I was reading this past Saturday a.m. in the Word... I sometimes like to read it in French because the richness of the original language can sometimes make it better into French than into English. Anyway I was reading in “La Bible du Semeur” – The Sower’s Bible, published in 1999 as a thought-for-thought translation (much like the New Living Translation is).
This is Psalm 40 translated from the French “Sower’s Bible”:
I have put all my hope in the Eternal One.
He leaned down toward me, He lent His ear to my supplication.
He made me rise up again from the dry well of destruction,
and from the bottom of the muck.
He made me stand up again, my feet on a rock,
and He made my steps firm.
He put in my mouth a new carol (song of joy),
a hymn of praises to sing God. (a special expression meaning that when he opens his mouth, God comes out.)
When they see what He has done, many will want to revere the Eternal One
and put their trust in Him.
Very happy is the man who confides in the Eternal One
and does not turn himself toward arrogant people
lost in the Lie (footnote re alternate translation : who does not turn himself toward false gods).
O Eternal One, my God,
what wondrous works You have done for us, and how many great plans !
Nothing even looks like You.
I would love to publish, tell again and again Your wonders,
but their number is too great.
You have desired neither offering nor sacrifice.
You’ve opened my ear,
because You have not asked for burnt offerings or blood sacrifices to expiate sin.
So I said : Look here, I am coming
in the scroll of the book, it is written about me,
I take pleasure to do Your will, my God,
and Your law is engraved at the bottom of my heart.
In the great assembly, I tell the good news of Your salvation.
I will not keep it quiet,
Eternal One, You know that.
I do not hide in my heart like a secret the deliverance that You have granted me.
I proclaim it very loudly how much You are faithful, and that You have saved me.
No, I do not hide from others Your love, Your faithfulness
in the great assembly.
And You, O Eternal One, You will not hold back Your tenderness far from me :
Your love, Your faithfulness will protect me without ceasing.
With innumerable ills I am surrounded,
my transgressions overtake me :
I can’t stand the sight of them :
they surpass, by their number, the hairs of my head ;
I don’t have any more courage.
Please, Eternal One, deliver me!
Come quickly to my aid !
May they be covered with shame, filled with confusion,
those who seek after my life!
May they beat a retreat, may they be dishonoured,
those who rejoice within themselves at my misfortune !
May they be paralyzed under the weight of shame,
those who laugh at me.
But may all those who are bound to You
be overflowing with joy, and may they enjoy themselves in You.
And may all those who love Your salvation
keep saying constantly, “How great is the Eternal One !”
Me, I am poor and miserable,
but the Lord takes care of me.
You who are my rescue and my liberator,
O my God, hurry !
I love David's honesty. His reality touches my spirit and tells me that his relationship with God isn't stuffy but rather, it's real, truthful, with no masks or costumes. He feels deeply and he shares his feelings with God. They're friends. This kind of intimacy is vital to daily Christian living. It's foundational.
We can't give away what we don't have. That's why the personal relationship with God is so central. It's like the plumb line that a contractor drops before building anything. Unless the foundation is square and level, rooted and grounded in love for Him first and foremost, the whole building will be off, and eventually crack and crumble.
Any other motivation for our service for Him will not "wash" with people - or with God.