Psalm 40

I waited patient for the Lord,
He bowed to hear my cry;
He saw me resting on his word,
And brought salvation nigh.

He raised me from a horrid pit,
Where mourning long I lay,
And from my bonds released my feet,
Deep bonds of miry clay.

Firm on a rock he made me stand,
And taught my cheerful tongue
To praise the wonders of his hand,
In a new thankful song.

How many are thy thoughts of love!
Thy mercies, Lord, how great!
We have not words nor hours enough,
Their numbers to repeat.

I’ll spread his works of grace abroad;
The saints with joy shall hear,
And sinners learn to make my God
Their only hope and fear.

When I ‘m afflicted, poor, and low,
And light and peace depart,
My God beholds my heavy woe,
And bears me on his heart.

These first six verses were penned by Isaac Watts in 1719.
Jeremiah Small, with the help of some friends –(Greg Wilbur, Nathan Clark George) – put a tune to it which you can see/hear by clicking the link below.

The one who trusts the Lord is blest
Who won’t rely on man
Both proud and liar he detests
Delighting in God’s plan.

Blood sacrifice and offering
Is not what You desire
You do not look for what I bring
Great penance don’t require.

My ears You’ve pierced and I have heard
Behold, I come to You
Of me it’s written in Your Word
Your will I love to do.

You’ve set Your law within my heart
Your mercies let me see
Your lovingkindness now impart
Your truth to protect me.

My sins pile up above my head
And evils now abound
My heart is failing and I dread
The foes who now surround.

Be pleased, O Lord, to rescue me
Make haste to drive them back
In great confusion may they flee
And turn from their attack.

Let those who seek You sing for joy
To have You on their side
Your saving pow’r their songs employ
“The Lord be magnified.”

These seven verses are my attempt to convey the remaining parts of Psalm 40 to a similar rhyme and metre. © 2014 J Dan Small


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