Psalm 40

David waited on the Lord, and the Lord was faithful.  The Lord recognized David’s plight, heard his cry, and brought him out of his despair.  He set him on a rock, on an unshakable foundation, and gave him a purpose and established a plan for his life.  As a result, David sang a new song: “Praise our God!  Many will see His salvation and fear and trust in the Lord!”

“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust.”  Why?  There is no other worth trusting in.  Life is uncertain, but the Lord and His love are constant.  In the Lord is all we need, while outside all around us the world is falling to dust.  What we see is temporary, but the Lord’s plans are eternal and His life is everlasting.  It is a blessing to have our trust and hope in the Lord, but it is foolish to trust in the pride and arrogance of men and in their self-deceiving lies.

But the Lord, His many works are wonderful and mighty and beautiful.  We cannot comprehend all that He has planned for us and His enduring love for us.  His thoughts toward us are more than can be numbered, and they are all good.

It is not sacrifices that the Lord desires – it is obedience that He loves.  Rather than burnt offerings, we ought to give Him ourselves as living sacrifices, delighting instead to do His will and obey His law.  When He has done so much for us, how can we do any less?  How can we remain silent about His righteousness?  How can we hold it in?  It is something that must come out – not because we force it to, but because it overflows from His work in our hearts!  It is not possible to hold in His truth and love when it has been poured so freely upon us – we become living, public testimonies of His love in all that we do and all that we say.

When the world threatens to close in on us, when evil surrounds us, when the enemy tries to do us harm, we can call out to the Lord in our distress and have confidence that He will deliver us.  The Lord will bring shame on them and will manifest His power – He will be our salvation.  They will not triumph over us, for the Lord is our Rock and our Shield, our Protection and our Fortress.

Although we are unworthy compared to the glory of the Lord, His thoughts still rest upon us.  “Let such as love Your salvation say continually, ‘The Lord be magnified!’  Those who seek Him may rejoice and be glad in Him, for He is our help and deliverer – He will never forsake us nor will He ever leave us.”

Verses 10-20—David is incredibly forthright in establishing his point.  Despite the truth of the fact that every person will at some time die, it is foolish to gather up great hordes of wealth and expect it to last forever, or to name land after oneself and expect to be remembered in greatness—yet people do.  Their motivation is that they somehow believe that they are exempt from this truth.  Or they simply ignore this fact altogether, unwilling to look at the futility of their gains.  In the end, however, the wealth of the wealthy will be left to others.  Even though he may die in honor, man is still destined to die, just like the animals also die.

Yet this is how the foolish live, and their descendants reinforce and approve of this idea along with them.  There may be two reasons for this acceptance of the same philosophy by generations that follow.  First, this idealism has been passed down from the one generation to the next; the same mindset exists because it has been instilled in them and taught to them.  Second, they may reinforce this idea because they know that when their older generation dies, they will obtain his wealth.  They are lying in wait to obtain the fruits of their ancestors—simply pure greed.  But in the end, they too will suffer the same fate as their fathers.  Instead, those who live uprightly in the Lord will “have dominion over them in the morning”—the Lord will bless the righteous man who lives for Him.

Clearly, David says, those who trust in their wealth and possessions will perish and be consumed in their graves, but he who trusts in the Name of the Lord will have his soul redeemed.  Do not be enamored by or fearful of those who are rich, for in the end he will take nothing with him—all men will be equal before the Lord in eternity.  The glory of men may remain on earth for a short time afterward, but they will not take it with them in their deaths.  The wicked deceive themselves into believe that they are actually achieving and obtaining something of worth, but only a life lived in the purpose of the Lord will last. 

Ultimately, those who have rejected the Lord’s answer and have sought their own way in life will perish like the animals, with no hope of true fulfillment or peace.  Only a heart that understands that all good things come from the Lord and are meant for His purpose will be prosperous in eternity, for his heart is not in temporal riches, but in eternal riches.  We cannot amass physical wealth in eternity, but we can obtain spiritual fulfillment by walking in the purposes of the Lord.

—Mark Knoles

Maxim of the Moment

Rare is the one you can long hold dear.