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10 Mar | Breaking News—From Depths of Despair to Heights of Hope

10 March • Friday of the Second Week in Lent

Psalm 40:1-17

1. I waited patiently for the LORD;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.

2. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog,

and set my feet upon a rock,

making my steps secure.

3. 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.

4. 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!

5. 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.

6. In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear.

Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.

7. Then I said, “Behold, I have come;

in the scroll of the book it is written of me:

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

9. I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation;

behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD.

10. 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.

11. As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me;

your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

12. For evils have encompassed me beyond number;

my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see;

they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.

13. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!

14. Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life;

let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt!

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

16. But may all who seek you

rejoice and be glad in you;

may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”

17. 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!

 

Meditation

BREAKING NEWS—an increasingly common caption these days is almost always attention arresting. Whether natural or man-made, calamities contribute considerably to situations of despair or even desperation. Where once human efforts may have helped bring these longed for hopes, these endeavours now seem to have diminishing returns.


In contrast, today's passage promises and prescribes the path for deliverance from desperation to a superb sanctuary for safety and significance. Psalm 40 gives us an insight into King David's own experiences. We know something of the suffering, anguish he must have gone through from both his physical and emotional-spiritual circumstances. Thankfully, he was able to fall back on his knowledge and experience of the Lord, and turn to Him accordingly in patient trust.


True to His character of forgiveness, love and grace, David's repentance led him to experience rest, restoration and renewal, even establishing him afresh.


We can imagine David's desire to burst out in praise, prayer and thanksgiving. Here again, we see God's grace in enabling David to give such praises to God not only there and then, but for so many other occasions. We are all the richer for this as we resonate and rejoice with David over these words.


Irrespective of the situation and sins, faults and failings of David compared to our own circumstances, God's word is very clear about the total depravity of man. Thus, Christ had to come to save, sanctify and sustain us. Like David, we should be overcome by this reality, realisation and respond in overwhelming worship.


This in turn should influence our work for Him and our witness to a needy world. This should indeed be a telling testimony and tribute.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, when we reflect on Your word including today's passage and indeed our own lives, we realise our total depravity, helplessness and hopelessness. We are truly overwhelmed by Your grace, steadfast love and faithfulness in sending Your son, our Lord Jesus Christ to save, sanctify and sustain us. Thank You too for accepting and enabling us to worship, work and witness for You. Help us to truly GLOW with Your steadfast love and faithfulness. In Christ’s name, amen.

 

Action

PRAY that we and those around us may so read HIS WORD that our response to WORSHIP, WORK and WITNESS for HIM may be spontaneous and overwhelming.

Elder Dr Lawrence Chia

Chairman, Evangelical Alliance of Singapore

(EAS, formerly known as EFOS)

Vice-President, Fellowship of Evangelical Students (FES)



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