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One of the most thrilling Passages David ever wrote is found in Psalm 40!  The first five verses of that text give his personal testimony.

Let's study them together.

I've not preached them yet ... but plan to soon!

Any text that exalts the Grace of God will encourage his people! 

I recently heard an old man of God call this "celebratory preaching!"

                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 A Preacher in his Study


Psalm 40:1-5

"I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.  Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.  Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered."


PSALM 40, VERSE 1 ...

This "sermon" was posted Tuesday morning, March 16, 2004, from Myrtle, Mississippi.

Psalm 40 opens with these words:

"I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry."  psalm 40:1

David is the human writer here. Of course the Psalm is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God ... Who is solely responsible for its contents.

The opening verb "waited patiently" is interesting. It is a Hebrew expression "qavah." In the Hebrew sentence one finds "qavah qavah!" It is doubled! It literally would be rendered: I waiting, waited patiently!

The verb "qavah" comes from a stem that means to look eagerly for! The word picture behind it is that of a person binding together (perhaps by twisting) some things. (Like braiding hair or weaving a basket!) It implies something that takes time and patience! To be doing something while waiting is also pictured here! The stem of both verbals is "Piel." That means the action is intensive! (What he is doing ... he is doing fervently!)

He (the Psalmist, King David) is waiting for "Jehovah" God! Waiting for the God Who IS! Waiting for the great I AM! (This is like a second waiting for a year ... or a decade ... or a century!)

The context here demands that we interpret this waiting as more than just consuming time. This waiting is to be construed as trusting, exercising faith ... or maybe even praying!

Why do I say that?

Because of the rest of the verse.

God ANSWERS Davidís "waiting!"

Look at what the Lord did!

He "inclined" unto the Psalmist!

Has He ever "inclined" to you?

He has (again and again)!

Let me show you what I mean.

The verb "inclined" means to stretch out, to extend, to bend or to offer! The "time" sense of this verb is that of continual action! The more you wait ... the more God stretches out to you in your need! Hebrew = "natah" One text even says that it means "to deliver."

The first Bible use of the verb (Genesis 12:8) is when Abraham "PITCHED" his tent as he traveled in obedience to God! (To pitch = to stretch out, to extend)

I got to thinking. How did God bend down to meet our needs? Also by pitching a Tent. And that Tent was Jesus! (John 1 :14 says that Jesus "dwelt" among us. That verb "dwelt" is the Grek verb for "pitching a tent" ot "being a tabernacle!")

God also "heard" Davidís cry! That little verb "hear" (Hebrew = shama) means to listen with attention or interest! Another lexicon says it means to hear intelligently. Again the verb action is on-going, habitual listening!

The first use of this verb is in Genesis 3:8 where Adam and Eve, having sinned, HEARD the voice of the Lord God ... and feared Him and hid themsleves! Because of sin ... man did not want to hear God! But THANK THE LORD, also because of our low down sin ... God devised a plan to HEAR man! The only hope for a dying sinner is for God to HEAR his cry!

The noun "cry" ("shavah" in Hebrew) is unusual. Itís only used 11 times in Scripture! It means a cry for help! (A spiritual 911 call!)

Exodus 2:23 uses the verb first in all of Scripture. Itís when the Jews in Egypt cried unto God in their bondage ... and God heard them and delivered them!

Psalm 34:15 also uses the word: "The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their CRY."

As does Psalm 145:19 --- "He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them."

What a series of great words weíve had here today!

Iím so thankful for the Bible! What a Book to encourage us day by day!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



PSALM 40, VERSE 2a ...

This "sermon" was posted Wednesday morning, March 17, 2004,  from Myrtle, Mississippi. It is the second in a short series from Psalm 40:1-5. Our focus here is the first half of verse 2.  Lord willing, we plan to study the second half tomorrow.

"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."   Psalm 40:2

That first verb is exciting! He "brought me up!" In Hebrew itís "alah" and means to set up, to establish or to fix!  It is a Hiphil stem ... meaning "causative active." There is a CAUSE behind Godís saving us! The cause is His grace! And His love!

The "time" sense here is also of note. Itís an "imperfect" verb ... suggesting that God is still bringing us up! (Iíd say He sure is!)

From where is He bringing me?

From a "horrible pit!"

"Horrible" is "shalon" in Hebrew. It means crashing, roaring, tumultuous, rushing and horrible! In Psalm 65:7 our word is translated as the NOISE of the waves!  And in Isaiah 5:14 we are told:  "Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it."  Here, associated with hell, our word is translated "pomp!"

And "pit" comes from a word that means "to bore" a hole in the ground. It is a cistern or well or dungeon. This expression occurs only here in Scripture. It sounds like David had considered himself dangerously close to the pits of hell before God rescued him! (A brand plucked from the burning! Zechariah 3:2)

And look at the synonymous term: "the miry clay."

