From the archives of Oral Roberts – First of two parts
Psalm 40 is a Scripture I memorized tens of years ago. I’ve carried it in my heart like a memorial. I refer to it hundreds of times as it is precious to my life.
King David, in an extremely precarious time in his life, said, 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. 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 (vv. 1-3).
This was a dark period in the life of King David. At the very height of his popularity as the king of Judah and Israel, he did something he should not have done and fell into the pits for a long time.
David hated sin. He hated sin in his own life. He loved righteousness. This is one reason why God said He loved David and that David was a man after His own heart. It was not because He approved of everything David did, because many things David did were wrong. But he had a repentant heart. The Jewish rabbis say that David was almost perfect in physical stature. He had arms like steel and was a man of war. He was the first to extend all the borders of Israel. He took all the borders, including Syria and Lebanon, all the way to the Euphrates River and the rivers of Egypt.
David was a handsome man, a songwriter, an orator, a man of pleasant voice, and the songbird of Israel. He wrote the Psalms for the people of God. We still sing his Psalms. Many a prisoner in jail wakes up in the fearful night and sings or quotes one of David’s songs: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Psalm 23).