Putty in God’s Hands
Psalm 40: 1-11 (NRSVA)
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
4 Happy are those who make
the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after false gods.
5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts towards us;
none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
they would be more than can be counted.
6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt-offering and sin-offering
you have not required.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.’
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.
11 Do not, O Lord, withhold
your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
keep me safe for ever.
There are lots of verbs, and lots of images of movement in this psalm!
But read through it…
Where does the action and activity come from?
The psalmist is recounting the activity of God in their life…
What’s striking though is the posture of the Psalmist — they wait for God…
And it is God who is active in all of the movement as God turns, and lifts and sets…
I am reminded of the days early in my parenting journey where my little ones waited on me… were dependent on me, trusted that I would hear their cry, lift them out of their distress and after holding them close to settle and reassure them set them somewhere safe…
It is God whom the Psalmist trusts to act in love on their behalf…
There is no doubt, and their experience is that God comes to their aid…
The Psalmist waits…
And even though finding themselves in a difficult place is still able to sing of their joy of a God who loves them, responds to them, and cares for their wellbeing!
The Psalmist’s joy at that realisation oozes out of them, it cannot be contained.
But even that song finds its source in God!
Turner, Hearer, Lifter, Setter…
Thank you that you know me, have claimed me as your own.
That you love me and hear me,
That you respond and that you lift me close,
And picked up, reassured, dusted down from the experiences of life, you set me again on a solid footing…
Make that joy overflow within me,
Fill me with song,
So that I might sing to the world of you.