14 May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, ‘Aha! Aha!’
be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
‘The Lord is great!’
17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;Psalm 40: 14 – 17
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.
David has been encouraging the readers of Psalm 40 to put their trust in God. To look to God as though he had already lifted our feet out of the mire and clay, setting them on firm a rock. He has reminded us that blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord and what God requires from us is not sacrifice but our lives.
As we come to the end of this Psalm, so we are being reminded there are consequences for who or what we choose to put our trust in. The Psalmist is asking God to turn back in disgrace (v 14) all those who want to take his life or seek his ruin. At the same time, he is asking that all who seek God that they would rejoice and be glad.
To trust God or not to trust God has a consequence. We are constantly being told that life is not black and white, and so often this is true. Is it a black and white decision as to who we should vote for in an election for instance? No, we make a judgement call, we weigh up the good and bad for each party and we vote for the party or person who best fits our thinking and beliefs.
In choosing to trust God we are not weighing up the options and going with the best fit for our life. In trusting God, we are either saying we believe he is worthy of all obedience, honour and praise or he is not. We either give God our trust or we don’t. If we only trust God in some things, then we are not trusting God.
As we finish our reflection of Psalm 40, we are being asked who do we trust? Do we come to God completely reliant on him, or do we come still thinking we can work some things out for ourselves?
Maybe it is appropriate the Psalm ends with ‘But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.’ When we trust God as he said we should then we will rejoice in him, but if we don’t then the consequence is that we will be turned away in disgrace.
Will we make this our prayer of dependence on God today, will we come to God as people who are poor and needy, trusting that he will help and deliver us in the very way Psalm 40 began. ‘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.’
Prayer (Mark 9:24 – I believe help; help me overcome my unbelief.) Lord Jesus we believe and trust in you, help our unbelief. We believe you have heard our prayers, help our unbelief that we would pray more. You have lifted our feet out of the mire, help our unbelief by filling us with the confidence we are secure in you. We believe you have given us a new song to sing, a new life to live, help our unbelief that others would see and hear, putting their trust in you alone. Amen