Psalm 40

The Psalms

Psalm 40
When God hears your cry

Psalms index

Psalm 40

1 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 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. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. 4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. 5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no-one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. 6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have opened;[1]opened’ is a better word than ‘pierced’ here burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.

7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll. 8 I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. 10 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.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth 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, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me. 14 May all who seek 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 love your salvation always say, “The LORD be exalted!” 17 Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.


Psalm 40 – When God hears your cry

(Verses 1-6) God blesses anyone at any time, who cries to Him sincerely for help. It is true today for a sinner trusting Jesus as personal Saviour, and for a Christian in deep need who prays to God to deliver him. How can you pray? Cry urgently to God. Wait patiently for Him to act. He will lift you from sin’s slippery filth and set you on a Rock. Jesus is that Rock. He puts a new song in your heart to praise God who has saved and delivered you. Many will see that, fear God and trust Him, too! Like you, they will be ‘blessed’. Proud people and ‘false gods’ cannot save or help you. Only our Tri-Une God, who uses others trusting Him through His word, the Bible, can save and help. No religious sacrificial ceremony of purification can purify a sinner’s heart. But when your heart cries to God, He answers. He also opens your ears to hear Him and His word. (‘Opened’ is a better word than ‘pierced’ here)

(Verses 7-8) This points to the Lord Jesus Christ coming as Messiah. (Hebrews 10:5-7). Jesus, the God-Man, came to die on the cross to bear our sins and their penalty, as prophesied. He kept God’s law perfectly. He fulfilled His will perfectly. That is why He can save you today. Turn from sin and trust the loving, spotless, eternal Son of God who died and rose again. He still lives.

(Verses 9-10) God blesses David, who feels he must make known God’s ‘righteousness’, ‘faithfulness’, and ‘salvation’. If Jesus is your Lord and Saviour, you should speak out for Him, too. By putting your faith in Jesus alone, His perfect righteousness is counted as yours. Your own efforts cannot make you righteous. But God faithfully keeps His promise to forgive and save you when you come to Him through Christ. His salvation changes your life. It takes you to Heaven!

(Verses 11-17) Like David, ask God to act. Seek God’s mercy, love and truth. Ask Him to protect you, save you and help you and to deal with any opposition. David wants all seeking God to ‘rejoice and be glad’ in Him. He asks for saved friends, who love their salvation, to praise and exalt God. David feels ‘poor and needy’, so he asks ‘my God’ to think of him, help and deliver him without delay. Pray like that! Now?



1 opened’ is a better word than ‘pierced’ here