christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

psalm 40

Read Psalm 40 at Bible Gateway.

This psalm forms a chiastic structure, with smaller structures within it:

Psa 40:1-17
1a) Psa 40:1, I waited patiently for the LORD and He heard my cry;
1b) Psa 40:2-5, Despair of the believer + the LORD’s deliverance because of mercy;
1) Psa 40:2, He brought me up out of a horrible pit and established my steps;
2) Psa 40:3, He has put a new song of praise in my mouth;
3) Psa 40:4, Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust;
4) Psa 40:5, Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You for number;
1c) Psa 40:6-7, Sacrifice and offering You did not desire + My ears You have opened;
central axis) Psa 40:8, I delight to do Your will + Your Torah is within my heart;
2c) Psa 40:9-10, I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly;
2b) Psa 40:11-17a, Despair of the believer + the LORD’s deliverance because of mercy;
1) Psa 40:11-13, Preserve me + my iniquities have overtaken me + deliver me;
2) Psa 40:14-15, Dishonored is the man who wishes me evil;
3) Psa 40:16, Let those who seek You rejoice and magnify the LORD;
4) Psa 40:17a, I am poor and needy yet the LORD thinks upon me;
2a) Psa 40:17b, You are my help and my deliverer, do not delay O my God.

The matching pairs are comforting!

The A pairs reveal that while we wait patiently for the LORD’s deliverance, He does not delay His help!

I first saw the B pair because of the repeat of the LORD’s thoughts that He thinks toward us. It is mentioned in Psa 40:5 and 40:17. The four elements that make up the B pairs are slightly out of order, but I always wonder if that is a result of reading this in English translation rather than in the original Hebrew. The point is, when the believer is facing trouble — even if it is because of his own iniquity, so that he cannot lift his head and his heart fails him — the LORD sends His lovingkindness, mercy, and truth to help, deliver, and preserve him. Even when the horrible miry pit we are in is of our own making, because of sin, He is able to bring us up out of it, and establish our steps on a rock of righteousness.

Wow, the goodness of God is overwhelming! This is why we have a new song of praise to our God, this is why we can rejoice and be glad in Him, and this is why we will ever say, The LORD be magnified!

So, sin is the problem, that causes trouble and creates horrible and miry pits. As we approach the central axis, the C pairs prophesy of the coming of Messiah, and the coming of righteousness, faithfulness, salvation, lovingkindness, and truth. The Messiah’s ears have been opened; which I believe means, not only has the Word of God taken on flesh (ears) and come as the scroll of the book (Torah) prophesies, but what He heard from heaven with His ears, He did not keep in His heart to Himself, but He proclaimed it faithfully to the assembly of the believers.

And what He heard, was the good news (gospel) of righteousness: the Father does not desire sacrifice and offering, the blood of bulls and goats, the death of animals to only cover our sins. But He is bringing Salvation (Yeshua in Hebrew), because of His lovingkindness, and truth, to eliminate our sins, to set us free from sin and make us alive to righteousness!

The central axis shows us that the Father’s will is revealed in His Law, or Torah, expressed there in the form of commandments, but it is the dictionary of the Scripture, the definition of righteous or good acts or fruit, and sinful or evil acts or fruit. The central axis furthermore shows that the heart of Jesus our Lord delights in the will or Law of His Father! He takes pleasure in doing His will!

If we are being conformed to His image, may our hearts likewise lay down the lie that the Law is bad or harmful, and take delight in the revelation of His will also!


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