Psalm Photos – 40 – “40”

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Music, Psalms

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

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.

Happy are those who make the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods.

You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted.

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

Then I said, “Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.

I delight 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; see, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.

I have not hidden your saving help 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.

Do not, O Lord, withhold your mercy from me; let your steadfast love and your faithfulness keep me safe forever.

For evils have encompassed me without number; my iniquities have overtaken me, until I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails me.

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me.

Let all those be put to shame and confusion who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire my hurt.

Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!”

As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.

—–

Today has been a day of looking for 40s. I was originally going to take a bunch of pics of the #40 around where I would be today, but decided to instead go with this single picture that I got on the side of I-75 this morning. When I read this Psalm this morning, I immediately went to one of my most-played U2 songs, “40” where they take this Psalm and set it beautifully to music. And these words and music cap what was a challenging last few Psalms with the grief of 38 and the fragility of 39. Here, there is still a call of “How Long?” (cue Bono’s “How Long? How long? How Long? How long…to sing this song”) yet there is the acknowledgment of how The Lord has been faithful. This is an already-but-not-yet-Psalm in many ways. Yes, there has been fulfillment of promises, but there is still more to hope for and long for. When have you felt in a similar place in your life? Already but not yet?

This Psalm captures so much of what has come before to this point in the Psalms – themes of hope but also of struggle. Themes of promise but also of waiting and longing. Very much that this feels like one step along the longer journey – just like a mile marker on the side of the road.

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