From slime to the sublime
Psalm 40: 1-4, 11 (NIVUK)
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 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.
3 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.
4 Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
The slimy pit evokes a scene of darkness and fear, as in a dungeon, where there is little chance of escape without the aid of another person. In such a setting, with limited light, the other senses are heightened, particularly the sense of smell. Imagine the dank, stale, nauseating smell of the place.
What a contrast, to be rescued from this filthy, stinking situation, and to be set high upon a rock. There instead you find the fragrant freshness of the air in your nostrils.
The Lord, who does this for us, is the one in whom we place our trust. If ever you feel ‘down in the dumps’, let Him carry you high into the sweetness of the morning dew.
O Lord, let me find my delight this day in the bouquet of Your grace. Amen.