Read: Psalm 40
Consider: Psalm 40 starts with the words ‘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’ (v1-2). I hope you won’t feel insulted when I say that these words clearly describe the situation every Christian was in prior to and immediately after their conversion. That means you and me!
What is your view of sin? Do you see it as God sees it? Do you really appreciate the state you were in before God forgave you? When in your sin you had no power to remove yourself from the gutter, it is God alone who had the power to lift you out of the slime, mud and mire. This is very graphic language and uses words that many Christians might find offensive. If you think that you weren’t too bad a person when you became a Christian, then you probably have a distorted view of your own sinfulness.
The psalmist doesn’t want us to dwell on our sinfulness. He says at the end of verse 2 ‘… he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand’. Having removed us from our sin, he sets us in a new place – a firm place to stand. The word ‘rock’ used by the psalmist should remind you of the wise man who builds his house on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25) and Paul’s description of Jesus as the rock of our salvation (1 Corinthians 10:4).
I love the third verse of Psalm 40 where the psalmist talks about the ‘new song’ and ‘hymn of praise’. This speaks of the change that takes place in the Christian’s life at conversion when their new life begins and the focus of their life changes. Read the words again:
‘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’ (v3).
Notice the effect that this change in a person’s life has on those around them. Don’t underestimate the effect that a person’s conversion can have on their family, friends and colleagues.
Pray: Father, like the psalmist we thank you that your forgiveness has lifted us out of the slime, mud and mire of sin and put us on to the rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ. We pray specifically for those who will enter this new life and that they may be strong and firm in you. Amen