9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;Psalm 40:9-10
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
10 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.
O praise the name of the Lord our God, O praise his name forever more. For endless days we will sing your praise, oh Lord, oh Lord our God.
If we’re honest it’s not always easy to sing these words. Praise isn’t always easy because there are times, and maybe some of us are living through such times now, when we struggle to see the goodness of God. We struggle to see how all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Remember how Psalm 40 started, 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. (Psalm 40:1-3a)
The psalmist is asking us to believe no matter our circumstances, or peril, or fear of Covid-19 and what it might do that God has indeed heard our cry. He is asking us to wait patiently believing with such certainty that God will lift us out of the mud and mire that we praise him now as though he’d already done it. To thank God now as though he’d already brought us through this crisis.
This is not God wanting payment upfront before he will act. God does not work because we have given him something, God gives us the full of measure of his grace freely and undeservedly. The psalmist is talking about us giving God praise, declaring his greatness, his love, his faithfulness, his salvation as though we had already received it in all of its fullness because we are so sure, so confident that God will do all that he has said he will do.
Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. (Psalm 40:3b) This great song of praise the psalmist is singing in verses 9-10 is an expression of faith, trust and hope in God, but it is also a great declaration of who God is, that they too may have that same hope.
This is not a time for God’s people to shrink back into the shadows. This is not a time to stop singing God’s praise. Now is the time to sing with ever increasing certainty that our God truly is a great God who has already intervened in this world and who has already lifted our feet out of the mud and onto solid ground.
Prayer O praise the name of the Lord our God, O praise his name forever more. For endless days we will sing your praise, oh Lord, oh Lord our God. Father God, thank you that even today as the world creaks under the pressure of Covid-19 still you are worthy of all praise. Thank you for the sure and certain promises of scripture that you will work all things for the good of those who love you and have been called by you. Help us as your people to declare these truths, to stand firm in these truths that many will see and fear and put their trust in you. Amen.