Sunday Devotional 26th of March, 2023

Strategicresourcetraining   -  

by Bruce Billington

We are continuing to explore the knowledge of God as expressed in the Psalms. This week we will continue to explore Psalm 40 – a Psalm of David. 

Psalm 40:4–6 

How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. 5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count. 6 Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.

The Hebrew word for blessed here is “esher” which is often translated as being happy. However, it is much deeper than that. It refers to a state of comfort and love that deeply penetrates our soul despite our circumstances. 

Charles Spurgeon describes this so well by saying, 

A simple single eyed confidence in God is the sure mark of blessedness. A man may be as poor as Lazarus, as hated as Mordecai, as sick as Hezekiah, as lonely as Elijah, but while his hand of faith can keep its hold on God, none of his outward afflictions can prevent his being numbered among the blessed.

Obviously, this is not something that comes naturally to us. It is counter to our fallen nature which fusses, worries and panics when circumstances don’t go the way we wanted or expected. To attain to this state of blessedness, we must dig deeply into God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into this place of contentment. 

A required response from us is to keep our mind fixed on God alone and to guard against the issues that try and keep us in a state of anxiety. We should not compare ourselves to those who are proud and living life for themselves. Verse 4 says that they will ultimately fall into falsehood. 

Verse 5 is an incredible verse. It states that God constantly has His thoughts turned toward us. Have you really grasped this? The Living God of all creation thinks about you constantly with great joy. His thoughts toward you are expressions of love and grace. This should be reciprocal – it should cause us to constantly meditate in the same way towards Him. 

David bursts into praise at this point, exclaiming that all the blessings from God are just too numerous to count. God’s thoughts toward us have been manifested into actions. They have brought us salvation; restoration; given us a true purpose for life; an understanding of who God is and what He is about and an amazing invitation to walk boldly into His throne room and relate to Him as our Abba, Father. We bask in the security that God governs the affairs of this world according to His own good pleasure and finds a cherished place in it for all who call upon His name. 

Verse 6 tells us that God is more interested in our obedience to Him than the performance of religious rituals. In David’s day the rituals involved sacrificing animals in the Tabernacle. David said these acts were meaningless unless done for the right reasons. Today we often make rituals of going to church, taking Communion, or paying tithes. 

These activities are also empty if our reasons for doing them are selfish. God doesn’t want these sacrifices and offerings without an attitude of devotion to him. It is our heart attitude that is revealed to God in all that we do, and it is that which He takes notice of. We must make sure that we offer Him the obedience and lifelong service He desires from us. 

The fact that so much of God’s loving care, thoughts, attentions, and provision is given to each of us individually should bring us to a place of humility, service, honour and devotion. It should cause us to want to love Him, please Him and constantly worship Him. 

Ultimately, this Psalm points to the coming Saviour – something David saw prophetically but we now have the privilege of knowing, loving, and engaging with in an ever-increasing way. Incredibly, we now live in the times that in the past the angels longed to look into (1 Peter 12). What a blessed people we are. 

May God bless you. 

Bruce Billington