There’s a pattern repeated to us time after time in scripture that creates a tone of communion between us and The Word of God. We find The Lord telling us that all of His ancient works were recorded for us to know and understand. They were for our hope and comfort, (Romans 15:4) for our perfection, (2 Timothy 3:16-17) for proof that we have inherited a higher purpose. (Hebrews 11:40) Where many Christians struggle, however, is finding in the pages of the bible what things are a promise, what things are an example, and what things shadow our new and better covenant. (Hebrews 8:6)
The psalmist plays the role of the inquiring child of God. He behaves as one who is filtering through the pages of the scripture to locate himself, and to determine God’s will for him. In Psalm 40:6-8 he says, “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” Notice how he starts his examination. He determines that God is not looking for an old exercise of sacrifice: “sacrifice and offering is not what You’ve required…” But he realizes God is trying to get his attention: “…mine ears have You opened…” He begins to list out ritual practices that others had performed to please God, but then he says God is not requiring that.
It’s as if the psalmist is walking us through this simultaneous study of the scripture and conversation he is having with God. Then in verse 7 he has a discovery: “Lo!” he says, “There it is!” “That’s what I’ve been searching for!” He says, “I’ve found myself within the pages of Your scriptures, Lord. And now I can come to you in the same way that I’ve found detailed for me in your Word.” “Now” he says, “I know your will for me, and now a delight has arisen in me, as this discovery from Your Word has been branded on my heart.” John tells us that the commandments of The Lord are not grievous, or hard to bear, (1 John 5:3) because when His Word has been branded on your heart, and understanding has flooded you like light floods a darkened room, your spirit begins to rejoice in what has been revealed.
And what God wrote over the course of several thousand years, and completed two thousand years ago, suddenly becomes alive in you. Fresh, as if it was prepared for just this day.
Personal Prayer Point:
“Father, show my myself in your word. Eliminate frustration and confusion. Destroy false pretense and wrong doctrine from out of my spirit. Grant me understanding of what you’re asking of me, and the blessing that comes with obedience. And I will delight in Your Will.”
Scripture to Stand On:
(Psalm 40:7-9 — 1 Corinthians 10:11 — Jeremiah 15:16 — Ephesians 1:17-18)
Corporate Prayer Point:
“Father, give us fresh insight into the direction You have for this church. May we not do things because others have done them. Or take on useless rituals. Let us be a part of the new thing You are accomplishing in the earth.”
Scripture to Stand On:
(Isaiah 43:19 — Amos 3:7 — Hebrews 10:20)