proclaim and tell of them,

they would be more than can be counted.



Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,

but you have given me an open ear.

Burnt offering and sin offering

you have not required.


Then I said, “Here I am;

in the scroll of the book it is written of me.


I delight to do your will, O my God;

your law is within my heart.”



I have told the glad news of deliverance

in the great congregation;

see, I have not restrained my lips,

as you know, O L ord.


I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,

I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;

I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness

from the great congregation.



Do not, O L ord, withhold

your mercy from me;

let your steadfast love and your faithfulness

keep me safe forever.


For evils have encompassed me

without number;

my iniquities have overtaken me,

until I cannot see;

they are more than the hairs of my head,

and my heart fails me.



Be pleased, O L ord, to deliver me;

O L ord, make haste to help me.


Let all those be put to shame and confusion

who seek to snatch away my life;

let those be turned back and brought to dishonor

who desire my hurt.


Let those be appalled because of their shame

who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”



But may all who seek you

rejoice and be glad in you;

may those who love your salvation

say continually, “Great is the L ord!”


As for me, I am poor and needy,

but the Lord takes thought for me.

You are my help and my deliverer;

do not delay, O my God.

12. For innumerable evils have compassed me on all sides This phrase, in the original, denotes more than can be expressed in an English translation; for he says, עלי alay, upon me, meaning by this, that he was not only beset on all sides, but that also an accumulation of evils pressed upon his head. He, however, does not now complain of being punished unjustly, or above his desert, but rather confesses plainly that it is the just recompense of his sins which is rendered to him. For although the word עון, avon, which we have rendered iniquity, signifies also the punishment of iniquity, (as we have elsewhere seen more than once;) yet we must take into consideration the derivation of the word. 9595     The word עוז, avon, is derived from עוה, avah, he was crooked, oblique; and hence the noun signifies iniquity, depravity, perverseness; but it is also put for the punishment due to iniquity. See volume 1, p. 507, note. Accordingly, since David calls the afflictions which he endures the fruit or effect of his transgressions, there is implied in this a humble confession, from which we may ascertain with what reverence and meekness he submitted to the judgments of God, seeing that, when overwhelmed with an accumulation of miseries, he sets forth his sins in all their magnitude and aggravation, lest he should suspect God of undue severity. When we see David treated so severely, let us also learn, when we are oppressed with extreme afflictions, and are groaning under them, humbly to implore the grace and mercy of our Judge. Nor is it his design to show that he had been stupid or hardened, when he says that his heart failed or forsook him. His language means, that he was not only broken-hearted, but that he lay as if he had been dead. We must, however, understand this fainting or failing of the heart as referring to the sense of the flesh; for his perseverance in prayer is a certain proof that his faith was never altogether extinguished. But since he was, in so far as man was concerned, destitute of counsel, and was altogether without strength, it is not without cause that he says that his heart failed him.

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