February 24, 2010

Deliver me


ecently, it seems that God has been stressing two characteristics on my mind. These personal characteristics show up regularly in my daily bible readings for the past few weeks. As I have mentioned previously, steadfast love and faithfulness are characteristics I am compelled to consider and to work on in my life.

And as is so common when communing with God through his word, he is teaching me these things while providing comfort and encouragement perfectly suited to the things I am encountering in life at this time. God is so good to us. In fact, he demonstrates steadfast love and faithfulness continually.

This was part of today’s bible reading:

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Psalm 40:1,3

When I was a music major at Baptist Bible College in the early 1980s, our choir chose Psalm 40:3 as our choir’s theme verse. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Over the years since then I have considered the fact that this verse does not say that many will hear the new song God has put in my mouth and will put their trust in the Lord. It says that many will see. Although I am a musician and would love the concept of the song being the catalyst to these people’s turning in faith to God, the inspired words of scripture don’t allow me to consider it that way. It seems that this verse is saying that many people will see the fact that God has made this change in my song. The fact that he has made this change is what will turn them to God in fear and trust. It’s not my song, but the fact that God changed my song to a song of “praise to our God.”

The psalm goes on to say:

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!

You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.

Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.

Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me:

I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.

I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.

Psalm 40:4-10

When God moved us from Lynchburg to Front Royal this past summer I committed publicly to following the 3-Step Program of deliverance found in Psalm 50:15, seen in the callout box to the right. We were in a stressful situation and didn’t see a clear way out of the trouble. Psalm 50:15 says to “call on the Lord in the day of trouble” and the verse promises that he will deliver us when we call on him in the day of trouble. But then the verse goes on with a further responsiblity that we have when he delivers us: “you shall glorify me.”

Psalm 50:15

Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

Psalm 40 is saying a very similar thing. Especially clear in verse 10, this Psalm is also saying that when God delivers us we are to proclaim it publicly, which is very similar to saying, “you shall glorify me.” But this time the psalmist says, I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and faithfulness from the great congregation.

I was worried a few days ago that these posts may be too personal and may bore the visitors to this blog. After all, these are personal things God is teaching me. Maybe they don’t apply to others. Or at least that was my reasoning.

Psalm 40:11

As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

But were I to hide God’s deliverance within my heart and not proclaim it to the great congregation, I would not be fulfilling my part of the 3-Step Program, and God would not be getting the glory for what he has done, is doing, and will continue to do as he lavishes on all of us his steadfast love and faithfulness.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!



  1. EXCELLENT!! Thank you for this reminder, Rich. It doesn't matter how great or how small the deliverance, blessing, comfort...we are to be busy proclaiming His glory. All to often I am rehearsing my own...

  2. Yes - rehearsing my own glory (which is pretty far down on the scale) and complaining about my situation rather than turning to God who I think is excitedly waiting to show his steadfast love and faithfulness.

    Do you remember memorizing that verse in choir and quoting it as a group? I have loved that verse for the past 30 years (almost).

  3. Actually, I do remember it, now that you've joggled the memory disk...

    I still remember the alto parts to many of the songs!!


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