I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:
TO BRING ME OUT OF THE MIRY CLAY
PSALM 40:2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings
There is some dispute as to when this Psalm was written. Some scholars think it may have been written during the time David was running and hiding from Saul. Others think it may have originated during the rebellion of Absalom. Either way, David is speaking about a time in his life when he felt trapped in a helpless and hopeless situation. But, even in that terrible time of darkness and fear, God heard his cry and reached into David’s pit and lifted him out.
We discussed already the horrible pit. David also speaks about “miry clay”. He is speaking of the sludge that collects at the bottom of a well. It has the idea of that deep, slimy, clinging mud that grabs onto you and almost pulls you down further. It is the idea of instability; of feet that are slipping and in danger of falling. Notice in the first verse of this passage:
• Psalm 40:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me and heard my cry.
David describes a time of waiting in his life. He seems to indicate that this time was a time of helplessness and hopelessness. It was a time when David was waiting on the Lord to move and deliver him from his terrible circumstances. He was unable to help himself, because he was in a spiritual pit and was stuck in the miry clay, so he had no choice but to wait on the Lord. David was literally “stuck”.
David tells us that when he cried out to the Lord, God “inclined” unto him. That word means “to stretch out or to bend.” David was in a position where he could not reach the Lord. He could not get himself out of that horrible pit. He could not reach up, but God gladly reached down to him! This reminds me of a verse:
• Psalm 136:23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
“Low estate” is the state we were in all the time before Christ reached down to us. We had nothing to offer Him. We were “stuck” in the mud of sin, flesh, filth, and the world. But the Lord “remembered us in our low estate”. He reached down and lovingly pulled us out of that “miry pit”. We could have never pulled ourselves out. I think that is why the Lord encourages us, as we deal with others, to remember:
• Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.