An Outline of the Christian Life

January 15, 2014
Psalm 40:1-4

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

I have always found it fascinating to find New Testament truth in the Old Testament.  But since God is in control of all things for all time, is it any wonder that He reveals hints, shadows and figures of things to come?  So it is with Psalm 40:1 through 4.  As I was meditating on these verses this morning during my prayer time, it dawned on me that this Old Testament passage is a beautiful outline of the Christian life, fully revealed in the Lord Jesus a thousand years after David wrote this Psalm.

    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….

First of all, David says he “…waited patiently for the LORD….”  I waited 19 years before He revealed Himself to me!  Now I really didn’t know I was waiting for Him, but He was waiting for me!  I remember as a boy and then as a teenager thinking about God and coming up with a few theories on who He is and what He is doing.  But there wasn’t much in my thinking that was based on His Word.  I wasn’t reading the Bible then because I had no desire to get into it.  That came later.  It says of Christ’s incarnation in Galatians 4:4 and 5:

    But when the fulness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a
    woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we
    might receive the adoption as sons.

Perfect timing!  Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (II Corinthians 6:2)  And in God’s perfect timing, I looked up and saw myself as a sinner and Jesus as the only Savior.  And I asked Him to come in and be mine.  “…He inclined to me, and heard my cry.”  Have you cried out to Him to be your Savior?

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay….”  Sin is a terrible pit in which to be trapped!  Try as you might, you can’t climb out by yourself.  Your feet seem to be stuck as if in “miry clay.”  When I was building my house – after excavation in the back yard – the muddy ground excavated had a lot of clay in it.  I would step in clay and try to lift my foot out of a hole that seemed to suck in my foot and hold it tight!  When I did lift out my foot – with great effort – two pounds of clay would stick to my boots – and another pound would be added with each slow step!  It was not a way to run a race!!!!

Sin will keep you trapped in its miry pit!  Jesus said in John 8:34, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whosoever commits sin is the slave of sin.”  And it is a slavery from which you cannot be freed by your own efforts!  It can only be accomplished as it says two verses later in John 8:36:  “…if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”  It can only be done by the Son!  And that leads us to the next part…  Has Jesus set you free from sin?

…and [He] set my feet upon a rock….”  Who is the Rock?  We are told in I Corinthians 10:4 that the Israelites in the wilderness “…all drank the same spiritual drink.  For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”  He is also the Rock upon which the Church is built, according to the proper interpretation of Matthew 16:18.  And He is a movable Rock, because He “followed ” the Israelites.  So the psalmist testifies that the Lord  “…established my steps.”  “Steps” give the sense of movement, and Jesus Christ moves with us.  He as told us in Hebrews 13:5 and Matthew 28:20, “I will never leave you nor forsake you….I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Do you know He is always with you?

He has put a new song in my mouth – praise to our God….”  God gives us a “new heart,” according to Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26.  And a new heart results in new words coming out of our mouth.  So said Jesus in Matthew 12:34:  “…out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  What is coming out of your mouth?  “A new song” is referred to nine times in the Bible.  And it is always “…praise to our God….”  Only Christians – only those who have experienced God’s grace through Jesus Christ – can give such praise to God!

…many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.”  Why has God been so gracious, loving, merciful and kind to us as Christians?  Yes, He wants us to “…have life, and…have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).  But He also wants others to know the good news of Jesus.  And He has commissioned us, His children, to bear that gospel to others trapped in sin in this dark world.  Are you witnessing of His grace to others?

Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust….”  Blessed indeed! 

I hope you can see God’s plan for the whole Christian life outlined in just these four verses in Psalm 40.  There are a lot more Gems and Nuggets to be mined from the Word.  So until next time….

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