Over these last weeks, we’ve seen that the Psalms can offer us a kind of map for relating to God. We’ve explored this in the suffering of lament (Psalm 69), and also in the discomfort of being out of comfortable relationship with God (Psalm 139). Another kind of ‘map’ Psalm is the Testimony Psalm. This is just what it seems – the psalmist sings a thankful testimony of how God has rescued him, provided for him or protected him. It’s like the ‘after’ shot of a lament.
Psalm 40 is a great example! It begins with the story of rescue – “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit…he set my feet on a rock…he put a new song in my mouth!” (v1-3). It goes on to describe the blessings of “the one who trusts in the LORD” and in response, the psalmist offers, not sacrifices, but his very self – “Here I am, I have come, I desire to do your will Oh LORD” (vv7-8). But what comes next is interesting – the psalmist is at pains to tell how he intends to share what God has done – “I proclaim your saving acts…I do not seal my lips …I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly” (vv9-10).
What’s our usual response to God’s saving acts, to his grace and provision in our lives? We may be full of gratitude, but do we take it that step further and proclaim God’s love and faithfulness, whether in the ‘great assembly’, in our small groups, or just to a friend? I know I don’t always do so. May Psalm 40 encourage us to ‘unseal our lips’ and to speak freely about our gracious God!