Psalm 40: The Christian & The Christ Psalm 40:1

Text: “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”
                                                                                                                        Psalm 40:1.
Good morning, Christian blighted by impatience!  If this description fits you today, dear friend in Christ – I can assure you that, I am ashamed to say, it suits me also.  Of all things lacking in the author’s Christian witness and faith – in my latter years especially, I am become a most impatient man!  Please pray for me, dear reader, and I will pray for you?  The Lord Jesus Christ loves honest, impatient Christians, just as much as he love the successfully patient ones.  Praise God it is so!   Amen.

Dictionary Definition: Patience – (noun) the quality of being able calmly to endure suffering, toil, delay, vexation, or any similar condition; sufferance…Patient – (adjective) sustaining pain, delay, etc. calmly and without complaint; not easily provoked; persevering in long continued or intricate work; expecting with calmness; long-suffering; enduring…  (The Chambers Dictionary, page 1193)

Impatience, therefore is the lack of this vital grace, as defined above, and a level of inability with which to calmly endure suffering, pain, delay, vexation, etc.  In other words, the author is a Christian man who is known ‘…not to suffer fools gladly…’, and one who can be quite impulsive due to a lack of calm patience.  This is merely self-honesty!

“O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”  (Romans 7:24-25)

In Psalm 40: we can clearly see both the Christian and the Christ: David in this Old Testament time of inspired writing, and Christ Jesus in time and Eternity.

Subject: Jesus is evidently here (in Psalm 40), and although it might not be a violent wrestling of language to see both David and his Lord, both Christ and the church, the double comment might involve itself in obscurity, and therefore we shall let the sun shine even though this should conceal the stars.  Even if the New Testament were not so express upon it, we should have concluded that David spoke of our Lord in verses 6-9, but the apostle in Hebrews 10:5-9 puts all conjecture out of court and confines the meaning to Him Who came into the world to do the Father’s will.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 193)

Verse 1. “I waited patiently for the Lord.  Patient waiting upon God was a special characteristic of our Lord Jesus.  Impatience never lingered in His heart, much less escaped His lips.  All through His agony in the Garden, His trial of cruel mockings before Herod and Pilate, and His passion on the Tree, He waited in omnipotence of patience.  No glance of murmuring, no deed of vengeance came from God’s patient Lamb; He waited and waited on; was patient, and patient to perfection, far excelling all others who have according to their measure glorified God in the fires.  Job on the dunghill does not equal Jesus on the Cross.  The Christ of God wears the imperial crown among the patient.  Did the only Begotten wait, and shall we be petulant and rebellious?”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 193)

Oh that you and I, dear Reader, might be more like the Lamb Whom we love!

Verse 1. “I waited patiently.  Rather anxiously; the original has it, waiting I waited; a Hebraism, which signifies vehement solicitude.”  (Daniel Cresswell 1776-1844)

The patience the Psalmist is referring to is a patience that is not entirely passive but  marked by, or evincing, an urgency and forcefulness born of strong conviction.  It is a totally determined patience that will wait out the most violent assaults of opposing forces, until the violence of such oppositions and hindrances are spent, and wear themselves out upon such patience, without any over-coming success on their part.

“Our Lord’s patience under suffering was an element of perfection in His work.  Had He become impatient, as we often do, and lost heart, His Atonement would have been vitiated (rendered ineffective, faulty).  Well may we rejoice that in the midst of all His temptations and in the thickest of the battle against sin and Satan, He remained patient and willing to finish the work which His Father had given Him to do.”  (James Frame 1869)

In spite of all our puny faults and failings of human patience – as ‘born again’ believers in Christ Jesus – we are still exhorted to WAIT, to be as patient as we can be, knowing that the Living Lord God Almighty is always present with us in our trials and testings, and that He is, will, and will always be, working circumstances together for our eventual good.  Praise His gracious Name!

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted in the earth.  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”  (Psalm 46:10)

“And we (the elect) know that all things (even the negative!) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)

“…And lo (look and understand), I AM (Jehovah God) with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  (Matthew 28:20)

Verse 1. “He inclined unto me. Can we not hear the Lord’s Divine Voice informing us afresh: ‘Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.’”  (Jeremiah 33:3)  Pray earnestly, God will hear.

Thought: The Lord God is patiently waiting to hear our cry, and to a answer us.

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