Build on a Rock!

Psalm 40

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 40

www.easyenglish.info

Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.

 

Jesus said, Everyone that listens to me and obeys me is like a man with good ideas. He built his house on a rock. Then the rain came with a lot of water and the winds blew and there was a storm round that house. It did not fall down because he built it on a rock. Everyone that listens to me and does not obey me is like a man with bad ideas. He built his house on the sand. And the rain came with a lot of water and the winds blew and there was a storm round that house. It fell down with a great crash. (Matthew 7: 24 – 27); ("crash" means "fall with a big noise")

Psalm 40

(This is) for the music leader. (It is) a psalm of David.

v1   I was patient while I waited for the LORD.
  He turned to me and he heard me when I prayed for help.

v2   He lifted me out of the pit where (bad people) were destroying me
  and from very wet ground.
  He put my feet on a rock and made me walk without falling.

v3   He gave me a new song to sing.
  It was a hymn of praise to God.
  Many people will see what happened and be afraid.
  Then they will trust in the LORD.

v4   The man that trusts in the LORD will be very happy.
  He does not listen to proud people that turn to false gods.

v5   LORD, my God, you have done many wonderful things.
  Nobody can tell you about your plans for us.
  If I say that I will talk about them,
  there would be too many to speak about!

v6   You did not want a sacrifice and an offering.
  You have made a hole in my ears.
  You did not ask for a burnt offering and a sin offering.

v7   Then I said, "Here I am.
  In this book someone wrote about me".

v8   I am pleased to do what you want me to do, my God,
  and your rules are in my heart.

v9   I talk about the good news of (how to become) righteous to everybody.
  Look, LORD, I never keep my mouth shut, as you know!

v10   I do not keep the righteous things that you do to myself.
  I do not hide (from people) that they can trust in you.
  I tell everyone that your kind love will save them.
  Also, I (show them) the truth.

v11   You, LORD, will not keep your mercy from me.
  Your kind love and your truth will always protect me.

v12   But trouble is all round me.
  I cannot see how much there is.
  My sins have followed me and caught me.
  I cannot see anything.

v13   LORD, please save me!
  LORD, hurry to give me help!

v14   There are people that want to kill me.
  I hope that they will become ashamed and confused.
  There are people that want to destroy me.
  I hope that everyone will say that they are bad people.

v15   I want all those people that say to me "Aha! Aha!"
  to become very sorry for what they have done.

v16   I want everyone that is looking for you to be happy, very happy.
  I want everyone that loves it when you save them to say,
  "Praise the LORD".

v17   But I am poor and I need help. Lord, you think about me.
  You are my help and you save me.
  O God, do not be a long time!

Word list

hymn ~ a Jewish/Christian song

proud people~ people that think that they are greater than they are

sacrifice ~ an animal that people kill and burn for God

offering ~ something that we give to someone else, a gift

in my heart ~something that I have remembered

protect me ~ make me safe

The Story of Psalm 40

If you read Psalms 37 – 39 you will find that David has been very sad. Now God has answered all his prayers. Psalm 40 is a song that says, ‘Thank you’ to God. But David still has problems. So the end of the psalm asks for more help. We can use the end of the psalm by itself. We see this in Psalm 70, which is Psalm 40: 13 – 17. It is after Psalm 40 for you to study it.

What Psalm 40 means

Verse 2: It is not easy to get out of very wet (muddy) ground.

Verse 5: We do not know what God has planned for each of us.

Verse 6: A master would make a hole in his slave’s ear and fasten it to the door, if the slave wanted to stay with his master.

Verse 7: In the New Testament Jesus said that this was about him. This is in Hebrews 10: 7.

Verses 12 – 17: Here the psalm changes. It is not a song of praise and thanks any more. David has more problems, so he asks God for more help. In verse 15 "Aha, aha" is just a noise that is not kind!

Psalm 70

  (This is) for the (music) leader.
(It is) a psalm of David, to give him help to remember.

v1   God, save me! LORD, hurry to give me help.

v2   There are people that want to kill me.
  I hope that they will become ashamed and confused.
  There are people that want to destroy me.
  I hope that everyone will say that they are bad people.

v3   I want all those people that say to me "Aha! Aha!"
  to become very sorry for what they have done.

v4   I want everyone looking for you to be happy, very happy.
  I want everyone that loves it when you save them to say, "Praise God".

v5   But I am poor and I need help. God, hurry to give me help.
  You are my help, and you save me. O God, do not be long!

The Story of Psalm 70

If you read Psalm 40: 13 – 17 you will find that it is like Psalm 70.There are very few differences. Why do these words come twice in our Bibles? If you look at Psalm 35: 4, 21, 26 and 27 you will find that most of Psalm 70 is there also, so it really comes three times! Perhaps the word "remember" at the top gives us help. David thought that it was important to remember the words of Psalm 70, because he was often in danger. Perhaps he used them when he was not thanking God for an answer to his prayer (as in Psalm 40). There are two other examples of psalms coming twice: Psalms 14 and 53; and Psalms 57,60 and 108.

In the New Testament also we find words repeated. Many of the stories of Jesus come more than once. The Feeding of 5 000 People comes 4 times! Saint Paul also said, "To write the same things to you ... is safe". (Philippians 3:1) When things come more than once it means that God wants us to remember them!

Something to do

1.  Read Psalm 40: 13 – 17 and Psalm 70 and find where they are not the same. Do the differences change what it means?

2.  Make sure that you build your life on a rock, not on sand. Remember, the Bible tells us that Jesus is a Rock in I Corinthians 10: 4. We build lives on him by obeying his words. Read again the words of Jesus at the top of Psalm 40.

 

© 2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)

January 2001

Visit our website: www.easyenglish.info