Psalm 40

This psalm consists of two parts, which differ widely in their content. The first part is full of joyous thanksgiving for recent deliverance. The second pleads for help in the midst of distress and danger.

  1. What five things does David say in verses 1-3 that God did for him?
    And what effects did his deliverance have on those who witnessed it?
    Have you a corresponding experience of God’s deliverance, and has it had a similar effect?
    Cf. Acts 9:34, 35, 41, 42.
  2. To what reflections, resolve and actions did his deliverance give rise in David’s own heart and life?
    See verse 4-10.

Note. Verses 6-8 are quoted in Heb. 10:5-7, but from the IXX version, which has a different reading in the second line of verse 6. The general meaning is not, however, essentially different. ‘As the ear is the instrument for receiving the divine command, so the body is the instrument for fulfilling it’ (Cambridge Bible).

  1. What are the reasons for the psalmist requiring God’s help?
  2. On what grounds does he ask for God’s help, and what does he see as the result of an answer to his prayer? What lessons can we learn for our own prayer life?
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