He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
The title of the psalm indicates that it is one of David's: against that no adequate argument has been raised. Therefore, as David's we regard it. We are called on to a treatment of it in three several topics. In this, the first, we look at it as a song of praise for delivering mercy - for delivering mercy experienced by the psalmist himself, who, having written this grateful hymn, hands it "to the chief musician" for use in sanctuary service. Where can our notes of praise for Divine interposition be more appropriately sung than in the fellowship of the saints in the house of the Lord? We are left in doubt, indeed, as to whether the help thus celebrated was temporal or spiritual. Either way, the progression of thought in these ten verses is the same. For homiletical purposes we can scarcely let our remarks run on both lines at once. We shall, therefore, confine our thoughts to one kind of deliverance, viz. that from spiritual distress; while a pulpit expositor will find the progression of thought equally appropriate, should he desire to use it to incite to praise for temporal mercy. But our present theme is - praise for delivering grace.
I. HERE IS A CASE OF SORE DISTRESS. (Ver. 2.) "An horrible pit;" "the miry clay." Two very striking expressions, which may well represent, figuratively, the wretchedness and peril of a man who is deep down in the mire of sin and guilt, and on whose conscience the load of guilt presses so heavily, that he seems to be sinking - to have no standing; as if he must soon be swallowed up in misery and despair.
II. THE DISTRESS LEADS TO PRAYER. (Ver. 1.) There was a "cry" sent up to God for help. And this help seemed long delayed. There was a prolonged waiting in agony of prayer, that deliverance would come. The Hebrew is not exactly, "I waited patiently," but "waiting, I waited," signifying "I waited long." He who, broken down under conviction of sin, pleads with God for mercy, and will not let him go except he blesses him, - such a one shall never wait in vain.
III. PRAYER IS ANSWERED, AND DELIVERING GRACE IS VOUCHSAFED. (Ver. 2.) How great the change! From sinking in a pit, the psalmist is lifted up and set upon a rock] How apt and beautiful the figure to set forth the change in the penitent's position, when, after being weighed down by sin, he is lifted up and set firmly on the Rock of Ages!
IV. HENCE THERE IS A NEW SONG IN THE MOUTH. (Ver. 3.) How often do we read of a new song! The song of redeeming grace is new, superadded to the song of creation. It will be ever new; whether on earth or in heaven, it can never grow old, it can lose none of its freshness and glory!
V. AS THE RESULT, THERE IS A TWOFOLD EXPRESSION OF GRATITUDE.
1. Surrender of will, heart, life, and all, to God. (Vers. 6-8.) "In the roll of the book" it was prescribed that Israel's king was to fulfil the will of God, and that such fulfilment of the will of God was more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Note: The doctrine here expressed is no mark of a later date than David (see 1 Samuel 12; 1 Samuel 15:22; Psalm 1; Psalm 51:16; Isaiah 1:11; Jeremiah 7:21; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:1-8).
2. The proclamation of God's mercy before men. (Vers. 9, 10.) There is nothing like the experience of "grace abounding to the chief of sinners," to give power in speaking for God. He who having been first "in the pit," then "on his knees," then "on the Rock," is the man who will have power when he stands "in the pulpit." - C.
And He hath put a new song in my mouth. I.
We have here A MAN WONDERING TO FIND HIMSELF SINGING. God had put a new song into his mouth, and it was a marvel even to himself. What makes you wonder so? Other people sing: why is it at all a wonder that you should? He answers, "It is a wonder that I should sing, because I have been so used to sighing. I had my evening moans and groans, for sin was heavy upon me, and an angry God seemed to make the darkness about me a darkness that might be felt. Had you seen me then, you would not think it strange that I should be a wonder to myself that now I sing." Well, I can see why you are astonished at your singing; is there any other reason? "Yes," he answers, "if you had known me a little farther back, before I came under the hand of God, and was awakened to a sense of sin, you would have known a fellow that could sing; but the wonder now is that I can sing ' a new song.' I am glad, sir, that you did not hear me sing in those days, for my songs would have done you no good. It is not only called a new song because it is new to us, but because it is so uncommon. Rich and rare things are often called in the Bible new. There is a new covenant, a new commandment, etc. And, oh, the praises of God are indeed rich and rare! And, truth to tell, there is a wonder about our new song because it is always new. Do you ever tire — you who love your Lord — do you ever tire of Him? You who praise Him, do you ever weary of singing His praises?
