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Psalm 40:1-3

OUT OF THE MIRE AND INTO THE CHOIR

 

Intro: We are allowed a glimpse in these verses into the heart of King David. There is some dispute as to when this Psalm was written. Some scholars think it may have been written during the time David was running and hiding from Saul. Others think it may have originated during the rebellion of Absalom. Either way, David is speaking about a time in his life when he felt trapped in a helpless and hopeless situation. But, even in that terrible time of darkness and fear, God heard his cry and reached into David’s pit and lifted him out. He tells us how the Lord lifted him out of the mire and placed him in the choir, with a new song in his heart.

What we see in this Psalm also speaks to the saint of God today. We are reminded here of what the Lord did for us when He reached way down into the depths of our sins and lifted us out by His power and His grace. We are told about some blessings that have come to us because God also lifted us out of the mire and placed us into the choir. I want to point out those blessings today. I want to preach for just a few minutes on this thought: From The Mire And Into The Choir. Notice the blessings we have.

 

I. v. 1 THE SAINTS HAVE EXPERIENCED HIS TENDERNESS

A. v. 1 He Extends His Tenderness To The Waiting Ones David describes a time of waiting in his life. He seems to indicate that this time was a time of helplessness and hopelessness. It was a time when David was waiting on the Lord to move and deliver him from his terrible circumstances. He was unable to help himself, so he was forced to wait on the Lord.

We have all experienced those helpless times in our lives, but none can compare to that time we spent lost in sin. Can you remember the day it became clear to you that you were a lost sinner living under the wrath of a holy God, Ill. Eph. 2:1-3? Can you recall what it was like when you realized that you were sinking deeper and deeper into the miry grip of sin? There is no greater feeling of hopelessness and helplessness than that! There is no other pit of life that can compare to knowing that you are lost in sin and headed to Hell. Thank God, even in that terrible time of waiting, God loved us, heard us and reached out to us, even while we were languishing in sin, Ill. Eph. 2:4-6!

B. v. 2 He Extends His Tenderness To The Wounded Ones David describes himself as being in a horrible pit.” The word “horrible means roar, din, crash, uproar, tumult.” Pit refers to a cistern or a dungeon. This has the idea of being trapped in a place of torment while ones enemies constantly cry out against him. David speaks as one who is wounded by the problems and burdens of life. But, God reached out to him, even in that horrible time and extended His tenderness to David.

Who among us can forget the horrible pit of sin? Who can forget pain and the loneliness of our separation from God? Who can forget the burden of conviction? Who can forget the fear over knowing we were headed to Hell? Being lost is like being in a horrible pit, while the enemy of the soul, Satan, howls against us, mocking, taunting and condemning. Thank God for the tender hand of the Lord that reached out to touch us in our wounded condition! When we needed Him the most, He did not turn us away, but He took us in, bound up our wounds and gave us rest, John 6:37; Matt. 11:28.

C. v. 1 He Extends His Tenderness To The Wretched Ones David tells us that when he cried out to the Lord, God inclined unto him. That word means “to stretch out or to bend.” David was in a position where he could not reach the Lord. He could not deliver himself from that horrible pit. He could not reach up, but God gladly reached down to him! He condescended to reach down to lift this lonely, lowly, broken man!

Can you remember that day when the Lord of glory “bent down to hear your cry? Can you remember the time when the God of Heaven reached down farther than you could ever reach up? Friend, when the precious, Sovereign God stretched down His hand to you and lifted you out of the pit of your sins; that was the greatest day of your life! Ill. How we needed God to reach into our lives and lift! We could never have reached Him. After all, we were dead, Eph. 2:1, and dead men can’t do anything. Thank God, where man failed, grace prevailed, Rom. 5:20. I praise His name that He loved us in spite of what we were and are! Thank God for His tenderness toward those who deserve wrath!

 

II. v. 2 THE SAINTS HAVE EXPERIENCED HIS TOUCH

A. The Grace Of His Touch The phrase He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay… indicates that God did not just see what David was going through and He did not just listen as David talked; He did something about it! He got into the pit with David and he lifted David out.

You see, if a legalist came by a saw a sinner in a pit, he would preach a sermon about the dangers of the pit. If a religionist came by a saw that same sinner in that pit, he would talk about steps the sinner could take to help him get out of that pit and avoid other pits in the future. If a pessimist walked by, he would tell that sinner that he is going to die in that pit. If an optimist passed by, he would tell the sinner that he had seen worse pits than that. If a realist walked by, he would tell that man to just accept his pit. If a spiritualist came by, he would tell the sinner that there is no pit. But, if Jesus came by, He would get into the pit with that sinner and lift him out.

That is just what Jesus did for each of us this evening. He robed Himself in human flesh, entered the pit of this world and died for us on the cross, Phil. 2:5-8. He fleshed out the parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:30-37. He was not content to see us sinking deeper into the miry clay of our sins, so He came and did something about it! He entered our pit and He brought us out. His death is proof of His love, Rom. 5:8; John 15:13. His saving touch is proof of His grace, Eph. 2:8-9.

