Psalm 40 (Part One)

Lord,  I was sinking deep;
There was no hope for me
Until You heard my prayer for help
And picked me up and rested me upon a rock.

Lord, You picked me up
And put me on a rock
Where I can sing
A song of praise
For all that You have done,
All You’ve done.

Lord, on this rock I stand
And sing a song of praise
To thank You for the way You guide me
And to thank You for the many gifts You give.

Lord, You picked me up
And put me on a rock
Where I can sing
A song of praise
For all that You have done,
All You’ve done.

Lord, may this song I sing
Be heard by everyone
Who needs to be told all about Your love
And goodness and to put their trust in You.

Lord, You picked me up
And put me on a rock
Where I can sing
A song of praise
For all that You have done,
All You’ve done.

About this Song:
Early in 1985, Dr. Don Runion, then the pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, preached a four-part series on a portion of the fortieth Psalm. I can’t recall whether “From the Mire to the Choir” was just the name of the first sermon or of the whole series, but it was a catchy title–one I didn’t need to write down to remember. Don did such a terrific job that I felt led to write a song based on each of the four sections he covered.

Just as Don preached only on the first eleven verses, I limited my song set to the same ones.

I was about to insert the appropriate lyrics beneath each of the verses listed below, but then realized I couldn’t. Although the song matches the whole content of the first three verse of Psalm 40, they don’t match stanza to verse.

Here are the verses I used for this song:

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

King David must have been in humongous trouble. “Mud and mire” makes me think of quicksand. Not something someone can necessarily get out of without help.

But he didn’t start this psalm of praise by complaining about the “slimy pit” and the “mud and the mire.” He began by acknowledging God’s response to his cries for help.

Isn’t God’s help more important than the problems He helps us with?

God didn’t simply set David on solid ground again. Solid ground might have been at the same level as the top of the pit.

Instead, he set him on a rock. And a rock would be elevated–especially if it was so large that David couldn’t have climbed up on it by himself. Apparently it formed a natural pulpit.

Not a pulpit for preaching, however, but for composing a new song and singing praise to the Lord for His miraculous intervention in the midst of David’s otherwise insoluble problem.

But wouldn’t you know David realized that his song had an evangelistic function? “Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”

Shouldn’t that be the desire of every Christian musician–to write songs that show what God has done in their lives, to stand on the rock where God has placed them, and to use those songs to “preach” God’s Good News to everyone who will listen?

We’ll look at “Psalm 40 (Part Two)” next Wednesday.

Free lead sheets (lyrics, tune, and chords) are available for many of my songs. Click on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page to see whether one is available for this song. Videos for many of my songs, some recorded at home and some at our church’s nursing home ministry, can be accessed at my website,, under the Listen tab.

Best regards,

Links you might be interested in:



About Roger E. Bruner

Seventy-five-year-old Roger E. Bruner is the author and publisher of twenty Christian novels and the writer of more than two hundred Christian songs and choruses, a handful of musical dramas, and a number of shorter works. He sings, plays guitar and bass, and records his original songs in his home studio. He is active in his church's nursing home ministry He also plays bass guitar on the church raise team. Married for seventeen years to Kathleen, he has one grown daughter. Kathleen has two. Roger enjoys reading, moderate exercise, photography and book cover design (he's done all of his own except for Rosa No-Name), playing Snood, making walking sticks, and complaining about the state of the nation while continuing to pray for it.
This entry was posted in Don Runion, King David, Mire, Psalm Forty, Quicksand, Rescue, Rock and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Psalm 40 (Part One)

  1. hlf7 says:

    Inspiring words from a true servant of the Lord.

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