II. We have here A MAN WHO IS RESOLVED TO KEEP ON SINGING, for, you notice, he says, "He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see, and fear, add shall trust in the Lord"; so that this man means to keep on singing. I must have you back again, old friend, and ask you why it is that you mean to keep on singing. He answers, first, "Because I cannot help it." When God sets a man singing, he must sing. Good Rowland Hill once had sitting on the pulpit-stairs a person who sang with such a cracked, squeaking voice that it put the dear man out of heart; and this person with the cracked voice of course sang more loudly than anybody else. So Mr. Hill said to him, while the hymn was being sung, "Be quiet, my good man, you make such a dreadful noise that you put us all out." "Oh!" said the man, "I am singing from my heart, Mr. Hill." "I beg your pardon, my friend," said the preacher, "go on, go on, go on with your singing if it comes from your heart." So we would not stop any man, whatever his voice is, if he sings from his heart. But do not sing before everybody; perhaps it would be casting pearls before swine. "Oh!" says he, "but I must; I mean to sing before many." Why? "Well, I used to sing before many in my evil days. I was not ashamed to sing for the devil. When I ought to have been ashamed I was not; and now that I ought not to be ashamed, I will not be ashamed, and I will sing. Besides, why should I be so tender and considerate of their nerves? They are not thoughtful about mine." Still, do you think that it is worth while to sing at this rate? "Yes," says he, "I do, for I believe that it is good for them to hear it." Do you? What good can it do them? And he answers me thus. "Look at your text, sir, and you will not need to ask me that question; what does your text say? .... Many shall see, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord."
When Charles Wesley
was impressed with the thought that he ought to live a different life to that which he was living, a more distinctly Christian life — he was anxious from this very point to get a satisfactory answer to the question, "Is it necessary to acknowledge Christ openly, to tell to people that I am a Christian?" And, walking in the streets one day, he met a holy, saintly Moravian minister, and he asked him, in the course of conversation, "Is it really necessary that I should openly confess Christ?" That good, blessed man said to him, "If you had a thousand tongues, use them all in telling of your Saviour." Well, he sought and found the great blessing of peace through Jesus Christ; and then you know what followed, and what always comes in Christian experience. He did not need to ask men whether he should tell others that he had found the pearl of great price; he sat down, and he wrote that hymn —
Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The riches of His grace!
Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LordWe are not alone in anything we do. We are connected from the cradle to the grave with many others. We have our family, and our kindred, our social friends, our business connections, our neighbours and fellow-citizens. Upon all these we exercise influence, both consciously and unconsciously. By our uprightness they are strengthened, by our courage they are cheered, by our perseverance they are confirmed in the love of right. Every person is thus a preacher to his neighbour; and the most powerful of all eloquence is the eloquence of a virtuous life. It is a testimony to the whole world that religion is not utopian. It can be practised and realized; for here it is done. When a parent adds to the gentle precepts of true religion delivered to his children, the practice of a just, a patient, loving life, he preaches to his household in golden words. When a Christian tradesman shows a spirit of honour and rectitude in his dealings, a desire to afford full justice to his customer, as well as to himself, he preaches with the utmost force the sermon, "Go thou and do likewise." The best sermon any one can preach on patience is actual calmness under provocation. The preaching of truly good lives is what the world now most needs. It is the one sweet note having the power to reduce to harmony all the discords of mankind.
TopicsConfide, Faith, Fear, Hymn, Mouth, Numbers, Praise, Putteth, Song, Trust
Outline1. The benefit of confidence in God
6. Obedience is the best sacrifice
11. The sense of David's evils inflames his prayer
Dictionary of Bible ThemesPsalm 40:3
4010 creation, renewal
8150 revival, personal
8666 praise, manner and methods
8609 prayer, as praise and thanksgiving
8031 trust, importance
8610 prayer, asking God
LibraryTwo Innumerable Series
'Many, O Lord my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered ... 12. Innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head; therefore my heart faileth me.'--PSALMS xl. 5, 12. So then, there are two series of things which cannot be …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Out of the Deep of Sin.
Innumerable troubles are come about me. My sins have taken such hold upon me, that I am not able to look up; yea, they are more in number than the hairs of my head, and my heart hath failed me.--Ps. xl. 15. I acknowledge my faults, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight.--Ps. li. 3. I said, I will confess my sins unto the Lord; and so Thou forgavest the wickedness of my sin.--Ps. xxxii. 6. Blessed is the man whose iniquity is forgiven, and …
Charles Kingsley—Out of the Deep
The Master's Profession --The Disciple's Pursuit
WHO IS THE SPEAKER that gives utterance to these marvellous words? In the first instance they must be understood to proceed from our Lord Jesus Christ. By the Spirit of prophecy in the Old Testament they were spoken of him, and by the Spirit of interpretation in the New Testament they have been applied to him. Mark, then, how vehemently he here declares that he has fully discharged the work which he was sent to accomplish. When, in the days of his flesh, he was crying to his Father for preservation …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871
Brought up from the Horrible Pit
I shall ask you, then, at this time, to observe our divine Lord when in His greatest trouble. Notice, first, our Lord's behavior--"I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry": then consider, secondly, our Lord deliverance, expressed by the phrase, "He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay," and so forth: then let us think, thirdly of the Lord's reward for it--"many shall see, and fear, and trust in the Lord":--that is His great end and object, …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 28: 1882
"Lo, I Come": Application
The times when our Lord says, "Lo, I come," have all a family likeness. There are certain crystals, which assume a regular shape, and if you break them, each fragment will show the same conformation; if you were to dash them to shivers, every particle of the crystal would be still of the same form. Now the goings forth of Christ which were of old, and his coming at Calvary, and that great advent when he shall come a second time to judge the earth in righteousness, all these have a likeness the one …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891
"Lo, I Come": Exposition
"Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come in (the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God." WE HAVE, in the use made of the passage by the inspired apostle, sufficient authority for applying the quotation from the fortieth psalm to our divine Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With such a commentary, we …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891
Some General Uses from this Useful Truth, that Christ is the Truth.
