In this Psalm David used words he had previously used in Psalm 40:13-17. He didn’t keep the words exactly the same there are changes. We do sometimes use words and prayers we have heard and prayed before, especially when we pray scripture.
This Psalm by David was written to be prayed with the memorial offering described in Leviticus 2:9-10 as a part of the grain offering described in Leviticus 16:14-23. The offering was a voluntary one of worship that normally accompanied the burnt offering which was another voluntary offering made to atone for unintentional sins. The memorial offering was the portion of the grain offering not given to the priests but burned up to be a pleasing aroma to The Lord. It was meant for Israel to remember who God is and what He has done. It was meant to be complete worship to bless The Lord.
“Make haste, O God, to deliver me!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
2 Let them be put to shame and confusion
who seek my life!
Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor
who delight in my hurt!
3 Let them turn back because of their shame
who say, “Aha, Aha!”
So why would a Psalm of worship and thanksgiving begin with a plea to be delivered from one’s enemies? Because our prayers while blessing All-Knowing and Almighty God are also meant to edify us and those who hear them. 1 Corinthians 14:13-19 says,
“Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.”
When we pray thanks to the Lord for His great deeds and when we ask Him to do great things for us, we remember who God is, what He has done, and what He is capable of. He already knows. We are the ones who need to be reminded and therefore our faith is strengthened and the people who listen are encouraged. God knows our needs, we do not always realize them. Our prayer reminds us.
And for those of us who are saved, we are already delivered from the enemy but praying for our enemies, the enemies of Christ, and those people who need deliverance reminds us of who we used to be. We don’t recall our old selves in order to be the way we were but to grasp the awesome miracle God has done in us through salvation. He made us new. He didn’t just make us better but He made us completely new. It is up to us to remember that each day and to choose to be the new creation instead of our old dead selves. (Colossians 3:5-11).
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 puts it like this,
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
We are new. We are delivered. We are saved. This is such an astonishing miracle. We have reason to praise, sing, and worship. Verse 4 reads,
“May all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you!
May those who love your salvation
say evermore, “God is great!”
Our praise glorifies God. God’s glory is like a beacon to the lost, calling them to salvation. And that salvation brings eternal life, not one day in the far off, not after we physically die, not after our resurrection but now. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Life gives us that life through Jesus and by the Father. (John 6:60-71).
John 3:33-36 describes eternal life,
“Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
We live in the Kingdom of God now and forever. Look at the tense of John 3:36 it does not say, ‘Whoever believes in the Son will have eternal life.’ It says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life” It also says, “whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
What does that mean? The first, the most crucial thing a person does in obedience to The Lord is to repent and be baptized. Acts 2:36-39 says it like this,
“Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
We have to admit we need God by admitting we are sinners. We have to acknowledge and confess that we have done wrongs in our lives. But we don’t leave it like that. What good is conceding a fault without reparation? Would it do any good to say, ‘I need to lose weight’ yet not eat healthy and exercise? No! And so confessing our sins does not forgive them or give us eternal life. It is the obedience to repent, to ask Jesus for His salvation, and believe that He is the Lord that gives us eternal life. So David cried out to God often remembering his sin and God’s grace. Verse 5 reads,
“But I am poor and needy;
hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay!”
I encourage you today to worship The Lord by remembering who He is and what He has done. Of all the awesome, wonderful, loving, and miraculous deeds He has done, salvation is the most awesome, wonderful, loving, and miraculous.