February 2, 2014

From the Horrible Pit onto the Rock of Ages

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy
“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.” (Psalm 40:1-2)

What an inspiring testimony David bears here! He tells us how he handled his dilemma of being in a horrible pit of sin and its dire consequences. He responded to his peculiar trouble by waiting patiently for the LORD.

He was in a very distressing situation. He described his situation in verse 2 as “an horrible pit … of miry clay”. It was a picture of helplessness and despondency experienced by David which those words grimly painted. He was sunk in deep and dark depression. No one (least of all himself) could deliver him.

When Patiently Waiting on the LORD

Though there was no help in sight, he knew that there is help with the LORD. So he cast himself and his situation completely upon the Lord as the only possible way out. He cried out to Him in prayer. It is all that he could do, and he did it with utmost earnestness and eagerness.

When David “waited patiently for the LORD”, He was not passively sitting down and muttering fatalistically, ‘O, the LORD has deserted me. There is no one to deliver me.” Instead, he waited patiently for the LORD. His waiting consisted of crying to the LORD. Prayer is the channel that God has ordained for His afflicted people to receive His deliverance and help in times of most distressing situations.

David had always been a man of action, especially in the midst of adversities. He was not one who feared adversity. In his youthful days, he bravely acted to deliver the lambs from the mouth of a lion and a bear (1 Samuel 17:34–36). Who does not know of David’s exploits such as his victory over Goliath who had struck paralysing fear on the army of Israel? (1 Samuel 17:39–51). However, in this particular situation, he, who had overcome many an adversity, finds himself being buried under insurmountable problems.

Still, David believed that the LORD would deliver Him. So he prayed unto the LORD, as he waited patiently for His deliverance. He waited on the LORD patiently, because He had confidence in the LORD. Great heroes of faith are men who wait amidst their troubles with unwavering faith and hope in the LORD. They wait on the LORD, even when there is no man to help. They never quit their faith and duty in trouble, but remain steadfast in faith.

When Firmly Established in the LORD

In verse 2, David gratefully says, “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.” Those were David’s giving of thanks to God for the deliverance and stability which the Lord has graciously provided. Are you mindful to remember and praise God for the deliverance He has given to you in your life? What has the LORD done for you? Recount the recent deliverance that God has granted you in answer to your prayers. Mention them before the Lord and praise Him for those answered prayers.

When one makes it a habit to recollect the goodness of the LORD that he has received, his deep affection for the LORD will also grow. On the contrary, when the LORD’s goodness is disregarded, his devotion and spiritual enthusiasm will also be adversely affected. This is especially so, when one is going through sore distress.

In our text, God’s delivering grace is gratefully reminisced in the most apt and beautiful emblematic language. The psalmist says that the Lord has lifted him up out of a horrible pit into which he has fallen, and set him upon a rock! What a vivid and moving depiction of God’s deliverance! How would you describe God’s deliverance in your life?

The psalmist’s description here sets forth the phenomenal change that the Lord granted him in response to his penitent prayers. He was being weighed down by his sins and their consequences. This, he explained later in verse 12, “For 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.” So he cried to God, saying, “Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me” (v. 13). Also, in the midst of this psalm, with eyes of faith, he spoke prophetically concerning Christ as the Saviour (vv. 7–10). The New Testament cited these words as a predictive reference to Christ’s obedience to the Father in becoming a sacrifice for our sin (cf. Hebrews 10:5–10). The repentant sinner is thus made to stand firmly on the Rock of Ages, even our Lord Jesus! If you are sinking in your sin, cry out to Christ at once with absolute faith; He will surely deliver and sanctify you by His blood.

Dear worshipper, if you have received the LORD’s deliverance from your horrible experiences of sin, then testify, like David, His goodness before others. Many are sinking hopelessly in sin. Your testimony of salvation and blessing might help someone to seek Christ for his deliverance. So exalt Christ and declare His salvation readily.

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
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