Psalm 40:1-11

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.

In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”

I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.

11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain
your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
ever preserve me!

Present in the Pit of Destruction

David knows a thing or two about being in a “pit of destruction” or “miry bog,” as he writes in this psalm. Much of David’s life was spent trying to get out of seemingly hopeless situations as first Saul and then Absalom sought to end his life. David also experienced the mucky mess he brought on by himself as a result of his own sin. Yes, David knows a thing or two about pits of destruction.

How about you?

Can you relate to the idea of being stuck in a hard situation that seems impossible to escape? Perhaps you’ve been weighed down by the pressures of this world or stuck in fear, anxiety or depression that just won’t let up. Maybe you feel trapped by a situation you don’t see a way out of.

David cries out to the Lord when he finds himself in this position. And waits patiently for God’s deliverance. You see, David also knows a thing or two about God’s faithfulness.

The 2019 LCMS Youth Gathering theme, Real. Present. God., boldly proclaimed that our God is real in the midst of a messy world and is present for us in Jesus.

Our God is real in the midst of our mess. God could have saved David from his pit of destruction in a number of ways, ways that were more sterile or clean. But David says, God “drew me up from the pit.” In other words, God came to David, in his literal and metaphorical miry mess. He wasn’t afraid to get His “hands dirty,” sort of speak, in delivering David. He draws David out and sets his feet upon a sturdy rock to steady his path.

The same is true for you regardless of the pit you find yourself in. God is real in the messiness of your hurts, fears, pains, and disappointments. He isn’t afraid of it. Rather, He sends His Son Jesus down into the very “miry bog” of humanity, being born a baby, growing up in this world, and experiencing the pains common to all people (Hebrews 4:15). God is present for us in Jesus.

Jesus wasn’t afraid of getting His hands dirty when it meant saving you. When Jesus saved you from your pit of eternal destruction—the rightful consequence of our sin—His hands were bound, beaten and bloodied. They were worn and raw as He carried His cross to Calvary. His hands were pierced and held up by nails as He hung on the cross. Jesus stopped at no depth of miry bog to draw you up out of the pit. In His death and resurrection, He sets your feet squarely on Him, our Rock and Cornerstone. Your steps in Jesus are sure.

Like David, let’s respond to God’s deliverance in our lives by telling of His steadfast love and faithfulness. Read verses 9-11 again and count how many words are about David speaking of God’s faithfulness. David can’t stop telling others about the wonders of God! God’s faithfulness so overwhelms David that he wants everyone to know. May this be the refrain of our lives, too. God is present in our pit of destruction. We celebrate God’s grace and faithfulness for us in Jesus.

Reflection Question: David can’t stop telling others about how God has saved him. What about you? How do you respond when God grants deliverance in your life? Do you stop to notice at all? What would it look like to tell someone about how God has helped you in your life? Who would you tell?

Pray: Heavenly Father, You have multiplied your wondrous deeds and thoughts toward me. No one compares to you! David writes that, “You will not restrain Your mercy from me; Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness will ever preserve me!” So, Father, I pray that this may be true in my life. Don’t restrain your mercy from me. By your steadfast love, deliver me from the current pits of destruction I’m facing. Thank You for Your faithfulness and presence in my life. Give me opportunities to share with others what you have done in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Challenge/Takeaway Activity: Keep a prayer journal where you honestly cry out to the Lord for deliverance from life’s pits and miry bogs. At the end of each month, look back over your prayers to reflect on God’s answers. Do you see signs of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness—even in the midst of hard situations? Do you see signs of God’s deliverance in your life? Take a moment to thank and praise God. Who can you share this good news with?