Daily D – Psalm 40:6-8
You do not delight in sacrifice and offering; you open my ears to listen. You do not ask for a whole burnt offering or a sin offering. Then I said, “See, I have come; in the scroll it is written about me. I delight to do your will, my God, and your instruction is deep within me.”
PSALM 40:6-8 (CSB)
Doing something for you, bringing something to you—
that’s not what you’re after.
Being religious, acting pious—
that’s not what you’re asking for.
You’ve opened my ears
so I can listen.
“Here’s what I want for you.” The first time someone spoke those words to me, they arrested my attention. They were words of blessing. They were a positive forecast. They spoke of a special future.
Now and then, I speak words like that to someone, usually in a training session I lead or a coaching conversation.
Words of blessing have a powerful effect on people. They not only provide direction, they often include positive redirection.
King David figured out something we all need to understand. The sooner we get it, the better off we are. He realized God is less interested in sacrifice and religious rituals and more concerned with us hearing what he wants for us, adjusting our lives to his good plans, and living under the guidance of his wise counsel and direction.
Our Father in heaven knows best. He wants us to listen to him. He wants us to follow his directions. He will show us the good life. He will lead us into lives of fruitful and productive work. He will lead us into deep and satisfying relationships.
How can we get in on that? Learn to listen to him. Learn to apply what he teaches.
When I arise in the morning, I drink a glass of water, make coffee, and ascend the stairs. I pray as I move from the coffee pot to the chair where I read the Bible day by day. I ask God to give me ears to hear what he is saying to me. I ask him to give me a willing and obedient heart to do what he says.
In following the SOAP acrostic for these morning meditations, I begin to Apply what he says with a sentence beginning with the two words “I will.” Then I turn that affirmation into a prayer of commitment.
King David teaches us this way of thinking and responding in this psalm.
When we live like this, we have fewer and fewer reasons to say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.” The right lead measures place us in more pleasant circumstances much more often.
Here’s what I want for you: I want you to ask our Father in heaven for ears to hear. Offer him a willing and obedient heart to do whatever he tells you. Let his truth guide you in every circumstance. Carry his words of truth and life in your heart all day. Enjoy the uncomplicated and effective life this kind of living produces.
I will listen to what God says and do what he asks.
Our Father, please give me ears to hear what you are saying to me today. Give me a willing and obedient heart to do whatever you ask. Empower me for the kind of life that honors you and blesses others. Amen.
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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.