"Miry" is in Hebrew "yaven" meaning the "dregs" of anything. (Especially of wine which is "yayin" in Hebrew.) And this term well may refer to intoxicating wine! God found some folks when they were absolute drunkards ... and lifted them out of that background and placed them IN the Grace of God!

"Clay" is "tiyt," meaning mud or wet dirt! 2 Samuel 22:43 talks about the "mire" (filth) of the street! Thatís what we were when He found us!

I think we shall just finish this verse tomorrow, Lord willing.

We have plenty enough to think about right here!

Where He brought us FROM!


                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



PSALM 40, VERSE 2b ...

Written and placed here on Thursday, March 18, 2004, from Myrtle, Mississippi.  We are this week looking at Psalm 40:1-5.  Today we look at what God did for us when He saved us!


This is picturesque language. 

The verb "to set" is spelled "qum" in Hebrew and means to arise or to stand up.  God literally did the acting here.  He placed my feet on the Rock!  It is a Hiphil verb ... indicating that "causative action" is used.  There is a CAUSE behind God's lifting us up!  That Cause is the saving Grace of God!  (And the "time" sense of the word is that of on-going action.  God is still setting our feet in sure places!)

The noun "feet" ("regel") is from a root verb that means to walk.  God placed our feet on the Rock ... for a purpose.  He wants us to walk (not idly stand around) in His Way!

The word rock is in Hebrew "sela."  Once in Scripture it is translated "strong hold!" It speaks of a great firm strong rock.  (Of course we all know Who that Rock is!  It's Jesus!  1 Corinthians 10:4 proves so.  "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.")  One lexicon says the word "sela" means fortress!

But that's not all He did for us!

He "established" our goings!

The verb established is from the Hebrew "kun."  It means to make firm!  And this verb is a "perfect" one ... indicating that the action is completed!  If you're saved ... He has established you in Christ! 

In Psalm 9:7 our word "kun" is translated "prepared."  "But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment."  Believers are as "established" as God's Throne is "prepared!"

Watch our same verb "established in Proverbs 3:19 --- "The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens."  Believers are as firm as the heavens!

Glory to God!  We certainly should sense our security in Christ Jesus!

Lastly, what are our "goings?"

"Ashur" is the word for "goings."  It's only used 9 times in the Bible.  Six of those times it is rendered "steps."  (And three times = "goings.")  It comes from the word "ashar" that means straight!  That alone tells us how God wants us to walk! Straight!

God did all these things for us ... so that we might live for Him!


Lord willing, verse 3 tomorrow.

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



PSALM 40, VERSE 3 ...

Friday, March 19, 2004 at 8:00 PM from Cumming, Georgia  (This is a Bible study from Psalm 40:1-5)

"And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD."   Psalm 40:3

The little verb "hath put" translates the Hebrew word "nathan."  It means to give! The verb here reveals incomplete action.  That means God is still giving this "new song!"

The adjective "new" is once translated "fresh" in the King James Bible!  See Job 29:20.

And the noun "song" comes from a verb that means to travel!  It presents the idea of someone who is so joyful that they sing everywhere they go! 

But what does this song involve?  It's explained right here in the second part of our verse.  This is a song of "praise!"

The word for praise is derived from a source that means "to be clear!"  It also means "to shine!"  (This is praise that flows from the heart to the face!  It breaks out all over!)

The Name for God here is Elohiym.  It's God's Title that refers to His STRENGTH!  It also is in the plural form ... signifying the Trinity I believe.  (Did you ever just sit down and praise each Member of the Godhead?  That alone can be a thrilling worship time!)

Many shall see it!  The "many" here refer to great numbers ... but also to people of great prominence.  (It's translated in such ways as:  mighty, captain and great!)

The verb see ("raah" = to look at, to inspect, to perceive) indicates ongoing action! They just keep on beholding that man with the new song!

To "fear" ("yare") here means to reverence, to adore, to augustly respect (as well as to tremble in terror)!  I think it describes Holy Spirit conviction!

And the final verb "trust" (Hebrew = "batach") means "to hide for refuge!"  (Again, it's continuous action!)

I believe that this is Old Testament language that says the man got saved through the testimony of one who was brought out of miry clay and an horrible pit!

The last Name for God here is LORD, and is the Name Jehovah.

David is just firmly convinced that the living sincere testimony of a godly man or woman is a powerful soul-winning tool!  For example read what he said in Psalm 51:13 --- "Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee."

This little self-contained verse is quite powerful!

Lord willing, more tomorrow!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



PSALM 40, VERSE 4 ...

Monday, March 22, 2004, at 9:15 AM from Cumming, Georgia  (This is a Bible study article on Psalm 40:4.)

"Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies."  Psalm 40:4


The word "blessed" is in Hebrew "esher" and means happy!  (It's translated "happy" 18 times in the King James Version.  And it's rendered "blessed" 27 times!)  But here's the strange thing.  It comes from a root word that means "to be straight!"  In God's eyes to be happy ... is to be straight!  (Right, justified by the Grace of God through the Blood of Jesus!)

The word used for "man" here specifically means a man who is valiant or a warrior or a strong person!  (This is a real man!)

"Maketh" is the verb ("sum") that means to place, to put, to appoint, to set or to ordain!  There's a definite decision and commitment made here to trust the Lord!  It refers to a move made in the past (completed action) when this man got saved!

"Lord" is Jehovah.

"Trust" is a noun that means refuge!  (Verb form = to hide for refuge!)  The Lord is our "Hiding Place!"  He is called this twice in Scripture!  (Psalm 32:7 and Psalm 119:114)

"Respecteth" is (Hebrew = "panah") a verb that means to turn so as to face something!  To look at deliberately and carefully!

"Proud" is from the Hebrew term "rahab" and means to act insolently!  This person is a "smart aleck" ... and I checked the dictionary for this word!  It's there!  It may also be associated with one of their words for "strength." 

To "turn aside" is to swerve.  This is the opposite of walking on a straight and narrow path!

And "lies" is their word for falsehoods.  It means anything deceptive.

Our verse proves that if one keeps the Lord as his focus ... other things will become peripheral (the outer field of vision).  Soon they will be out of sight.

The Lord willing tomorrow we shall complete this little series.

It's sure been worth our time.  Of course that's true of all Scripture.

What a testimony this Passage is!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



PSALM 40, VERSE 5 ...

March 23, 2004 (From a motel room in Newport, Tennessee, at 5:30 AM)

We have the past few days been studying the opening paragraph of Psalm 40. In it David gives his testimony. But, be sure of this, our Lord Jesus also read, memorized and said these words too!

"Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered." Psalm 40:5

David is first discussing Godís "wonderful works!" One Hebrew word is used for this term, "pala." It means marvelous, surpassing, unique (from a root that means "different!")! To separate, to distinguish! Hard things! Hidden Things! Marvelous Things! The first use of the word in any form is in Genesis 18:14 where the question is asked, "Is anything TOO HARD for the Lord?" And in Exodus 3:20 the plagues on Egypt are called Godís WONDERS! Plus verses like Exodus 15:11 --- "Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?"

"Many" is an adjective that means ("rab") abundant in quantity, size, number, rank or quality! (1st use = Genesis 6:5 where manís wickedness has become GREAT!) If sin is great ... God is greater! Itís like Romans 5:20 says: "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."

And the verb "done" is "asah," meaning to fashion or to accomplish. It here is in the form that pictures completed action!

Also David tells us that Godís thoughts to us are many!

This noun "thoughts" (Hebrew = "machashabah") comes from a verb that means to plat, to interpenetrate, to weave or to fabricate. It here means a plan or an intention. (Itís the "all things" of Romans 8:28!) Our word is used in Psalm 92:5 --- "O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy THOUGHTS are very deep." (Again, the first use of the noun is in Genesis 6:5 in reference to wickedness!) Wicked thoughts outweighed by Godís good thoughts!

"To us-ward" translates the little Hebrew preposition "el," which means "motion towards!" It also can have the meanings: with, near or among!

"To be reckoned up in order" is one little Hebrew verb, "arak." It means to set in a row, to arrange! (1st use = Genesis 14:8 = "joined battle!") The second use: Genesis 22:9 at the sacrifice of Isaac where Abraham "laid the wood in order" on the altar! Think about that one! I'm amazed at the thoughts God sent us-ward when He planned the Cross of Calvary!

The verb "declare" means to expound! (To make conspicuous, to announce!)

The companion verb "speak" ("dabar") means to arrange words so as to make sense. (Similar to the Greek word "logos" in that regard)

"They are more than" translates Hebrew "atzsam." It means vast, mighty or numerous. Itís a Qal stem verb and is "perfect" in its sense of time. (Completed action)

"Numbered" is "to take acount of, or to carefully consider." It seems to be an accountantís term meaning to mark or to ascribe ... to tally or record a number. (It also can mean to then celebrate the number!)

This ending of our verse (and paragraph) reminds me of Psalm 139:17 which says: "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!"

This Passage has given us David's view of this subject: What God has done for us! Paul best explains this concept in the New Testament! For example, see the first three chapters of Ephesians! BUT ... it is a balanced truth! The last three chapters of Ephesians tell what we are to do for God (by His Grace)!

You could also call our text (Psalm 40:1-5): Davidís Testimony! Of course, it should be ours too!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



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