08/11/2017 | Psalm 140 | My Favorite Psalm | Colleen Stringer

When you’re in the Pit

Read Psalm 40: In the Pit with a King! Jesus told the disciples to expect trials. John 16: 33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”Psalm 40 is a song about the pits. In the first half (40:1-10), David tells how God got him out of one pit and he sings God’s praise for doing so. Second half of the psalm (40:11-17) he is in another pit, crying out to the Lord to deliver him from this one.

  1. When you’re in the pit, wait intently on the Lord. What is “the pit”?A. The pit could be any of a number of life’s trials. David does not specify exactly what the trials of the first pit entailed. The second pit clearly involved the consequences of David’s sins (40:12) and many enemies that were trying to destroy him (40:14-15). Your pit could be poor health, the loss of your job, former friends that turned against you, an unfaithful mate, rebellious children, or any other overwhelming problem. You may be responsible for being in your pit, or you may be a victim of the sins of others.
  2. When you’re in the pit, you’ll be tempted toward pride or falsehood to get out of the pit. V4: When you’re in a pit, it’s very easy, even if you profess to trust in the Lord at other times, to grab onto any seeming way of escape, even if it means compromising your faith. Where is our primary trust?
  3. The way out of the pit is to wait intently on the Lord.

Waiting on the Lord is a common theme in Scripture.  Psalm 37:7: Seven clues:

(1). Waiting on the Lord is intently active, not passive (40:1). It is an intently active time when your situation in the pit tunes your heart to the Lord in ways that you would not normally experience.

(2). Waiting on the Lord means to cry out to Him for deliverance (40:1, 13, 17) God’s timing often does not coincide with our timing. We want it done instantly, but God has other purposes. One reason we often do not cry out to God for deliverance is that we do not see ourselves as afflicted and needy. You don’t need a Savior unless you are helpless at the bottom of a slimy pit. Because our tendency, even after salvation, is to think that we can do it ourselves.

(3). Waiting on the Lord means trusting Him alone (40:3, 4, 11).Within this prayer is a statement or reaffirmation of trust: “Lord, You’re my only hope for deliverance.”

 (4). Waiting on the Lord means recounting His many wonders and His providential care (40:5). If you think about God’s many wonders and how He has worked in the past to deliver His people, you will wait with expectant hope in Him. If you have known the Lord for any length of time, you can think back to many times when you were brought low and the Lord delivered you. Truly, there is none to compare with Him!

(5). Waiting on the Lord means obeying Him (40:6-8). How can I express it? In times past, I might have thought that an offering was the proper thing to do. But now I realize that what God really desires is an obedient heart that delights to do His will. The devil will tempt us to give up trusting in the Lord and to seek fulfillment in other ways. He will whisper an alternative plan in your ear! Keep obeying God’s Word as you wait.

(6). Waiting on the Lord means seeking Him (40:16). In this context, seeking the Lord is a synonym for crying out to Him in expectant prayer. If you’re seeking the Lord and not just deliverance from your pit, you won’t forget about God after He delivers you. By seeking the Lord alone, when the Lord answers, He gets the credit.

(7). Waiting on the Lord means rejoicing in Him (40:16).No doubt, David was rejoicing and glad about his deliverance when it came, but he makes the point here to rejoice and be glad in You (“in the Lord”). The joy is not just in the deliverance, but in the Lord who delivers. It means finding God as our eternal treasure, so that we rejoice in all that He is, as well as in all that He does for us.

  1. When the Lord rescues you from the pit, proclaim His goodness. Why does David repeat himself so determinedly? It is because he knew that if he did not repeatedly make it plain that the Lord had done great things for him, others would chalk it up to David’s good luck or to his natural abilities. But David wants everyone to know that he was helpless in a pit of destruction, sinking into the slimy mud. He never could have rescued himself. All he did was cry out to God and wait expectedly for God to deliver him. And when God did rescue him, David made sure that God got all the praise. “The Lord be magnified!”

Psalm 40 (NKJV) Faith Persevering in Trial:  A Psalm of David.

  1. I waited patiently for the Lord;
    And He inclined to me,
    And heard my cry.
    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.
    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.

Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
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.

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

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 loving kindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your loving kindness 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.

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!”

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 Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.