Many shall see it, and fear.
I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (Psa 40:1-3)
You have probably heard the old complaint, the one that goes something like, "If God exists and is good then He wouldn't let all this bad stuff happen." It's a typical human response, blame somebody else for the bad stuff and take credit for the good stuff. I've heard some say that God creates calamities, and I suppose there is some truth to that. All in all, though, when I look at mankind and all the crazy, unjust things he does, I figure God doesn't need to do much more than sit around and wait. Given time and opportunity, man will make a mess of things all by himself.
You think that's unfair? You think God should never allow anything bad to happen? So, I guess you mean you want to be a robot with no choice in the matter. Yeah, that's right -- it's called "free will" and is a gift God gave to man, knowing man would abuse it and do the wrong thing. If you want to blame God for all the bad stuff that happens, why don't you also praise Him for all the good stuff that happens? I thought so.
But back to Psalm 40. However it happened, and whoever was to blame, David was always ending up in a mess of some sort. The Psalm uses very nice, poetic language, "an horrible pit" and "miry clay," to describe what I can just call a "messy situation." I feel like that sometimes, too. It seems I can't get going. Life is sometimes like standing in a pit of mud. Every step is slippery, every attempt to get things going makes your feet slide around, your balance is thrown off and, worst of all, the more you fight it the more you slip and slide. No matter how you try to stand up, step forward, get things moving, it ends up with everything slipping and sliding around without any consistency until -- whomp -- flat on your back.
When you finally get to that point of realization that your own efforts are not going to be enough, you will be at the point to understand what David is talking about. Those who live by faith learn to wait patiently for the LORD. From a worldly perspective that's all wrong. It sounds like a lame excuse for doing nothing. HAH! There is nothing passive about the situation David describes. It's not an excuse. He has learned from experience to trust in God as the deliverer. Waiting patiently on the LORD does not mean being a bum or not taking advantage of opportunities that are presented to us. It is a message of FAITH and HOPE. It is an attitude that says, even though the situation is messy, and I can't stand up, I'm not going to turn to despair, not going to give up. Instead, we call out to God knowing that God will be there.
So, back to this thing of wondering why God lets us get into this mess in the first place. As I said before, it's that way because we always have a choice. But the other part of it is so that God can reveal His power and glory through our deliverance. Yes, God could arrange things so that nothing bad ever happens to us, and we never end up in a messy situation. He allows these things, not because He is cruel, or doesn't care, or want's us to suffer. God allows these things because He knows He can deliver us. And, in so doing we put on display to a rebellious world the power and glory of God.
We can complain, we can cry out to God, and not feel ashamed of our weakness because we know that His deliverance will come and by that deliverance the world will see that God was right and Satan was a liar. The world can look on our deliverance and tremble in awe and fear at God. How is it that we simple men and women of faith can make it through this world without compromising with the world? We can do it because we have a deliverer. We can, through the trials and tribulations of our lives, demonstrate to the world that they are just wrong to rebel against God. We can, through our deliverance, demonstrate that we don't have to give into the lies, deceptions and corruptions just to survive. We do not tremble in fear at all those in the world who mock us. They will tremble in fear at our deliverance from trials. We will sing a new song of praise to God while the adversaries grit their teeth in agitation at the power of God.
Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Psa 40:4)
Now, that's not so bad, is it? In these trials, we are blessed, not because of the trials but because of the deliverance by faith.So, trust in God, wait patiently for Him, no matter how messy the situation may be. He will put your feet on solid ground, and will put a new song in your heart.