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With New Testament Eyes: 56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works

By Henry Mahan


      Psalm 40:1-10

      These are the words of David, for this is a Psalm of David, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The words reveal David's faith and experience which he lived, felt, and expressed in a song.

      These are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 10:5-9 tells us they are the words of Christ.

      Are these words not also the experience of every believer?

      So complete is our union with Christ that it is impossible to speak of Christ and not speak of them in the same words (John 17:21-22).

      v. 1. The Psalm begins with a word that is so difficult for us, 'I waited patiently for the Lord,' or 'waiting, I waited.' David expected wisdom, direction, provision, and strength from the Lord, which he gives in his own time; therefore, he was willing to patiently wait on God (Psalm 27:13-14).

      'He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.' He bent over to me and heard my cry. In the Lord's own time, when the trial had accomplished his design, when I could understand his instructions, when he could get all the glory and praise, when I was sufficiently shut up to his grace, he heard my cry. It is a marvel that God would condescend to hear us at all. Then why should we ever grow impatient and weary with waiting for him!

      vv. 2-3) There are three powerful statements here that accurately describe the work of Christ in redeeming his people. 'He brought me up out of an horrible pit.' Some of these prison pits in the Bible were deep, with mud and corruption at the bottom, and with no possible way out except through a hole at the top. We were in the pit of sin, under the curse of the law, with no way out; and he, according to his own will, by his mercy and grace, came to where we were (John 1:14), paid our debt, restored our souls, and lifted us up to light, life, and freedom (1 Sam. 2:6-8; Luke 4:18).

      'He set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.' That rock is Christ (1 Cor. 10:4). My steps are set, settled, and established on the unchangeable, immovable Rock of absolutes in Christ--God's word of promise and God's atonement in Christ (1 Cor. 1:30-31).

      'He put a new song in my mouth,' which is a song of praise to our God. That new song is the song of a new creature in Christ, the song of the new covenant, the song of the new and living way, the song of a new heart, and the song of a new heaven and a new earth. This new song is the gospel of Christ by which the Holy Spirit shall enable many 'to see, fear, and trust the Lord.'

      v. 4. 'Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust.' Who can say with Job, 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust him;' with Peter, 'Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God;' and with John, 'We know we have passed from death to life.' A believer may be as persecuted as Job, as poor as Lazarus, as lonely as Elijah, as bowed down as David; but if the Lord is his trust and refuge, none of these outward afflictions shall move him. He does not bow to money nor power nor cringe before worldlings, he is not swayed by the multitudes who run after a lie. God is his refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

      v. 5. The wonderful works of God are his works of creation, providence, redemption, and glorification. George Rogers gave this outline:

      1. The works of God are planned by God, wrought by his spirit, through the merits of his Son.

      2. They are wonderful works in their variety, their fullness, and their unchangeable glory.

      3. They are innumerable, all in perfect order, and beyond comprehension.

      vv. 6-8. Here David goes beyond himself and speaks the very words of Christ. When one thinks of 'the wonderful works of God,' it is of Christ that he must speak (Col. 1:16-19).

      The sacrifices and offerings not desired nor required are the sacrifices offered under the law. These sacrifices could never put away sin, could never please God's justice or righteousness.

      They were offered from Adam to Moses only as types and shadows of Christ (Heb. 10:1-4). They no longer exist, because Christ has come. 'In the volume of the book of God it is written of me, that I should come to fulfill all righteousness, honor every attribute, and satisfy justice,' says Christ. 'My ear was bored,' for he is a willing servant. 'I delight to do thy will,' for he is one with the Father. 'The volume of the book' may be both that book of God's eternal counsel and designs (Rev. 5:1-5) or the book of scripture (Luke 24:44-46).

      vv. 9-10. The Son has fully and ably declared these five things (Heb. 1:1-3).

      1. God's righteousness; both his essential righteousness and his righteousness imputed to believers through faith (Rom. 10:1-4; 3:19-26; 4:20-25).

      2. God's faithfulness. Our God is faithful to his covenant, to his word, to his Son, and to his people (Isa. 46:9-11). 'I am the Lord, I change not.' The gifts and calling of God are without change (Rom. 11:29). 'Known unto God are all his works from the beginning,' and they shall be done (John 6:37-39; Rom. 8:29-31).

      3. God's salvation. Salvation is of the Lord in its origination. Christ is our Surety, Saviour, and Lamb slain from the beginning. Salvation is of the Lord in its execution. 'It pleased God to bruise him.' Salvation is of the Lord in its application. 'It pleased God to reveal his Son in me.' Salvation is of the Lord in its sustaining power. 'We are kept by the power of God through faith.' Salvation is of the Lord in its ultimate glory. 'He hath made us kings and priests' (Phil. 3:20-21).

      4. God's lovingkindness. When the Bible speaks of God's wrath, it is always against sin; and when the Bible speaks of God's love for sinners, it is always in Christ (Rom. 8:38-39; John 3:36; John 14:21; John 17:23).

      5. God's truth. Christ is the truth. There is no knowing God except as we learn and know Christ. While God's power, glory, and majesty are seen in the creation, the attributes and character of God are only revealed in Christ. His chief glory is his goodness and grace in Christ (Exo. 33:18-19; 2 Cor. 4:3-6).

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant

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