Praise and Proclamation Go Hand in Hand
By John Martin
Psalm 40:1-3 speaks of a time in David’s life when he is at an all-time low. He feels trapped in a dark, damp pit where he is surrounded by his enemies and the burdens of the world are more than he can bear. He is praying and waiting for God to do something (verse 1). God hears David’s cry and delivers HIm. In verses 1-2 David experiences the TENDERNESS of God. God is merciful, gracious, and loving. God shows compassion to David. In verse 2 God TOUCHES David. God doesn’t just hear David’s cry, He walks into the pit and picks David up and delivers him to a place of safety and stability. Because of this David is TRANSFORMED (verse 3)!
When the Lord delivered David from the horrible pit, He did more than change David’s surroundings. God began a life-changing work within David’s heart. First of all the PRIVATE MAN was transformed. David says, “There is a new song in my mouth!” When the psalm began, David was crying – not singing. The word cry from verse 1 speaks of a cry for help. It carries the idea of a long, insistent cry based in fear and desperate need. It is a wail or a moan. David was in anguish. But in verse 3 David’s heart has been transformed. He is no longer crying out in fear, he is singing and shouting in joy! Why? Because God transformed David’s heart! David had a heart of fear, but God changed it into a heart of joy. How do we know the condition of David’s heart? Because what is in the heart will always find its way out of the mouth (Matthew 15:18). The heart of David (his PRIVATE MAN) was transformed.
Next we see where the PUBLIC MAN was transformed. The great change that God produces in a life will begin on the inside, but it does not stay there. When a person is transformed inwardly by the power of God it will manifest itself outwardly in the praise of God. David speaks of 2 evidences in his life that show the change of his public man: First of all David becomes a “PRAISING MAN”. David said that God had put a new song in his mouth and that song was a song of praise to God. When we experience the transforming power of God we cannot help but to praise Him.
Praise quite naturally leads, then, to proclamation as David becomes a PROCLAIMING MAN. Look at the last half of verse 3. “many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” David dedicates his life to being a witness and testimony for God. He is going to live a life of praise that will point people to God’s power. He will live his life in such a way that people will see the power of God to transform a life and they will begin to praise God themselves (Matthew 5:16).
Bottom line: We cannot proclaim without praising, and we will not praise without naturally beginning to proclaim. It happened in the life of David; we need to allow it to happen in our lives as well!
John Martin is pastor of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Waycross, GA. He can be reached by email: john at pvbcwaycross dot org