John Piper exults with King David in Psalm 40. Here, from a sermon “In the Pits With a King”
God can deliver from every sort of pit and mire and will deliver his servants from any plight that would destroy their faith. And when he does we will sing. Verse 3: “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.” People who never sing, at least in their heart, are people who do not cherish anything very deeply, or feel intense gratitude for anything. They are the sort of people who take all life for granted. They never soar with a sense of joy in their heart.
All of us gravitate to that condition because of our fallen nature. And one of the ways God keeps us awake is by letting us hit the pits, leaving us there a while and then bringing us out into the fresh air of his grace again. Do you know of any other way to get someone to love air besides letting them almost be suffocated and breathe again?
I was swimming at the bottom of a pool one time, about nine feet down, and I got my finger caught in the drain cover. In a matter of seconds air was almost all I cared about. I was good for about thirty more seconds and I cried out to God and he loosed my finger and set me upon the concrete deck and put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to air, precious air, sweet air, priceless air, and to God.
That is the kind of love God wants from us for himself. And if he must, he will get it by hiding himself for a season, until we crave him like a drowning boy craves air. And when he shows himself again and we come up gasping into his presence, we will sing like never before. All the old songs will be new. And if they are not adequate we will write our own.
The church ought not merely sing the songs of yesterday’s saints. There ought to be new songs and they ought to come from you, because God has put them in your mouth.