Having thus cleared up this truth, we should come to speak of the way of believers making use of him as the truth, in several cases wherein they will stand in need of him as the truth. But ere we come to the particulars, we shall first propose some general uses of this useful point. First. This point of truth serveth to discover unto us, the woful condition of such as are strangers to Christ the truth; and oh, if it were believed! For, 1. They are not yet delivered from that dreadful plague of …
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life
"He Hath Put a New Song in My Mouth, Even Thanksgiving unto Our God. " -- Psalm 40:3.
A NEW YEAR'S MORNING SONG. "He hath put a new song in my mouth, even thanksgiving unto our God." -- Psalm 40:3. Thanksgiving and the voice of melody, This new year's morning, call me from my sleep; A new, sweet song is in my heart for Thee, Thou faithful, tender Shepherd of the sheep; Thou knowest where to find, and how to keep The feeble feet that tremble where they stray, -- O'er the dark mountains -- through the whelming deep -- Thy everlasting mercy makes its way. The past is not so dark as …
Miss A. L. Waring—Hymns and Meditations
A New Song
"He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God."--Ps. xl. 3. R. Rolle, 1349. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 I know not the song of Thy praises, Till Thou teach it, my God, to me-- Till I hear the still voice of Thy Spirit, Who speaketh for ever of Thee-- Till I hear the celestial singing, And learn the new song of Thy grace, And then shall I tell forth the marvels I learnt in Thy secret place. Thy marvels, not mine, far surpassing All thoughts of my heart must they be-- I can but declare …
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)
Life of St. Vincent de Paul
SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL c. 1581-1660 By F.A. [Francis Alice] Forbes "Blessed is he that understandeth concerning the needy and the poor: the Lord will deliver him in the evil day." --Psalm 40:2 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. Wherefore he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the contrite of heart, to preach deliverance to the captives, and sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of …
Frances Alice Forbes—Life of St. Vincent de Paul
Introduction to Expositio Fidei.
The date of this highly interesting document is quite uncertain, but there is every ground for placing it earlier than the explicitly anti-Arian treatises. Firstly, the absence of any express reference to the controversy against Arians, while yet it is clearly in view in §§3 and 4, which lay down the rule afterwards consistently adopted by Athanasius with regard to texts which speak of the Saviour as created. Secondly, the untroubled use of homoios (§1, note 4) to express the Son's …
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius
The History of the Psalter
[Sidenote: Nature of the Psalter] Corresponding to the book of Proverbs, itself a select library containing Israel's best gnomic literature, is the Psalter, the compendium of the nation's lyrical songs and hymns and prayers. It is the record of the soul experiences of the race. Its language is that of the heart, and its thoughts of common interest to worshipful humanity. It reflects almost every phase of religious feeling: penitence, doubt, remorse, confession, fear, faith, hope, adoration, and …
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament
Life Hid and not Hid
'Thy word have I hid in my heart.'--PSALM cxix. 11. 'I have not hid Thy righteousness in my heart.'--PSALM xl. 10. Then there are two kinds of hiding--one right and one wrong: one essential to the life of the Christian, one inconsistent with it. He is a shallow Christian who has no secret depths in his religion. He is a cowardly or a lazy one, at all events an unworthy one, who does not exhibit, to the utmost of his power, his religion. It is bad to have all the goods in the shop window; it is just …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
How when Tribulation Cometh we must Call Upon and Bless God
Blessed be thy name, O Lord, for evermore, who hast willed this temptation and trouble to come upon me. I cannot escape it, but have need to flee unto Thee, that Thou mayest succour me and turn it unto me for good. Lord, now am I in tribulation, and it is not well within my heart, but I am sore vexed by the suffering which lieth upon me. And now, O dear Father, what shall I say? I am taken among the snares. Save me from this hour, but for this cause came I unto this hour,(1) that Thou mightest …
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ
Like one of Us.
