Panting

“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?” – Psa. 42:1-2

The longing of every believer.

Thoughts on Psalm 41

The Blessing and Suffering of the Godly

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

41 Blessed is he who considers the poor;
The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
2 The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive,
And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
3 The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
You will sustain him on his sickbed.

The Lord delivers, preserves, keeps, strengthens, and sustains those who are sick.

4 I said, “Lord, be merciful to me;
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”
5 My enemies speak evil of me:
“When will he die, and his name perish?”
6 And if he comes to see me, he speaks lies;
His heart gathers iniquity to itself;
When he goes out, he tells it.

This is all our stories.

7 All who hate me whisper together against me;
Against me they devise my hurt.
8 “An evil disease,” they say, “clings to him.
And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.”
9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.

The inevitable suffering of the Godly: once on the side of Jesus, many will align against us.

10 But You, O Lord, be merciful to me, and raise me up,
That I may repay them.
11 By this I know that You are well pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And set me before Your face forever.

We have integrity only because God upholds us and sets us before Himself. It’s all God.

13 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen.

I’m not sure how often the Bible says Amen twice, but I doubt it is much and here is one of those times.

My integrity

“As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and set me before Your face forever. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.” – Psa. 41:12-13

We have integrity only because God upholds us and sets us before Himself. It’s all God.

Four Different Men

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psa. 139:23-24

One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is what God thinks of us.

There are four different men:
• The man whom the neighbors see,
• The man whom one’s family sees,
• The man whom the person himself sees,
• The whom God sees.

Men are cruel. They judge harshly. They know only part of the truth concerning us. They are not patient with our infirmities. But we are safe in the hands of God. He knows the worst in us, but He also knows the best. We may trust our lives, therefore, to God’s judgment–even if they are full of defects and flaws. He knows all, and will bring to light all the hidden things.

– J.R. Miller, “What God thinks of us.” (1909).

Against me

“All who hate me whisper together against me; Against me they devise my hurt. They say, ‘An evil disease clings to him and now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.’ Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” -Psa. 41:7-9

Once on the side of Jesus, many will align against us (even former friends).

You will sustain him on his sickbed

41 Blessed is he who considers the poor;
The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
2 The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive,
And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
3 The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
You will sustain him on his sickbed. – Psa. 41:1-3

The Lord delivers, preserves, keeps, strengthens, and sustains those who are sick.

Thoughts on Psalm 40

Faith Persevering in Trial

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

40 I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
3 He has put a new song in my mouth
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

Only God can bring you out of the horrible pit and plant your feet upon stable land. He will lean close and hear your cry.

4 Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.

There are many false ideas about God.
Here is the truth: More wonderful works and thoughts than can numbered.

6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”

The original Hebrew text says, “Ears You have dug for me.” The image is of a person incapable of hearing until God carves a way. We are deaf to God until He opens our spiritual ears to listen.

9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.

We hear enough bad news from the world. Good News is to be shared.

11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.

When the world and our own sin has us backed into a corner God will never withhold His tender mercies. His lovingkindness and His truth continually preserves.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me!

14 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who seek to destroy my life;
Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor
Who wish me evil.
15 Let them be confounded because of their shame,
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”

Prayers don’t have to be long and eloquent; most are like this.

16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
17 But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lordthinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.

A wonderful prayer.

A wonderful prayer

“Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually,“The Lord be magnified!” But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.” – Psa. 40:16-17

A wonderful prayer.

O Lord, make haste to help me!

“Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me!” – Psa. 40:13

Prayers don’t have to be long and eloquent; most are like this.