Updated: Jun 1, 2021
This Week's Scripture & Reflection: Psalm 40:1-3
On August 5th, 2010, a San Jose gold and copper mine located in Copiapo, Chile abruptly collapsed. As a result, the cave-in entrapped thirty-three male workers below the surface for a total of sixty-nine days. While underground, the workers did their best to share a limited supply of food and water among themselves, as well as fight off various infections while numerous search teams desperately worked to locate and extract these workers from underground. On October 13th, 2010, joy saturated the sight of this San Jose mine as the rescue team successfully lifted each worker out of the pit of the caved-in mine and set them above ground! When nothing else could help these workers, it was the love of the rescue teams, that is their unselfish concern and willingness to seek the best of others, that lifted these thirty-three workers from underground to higher ground.
The psalmist David had a similar testimony. In Psalm 40:2, David testifies of an individual who also lifted him up out a pit: “He brought me up out of a horrible pit [of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock, steadying my footsteps and establishing my path]”. This “He” whom David is referring to is no ordinary He. This is the same “He” who, according to verse 1, inclined His ear towards David and heard his cry. This “He” is also whom David waited upon patiently and expectantly! This “He” is none other than God Himself, otherwise known as Yehovah or Yahweh, the Self-Existing, Eternal One!
The Book of Psalms is filled with numerous testimonies of the Lord’s faithfulness towards David, specifically the Lord delivering David from many perilous situations. The beauty of the testimony of this passage, in particular, is the heart-stirring visual that it provides of God extending His arm to raise David up out of a pit of destruction, a place David knew all too well! Pits are known for their depth and darkness! An individual would have to possess an incredible amount of strength to lift themselves out of a pit, regardless of its depth. Moreover, light is almost non-existent below the surface! Without an additional source that supplies light in and of itself, finding a way of escape in the midst of darkness presents itself as an insurmountable task.
However, David joyously testifies that he didn’t have to lift himself up out the pit that he was in because the Lord did! God Almighty, also known as El Shaddai, the Omnipotent One, lifted David out of the pit of destruction out of His unconditional love for David! He lifted David from a place immersed in darkness to a place saturated with light, as well as stability (“He set my feet upon a rock, steadying my footsteps and establishing my path”). Not only did the Lord lift David out of a pit, but also from the miry clay, which is synonymous with dirt and mud! Finding himself in a pit of destruction was one thing; to be covered in the muck from the lowest parts of the Earth further depicted the depth of the pit David described himself to be in! Nevertheless, when the Lord lifted David from the pit, He lifted him out of the sediment that stained him! What could be a greater demonstration of agape love than Almighty God stretching forth His arm and hand to pull His child up from a messy and seemingly hopeless situation?
When we find ourselves in a pit, or a very low place, we often feel the responsibility to pull ourselves out, not realizing that God is ready, willing, and able to lift us up out of the pit and secure our footing on solid ground! He alone is all-powerful! When we have no strength to raise ourselves up, He lifts us up with His righteous right hand and empowers us to stand (cf. Isaiah 41:10)! Most importantly, the Lord lifts us up because He loves us! God does not simply look at us with pity in the midst of our despair, but out of compassion, He moves and intervenes in our situations! Arguably, God does everything from a place of unconditional love! He lifts us up because He loves! He saves because He loves! He provides because He loves! He corrects because He loves! God is love, and so everything that He does, He does in love!
If you feel as though you are in a pit right now, rest in the fact that you do not have to rely upon your own strength to bring yourself out of it! The prophet Isaiah declares, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save, nor His ear so impaired that it cannot hear” (cf. Isaiah 59:1). Wait patiently and expectantly for the Lord, and He will hear and answer your cry! If you cry out to Him, He will stretch out His arm and lift you up out of the pit of sin, depression, low self-esteem, identity confusion, condemnation, whatever pit you may find yourself in, with His righteous right hand! Not only will He lift you out, but He will also stabilize you! He will firmly position you on solid ground and establish the path He has set for you to walk! He has loved us all with an everlasting love, and with lovingkindness, He has drawn us to Himself (cf. Jeremiah 31:3).