B. The Glories Of His Touch David now talks about how that touch of grace manifested itself in his life. He points out three glories that he experienced. They are true in our own experience as well.

1. The Glory Of Its Power His touch has the power to forever alter the life touched. He brought David up out of that terrible dungeon. When David talks about “miry clay,” he is speaking of the sludge that collects at the bottom of a well. It has the idea of that deep, slimy, clinging mud that tries to pull you deeper into its grasp. It also has the idea of instability; of feet that are slipping and in danger of falling.

He has delivered His redeemed ones from the death, dread and doom of their sin. He changes every life He touches, 2 Cor. 5:17. There is great power in His touch! He delivers us from the “miry clay of our sins. He delivers us from that which would pull us down to Hell and He sets us free!

2. The Glory Of Its Provision Not only does David talk about Him pulling us out; but he also tells us that He sets us up. The word “rock refers to a high cliff.” It speaks of a place of safety, which is high above the slimy mud we used to live in. We have been delivered from that life of darkness and deadness and have been lifted far above all that and set in a place of stability and security. Thank God that there is a Rock which is higher than I! There is a place of stability and security, where I can stand without fear of falling. We have been set in that place by the mighty hand of the Lord!

3. The Glory Of Its Promise The phrase established my goings,” has the idea of “fixing one’s steps.” It means that God has a plan for David’s life. He has prepared a glorious future for him. The same is true for each of us this evening. The Lord reached into our pit and lifted us out by His grace. Then, He set us up on a stable Rock and leads us along a clear path. You see, the Lord doesn’t just save you and deliver you, He also has a plan for you that gives direction to the rest of your life, Psa. 37:23!

By the way, that word “goings can also mean happiness or blessing.” Not only has the Lord promised to direct our paths and lead us each step of the way, but He has also promised to bless us beyond our wildest dreams. And, He has, Eph. 1:3!

 

III. v. 3 THE SAINTS HAVE EXPERIENCED HIS TRANSFORMATION

(Ill. When the Lord delivered David, He did more than merely change his surroundings and his circumstances. When the Lord delivered David, He also worked in David to effect certain changes. What the Lord did in this man’s life is a picture of what He has done in your life and mine, if we are saved.)

A. The Private Man Has Been Transformed David says that there is a new song in his mouth. The mouth can sing because the heart has been helped. When this Psalm began, David was not talking about singing but about crying. The word “cry speaks of a cry for help.” It speaks of “a loud, insistent cry based in fear and desperate need. Now, David has been delivered and his shout of fear has been replaced by a song of joy!

When the saint is delivered from his horrible pit and set upon that Rock, something changes inside. Where before there was bitterness, darkness and hopeless; there is joy, light and peace. This change in the heart produces a change in the attitude. This change in the heart will put a song on the lips. Why? Well, what’s in the heart will always work its way out of the mouth, Matt. 15:18-19.

B. The Public Man Has Been Transformed The great changes God produces in a life might begin on the inside, but they do not stay there! When a person is transformed inwardly, they will always manifest it externally. David mentions two ways this took place in his life.

1. He Is A Praising Man David cannot help but lift his voice in praise to the Lord for His grace in delivering him from that horrible pit. David wants to praise the Lord for what the Lord has done for him. The word “new means fresh.” David had always had a reason to praise the Lord, but now he has a fresh and new reason to do so. He has experienced a unique manifestation of the grace and work of God in his life and he wants to praise the Lord because of it.

The same is true for each of us. We were all convicted by the same Spirit; saved by the same blood and are headed to the same heaven. But, your experience was nothing like mine. When He lifted me out, He did something that was special and unique in my life. As a result of what He did when He saved my soul, I ought to be a praising man! I ought to lift my voice and exalt Him while I have breath in my body! He is worthy and we ought to be in the business of lifting His name for the fresh work He did in each of our lives!

2. He Is A Proclaiming Man David tells us that he is going to behave in such a manner that all those around him are going to know what God has done in his life. He is not going to keep his blessings bottled up on the inside, but he is going to share them with a lost world that needs to meet the God Who delivers from the horrible pit.

What a lesson, not only should we praise Him for His salvation; but we should promote Him before a lost and dying world. When they see and hear what the Lord has done in our lives, it may that the Holy Spirit will use that to draw them to Jesus. It may be that they will trust in Him as well and be lifted out of their horrible pits; set on that stable Rock and have their mouths filled with a fresh, new song. We ought to be in the business of walking in His will and of witnessing for His glory. That is His command, Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8, and He will honor those who do it.

 

Conc: Have you been lifted out of the mire and place in the choir? Have you been lifted out of your horrible pit and your miry clay and made to stand on that stable Rock? Is there a song in your heart placed there by the grace of a great God? Are you praising Him and promoting Him like you should be?

If you need to be saved, you can be! Just come to Jesus if He is drawing you and He will save your soul. If you want to get down before Him and say “Thank you Lord for reaching down into my pit and for lifting me out of the miry clay; then you come. If you need help doing a better job of praising Him and promoting Him then you come. Whatever the need, it can and will be met right here, if you will bring it to the Lord.

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