1. Does the Psalmist help us to see that we don’t want to make God angry?
Yes: “(1) O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. (2) For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. (3) There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin” (Psalms 38:1-3).
2. How heavy were the spiritual and physical plaques that came upon the Psalmist?
Too heavy, troubling, and he failed in strength: “(4) For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. (5) My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. (6) I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. (7) For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. (8) I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. (9) Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. (10) My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me” (Psalms 38:4-10).
3. Were the family and friends of the Psalmist there for him?
No: “(11) My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off. (12) They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long” (Psalms 38:11-12).
4. Is it possible to ignore those that speak mischievous things about us?
Yes: “(13) But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. (14) Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs” (Psalms 38:13-14).
There is comfort in the Lord when (Matthew 10:34-37 and Luke 21:16-18) family fails: “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up” (Psalms 27:10).
5. Was the Psalmist willing to confess his sins to have God’s presence in his life?
Yes: “(15) For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. (16) For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me. (17) For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. (18) For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin… (21) Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. (22) Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation” (Psalms 38:15-18; 21-22).
6. Were the enemies of the Psalmist small in number and willing to use righteous judgment?
No, they were large in number and rendered evil for good: “(19) But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. (20) They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is” (Psalms 38:19-20).
7. Should we be on guard when the wicked are before us?
Yes, as implied in this following verse, the wicked are laying traps for us. We must be careful what we say in their presence: “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me” (Psalms 39:1; cf. Psalms 38:12, Psalms 71:10, Proverbs 1:10-17, Proverbs 6:2, and Jeremiah 5:26).
8. When the Psalmist breaks his silence, what did He pray to God?
“(2) I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. (3) My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, (4) LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. (5) Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. (6) Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. (7) And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. (8) Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish. (9) I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. (10) Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand. (11) When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah. (12) Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. (13) O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more” (Psalms 39:2-13).
9. Can those who wait patiently for redemption be encouraged by the words of the Psalmist?
Yes: “(1) I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. (2) 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. (3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (4) Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies” (Psalms 40:1-4).
10. Could we assemble a list of the blessings God has given to His people?
No: “(5) Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered” (Psalms 40:5).
11. What does Hebrews 10:5-12 have to do with our current study?
The prophesy in Psalms 40:6-8 is fulfilled in Christ according to Hebrews 10:5-12.
“(6) Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, (8) I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalms 40:6-8).
“(5) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:5-12).
12. If we follow the example set forth in Psalms 40:9-10, what would we do?
“(9) I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. (10) I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation” (Psalms 40:9-10).
13. Did the Psalmist look to God when his enemies had him in a bind?
Yes: “(11) Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. (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. (13) Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. (14) Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. (15) Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. (16) Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. (17) But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God” (Psalms 40:11-17).
14. Are there blessings upon those who consider the poor (keeping in mind that during the time this was written God did directly act)?
Yes: “(1) Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. (2) The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. (3) The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness” (Psalms 41:1-3).
15. In asking for God’s mercy, did the Psalmist acknowledge any error on his part?
Yes: “I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee” (Psalms 41:4).
16. How many friends (carnally speaking) does the Psalmist seem to have?
Not many: “(5) Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish? (6) And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it. (7) All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt. (8) An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more. (9) Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me” (Psalms 41:5-9).
See also: John 13:18
17. Does the Psalmist look at God’s deliverance as evidence of his standing with God?
Yes: “(10) But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them. (11) By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. (12) And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever. (13) Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen” (Psalms 41:10-13).
18. Was the Psalmist seeking after God?
“(1) As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (2) My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God” (Psalms 42:1-2)?
19. When tears abounded with the Psalmist, where did he go to seek after God?
“(3) My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? (4) When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday” (Psalms 42:3-4).
20. As the Psalmist contemplates his soul being cast down, who does he realize he must hope in?
“(5) Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. (6) O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. (7) Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. (8) Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. (9) I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? (10) As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? (11) Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalms 42:5-11).
21. Who did the Psalmist ask God to deliver him from?
“Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man” (Psalms 43:1).
22. What did the Psalmist ask God to send out to lead him?
“O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles” (Psalms 43:3).
23. What will the Psalmist do when he arrives at God’s holy hill?
“(4) Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. (5) Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalms 43:4-5).