11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;Psalm 40: 11-13
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 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.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.
Throughout Psalm 40 David has been talking about God’s greatness. He has reminded us of how he believed that God has already heard his prayer, already lifted his feet out of the pit and onto solid ground. We have been reminded how blessed we are to believe and trust in God in this way. We have been reminded of all the good things God has already done for us and how this goodness is freely given. There is no demand for sacrifice or offerings.
David reminds us there can be only one response to such a gift. ‘Here I am… I desire to do your will.’
The psalm encourages us to continually proclaim God’s saving acts – David is not talking about telling people what we hope God might do, but to proclaim what he will do with such certainty that it seems as though it has already been done. Of course, the reason we can speak with this confidence is because in Jesus, his death and resurrection we see the first-fruits of God’s promise. We know what is coming.
It is only once David has praised God with this certainty that he cries for help. ‘Do not withhold your mercy from me Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me… Be pleased to save me, Lord; come quickly, Lord, to help me.’
It is right and proper that we have continued to focus on God’s goodness – even through this crisis. There is a reason for being careful not to forget God’s goodness, even when all we want to do is cry out to him. It is because when we start to understand how wonderful God has been and will continue to be to us, then when we do cry out it is with a hope filled with certainty and faith. Knowing how great God is encourages us to ask great things of him.
Psalm 40 is reminding us to praise God throughout this crisis, to remember God’s greatness throughout this crisis. It is also reminding us because God is so great to turn to him asking that he would ‘Be pleased to save us… and… come quickly, Lord to help us…’
Prayer Heavenly Father we thank and praise you for all the great things you have already done for us. We thank you for the blessing of a health service equipped with so many resources and such knowledge. We thank you for the love of friends and family, above all we thank you for Jesus who has already defeated sin and death. Father, it is because you are so great and beyond compare that we ask for you to intervene in our world today, that you would ease this crisis and save so many who are at risk from this virus. Amen.