Did you grow up singing hymns like I did, hymns like "He Brought Me Out"?
"My heart was distressed 'neath Jehovah's dread frown,
And low in the pit where my sins dragged me down,
I cried to the Lord from the deep miry clay,
Who tenderly bro't me out to golden day.
He bro't out of the miry clay;
He set my feet on the Rock to stay.
He puts a song in my soul today--
A song of praise, hallelujah!"
This is lifted from Psalm 40
"He brought me up out of the pit
of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock
making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God."
This "mud of the mire," this "horrible pit," literally means, "the sounding pit; where nothing was heard except the howlings of wild beasts, or the hollow sounds of winds reverberated and broken from the craggy sides and roof. "The miry clay" "Where the longer I staid, the deeper I sunk; and was utterly unable to save myself, the "pit of perdition, and the mud of corruption. These are figurative expressions to point out the dreary, dismal, ruinous state of sin and guilt; and the utter inability of a condemned sinner to save himself either from the guilt of the conscience, or the corruption of his heart."
The closest I've ever come to an actual pit is being buried in the sand. But that's just for fun. However, I've always been afraid of quick sand, that sucking sand that can slowly take one down until they suffocated. It is easy to forget as we go along once delivered out of each of our pits, as the mud caking our shoes dries and falls off, that we each were in a helpless pit at one time or another. It is easy to forget as we go along in this life, that others are still helplessly trapped in pits. Do we see there hands reaching for help? It is easy to forget that helpless feeling when the beasts and the wind howled with no way out, that sinking feeling.
This pit reminds me of the deep well that Joseph's brother's put him in. It is so full of symbolism that he could have drowned in that dry well. Joseph is every man and symbolic of Christ whose robe was blood splattered and held out to represent his sure death. But no, Joseph, and Christ as well, were pulled out of certain death, and taken to the kingdom which eventually brought about our own deliverance in His power and glory and tenderness towards His brethren, us-ums.
"Set my feet upon a rock" "Thou hast changed my state from guilt to pardon; from corruption to holiness; in consequence of which my goings are established. I have now power over all sin; and can walk steadily in the way that leads to God's kingdom." "He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm." This is being redeemed from danger, being put in a safe place so that we slip and slide no longer.
"A new song" "Cheerfulness and joy had long been strangers to him. He seemed to live to utter the most doleful complaints, and be a prey to suffering and wretchedness." What a difference deliverance brings. "He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God." What song of praise of praise have you been singing lately? It is sometimes easier to imitate the howling of the beasts and the wind from our time in the pit.
We are living in a time when new songs are constantly being sung on Christian radio and in our worship. Yes, the old hymn is good and I'm glad to be warmly wrapped in it as a wonderful reminder of this psalm, but new songs can be exquisite praise of our glorious deliverance as well. In fact, David, the song writer himself, proclaims it is a natural outcome once we are standing upon the solid Rock.