How do you treat a vending machine?
You want what you want - you want it now - and you expect to get it now!
And if you don’t get what you want, you bang the side of the machine and walk away, declaring that there is something wrong with the machine.
How do you treat God?
What do we read in the first line of this Psalm?
Why would I want to do that?
Why would God want me to do that?
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire
but my ears you have opened;
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
Then I said, ‘Here I am, I have come
it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.’
I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.
May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
May those who say to me, ‘Aha! Aha!’
be appalled at their own shame.
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
‘The Lord is great!’
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.
Psalm 40 (NIV)
Do you feel as though you are in a slimy pit at times, full of mud and mire?
When the mud in the pit gets over a certain depth, we cannot climb out ourselves.
We need Jesus to lift us out and set our feet on a rock, and give us a firm place to stand.
But we need to cry out to him in faith, and to wait patiently for him.
And even before he delivers us, let’s ask him to put a new song in our mouth - a hymn of praise to our God.
If you are feeling bogged down at the moment, don’t imagine that the experience is something unusual, on the journey of faith.
The Psalmist starts by telling us that he had been in a slimy pit, full of mud and mire - and ends by describing himself as poor and needy.
If he can be so honest - then maybe we can too.
Throughout the Psalm we are reminded that God can be our help and our deliverer.