Psalms 40: The Quid Pro Quo of a Love Relationship
We all know there is nothing we can do to “earn” God’s love. Love is a gift, not a reward for certain behavior. Once you are in a love relationship, you must maintain a certain give and take– quid pro quo– to maintain it. Again, it can’t be “faked,” it must be genuinely from the heart. The Psalms describes such a relationship in Psalms 40.
In verse 1-3, God is described as a loyal defender and rescuer. He “takes care” of the psalmist by listening (v.1), lifting up (v.2), and enabling victory in David’s life that can be seen by others (v.3). God’s behavior generates a loving response by the psalmist in verse 4-5. David advises others about how happy they could be by trusting God, and how great God has been to him. David tells God how he wants to tell everyone about how great God is. David is not doing this to “get more from God.” He is doing it as a natural response to the love he has received from God. It is love given in return. In verse 6-10, David describes their relationship, and the quid pro quo of love!
In verse 6, David tells God that he knows it is God’s wish that people love Him. God just wants the open love and attention from His people, and not their “religious” sacrifice. In fact, David uses a very difficult Hebrew phrase here that implies it is God, who creates the ability in David to respond to God’s love. The phrase “given me an open ear,” literally means “ears you have dug for me,” and is a phrase used by Christ. It is cited in Hebrews 10:5-7. God goes more than halfway to enable our relationship with Him. David, knowing this, offers his heart to God in a desire to do God’s will. Additionally, David wants to proclaim his love of God to the world (v.9-10). David wants God to know how great his love is for Him.
In verse 11-12, David tells God that he is confident in God’s faithfulness to him. He also tells God that he knows even when sin is involved (internally and externally); God will never fail to love him. Finally, in verse 13-17, David speaks out to tell everyone about how they can have a “quid pro quo” with God. David, by example, throws caution to the wind and lifts his hands up to his Awesome God.