Second Sunday after Epiphany (Jan 15th)

Pastor's Summary of Psalm 40:1-11

This psalm may have been two psalms (vv. 1-11 and 12-17) later joined through use in worship. Vv. 1-3 tell of the psalmist's experience (but not what troubled him). The "desolate pit" (v. 2) may be Sheol, the subterranean abode of the dead; perhaps he was near death, and recovered. This hymn is his "new song" (v. 3) of thanksgiving. The "proud" (v. 4) trust in themselves (not God) or in materialism. The psalmist marvels at God's innumerable "deeds" (v. 5) and "thoughts" for his people. God prefers people listening to him and doing his will over sacrificing to him (v. 6). (It was thought that God kept a "book", v. 7, a record of how ethically each person lived.) In thanks, the psalmist has told "the glad news" (v. 9) in the Temple, "the great congregation". He has not held back ("restrainted") in telling of God's "faithfulness" (v. 10) to him and all God has done for him, so may God not withhold his "mercy" (v. 11), "love" and fidelity to him.

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