"But a body Thou hast prepared Me."-- Heb. x. 5. The completion of the Old Testament did not finish the work that the Holy Spirit undertook for the whole Church. The Scripture may be the instrument whereby to act upon the consciousness of the sinner and to open his eyes to the beauty of the divine life, but it can not impart that life to the Church. Hence it is followed by another work of the Holy Spirit, viz., the preparation of the body of Christ. The well-known words of Psalm xl. 6, 7: "Sacrifice …
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit
Eligius, Bishop of Noyon.
THE life of this pious bishop is so much the more worthy our consideration, on account of his having passed many years in the position of an ordinary citizen, before he entered on the clerical office; because his life may thus afford us a picture of the pious citizens of his time. Eligius was born at Chatelàt, a mile from Limoges, A. D. 588. His family had been Christian for many generations, and he received a pious education,  the result of which extended throughout his life. In his youth, …
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places
The Lamb of God, the Great Atonement
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world! G reat and marvellous are the works of the LORD God almighty! We live in the midst of them, and the little impression they make upon us, sufficiently proves our depravity. He is great in the very smallest; and there is not a plant, flower, or insect, but bears the signature of infinite wisdom and power. How sensibly then should we be affected by the consideration of the Whole , if sin had not blinded our understandings, and hardened …
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1
Out of the Deep of Doubt, Darkness, and Hell.
O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night unto Thee. Oh! let my prayer enter into Thy presence. For my soul is full of trouble and my life draweth nigh unto Hell. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in a place of darkness, and in the deep.--Ps. lxxxviii. 1, 2. If I go down to Hell, Thou art there also. Yea, the darkness is no darkness with Thee; but the night is as clear as the day.--Ps. cxxxix. 7, 11. I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my calling. …
Charles Kingsley—Out of the Deep
Of Internal Acts
Of Internal Acts Acts are distinguished into External and Internal. External acts are those which bear relation to some sensible object, and are either morally good or evil, merely according to the nature of the principle from which they proceed. I intend here to speak only of Internal acts, those energies of the soul, by which it turns internally to some objects, and averts from others. If during my application to God I should form a will to change the nature of my act, I thereby withdraw myself …
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer
Distinction Between Exterior and Interior Actions --Those of the Soul in this Condition are Interior, but Habitual, Continued, Direct, Profound, Simple, and Imperceptible --Being a Continual
The actions of men are either exterior or interior. The exterior are those which appear outwardly, and have a sensible object, possessing neither good nor evil qualities, excepting as they receive them from the interior principle in which they originate. It is not of these that I intend to speak, but only of interior actions, which are those actions of the soul by which it applies itself inwardly to some object, or turns away from some other. When, being applied to God, I desire to commit an …
Jeanne Marie Bouvières—A Short Method Of Prayer And Spiritual Torrents
Of the Woman dwelling in the Wilderness. The woman delivered of a child, when the dragon was overcome, from thenceforth dwelt in the wilderness, by which is figured the state of the Church, liberated from Pagan tyranny, to the time of the seventh trumpet, and the second Advent of Christ, by the type, not of a latent, invisible, but, as it were, an intermediate condition, like that of the lsraelitish Church journeying in the wilderness, from its departure from Egypt, to its entrance into the land …
Joseph Mede—A Key to the Apocalypse
Period ii. The Church from the Permanent Division of the Empire Until the Collapse of the Western Empire and the First Schism Between the East and the West, or Until About A. D. 500
In the second period of the history of the Church under the Christian Empire, the Church, although existing in two divisions of the Empire and experiencing very different political fortunes, may still be regarded as forming a whole. The theological controversies distracting the Church, although different in the two halves of the Graeco-Roman world, were felt to some extent in both divisions of the Empire and not merely in the one in which they were principally fought out; and in the condemnation …
Joseph Cullen Ayer Jr., Ph.D.—A Source Book for Ancient Church History
"That the Righteousness of the Law Might be Fulfilled in Us. "
Rom. viii. 4.--"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us." God having a great design to declare unto the world both his justice and mercy towards men, he found out this mean most suitable and proportioned unto it, which is here spoken of in the third verse,--to send his own Son to bear the punishment of sin, that the righteousness of the law might be freely and graciously fulfilled in sinners. And, indeed, it was not imaginable by us, how he could declare both in the salvation …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
The Man after God's Own Heart
"A man after mine own heart, who shall fulfil all my will."--ACTS xiii. 22. A BIBLE STUDY ON THE IDEAL OF A CHRISTIAN LIFE No man can be making much of his life who has not a very definite conception of what he is living for. And if you ask, at random, a dozen men what is the end of their life, you will be surprised to find how few have formed to themselves more than the most dim idea. The question of the summum bonum has ever been the most difficult for the human mind to grasp. What shall a man …
Henry Drummond—The Ideal Life
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