Theme: A Faithful Testimony
In this psalm we learn from the life of David what we must do when we find ourselves in pits of various kinds.
Scripture: Psalm 40:1-17
Jeremiah prophesied the coming of a new covenant, saying, “‘This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people’” (Jer. 31:33). To Jeremiah, having the law in our hearts is a proper definition of what it means to be in a right relationship to God. Jesus also had much to say about the heart, often stressing that the people’s hearts were calloused (cf. Matt. 13:15; Mark 7:6, 21). In regard to the law, Jesus said that the chief commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37).
How many people, even Christians, have plugged ears! Or to put it in other terms, how many hear with their ears only but do not hear with their hearts. They can’t hear anything anyone says to them, not even God. As a result they do not know the blessing of God this psalm speaks of, nor the deliverance from the pits of sin, defeat, bad habits or circumstances.
A faithful testimony (vv. 9, 10). Jesus said something else about the heart that parallels the next point of David’s testimony. He said, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34). Do you ever wonder why the speech of some people is so vile? It is because their hearts are vile. They need to get their inner lives cleaned out; then their speech will follow. But it works the other way too. If our hearts are open to God’s word and are being cleansed and reformed by it, then our mouths will be speaking God’s words and will be praising him. This is the third part of David’s reflection on God’s goodness. He says, “I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.”
Have you experienced the righteousness of God toward you through faith in Jesus Christ? Have you found the Lord faithful? Is his salvation good? Have you learned that he loves you, and have you discovered his truth in Scripture? To be a Christian is to have experienced exactly those things. But how can you have experienced them “in your heart” and yet fail to speak about them? If you are really aware of them, you will speak of them often, as David did.
How does Jeremiah understand the way to be in a right relationship with God?
What causes Christians to act as if their spiritual ears are plugged and do not hear with their hearts?
Reflection: Make a list of how God has shown you his goodness. Then look for occasions to encourage someone else who needs to be reminded of God’s faithfulness and grace.