The lyrics for “40” probably sound familiar, if you have ever read Psalm 40.
Psalm 40 (ESV) ** bible.com
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
4 Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.
6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
8 I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.
11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain
your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
ever preserve me!
12 For evils have encompassed me
my iniquities have overtaken me,
and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
my heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
who delight in my hurt!
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!
The words “how long” in the song are not part of Psalm 40. I wonder what Bono had in mind when he added the words “how long.” Perhaps he was thinking of some circumstance in his life where he felt like he was in a pit of destruction in a miry bog. Maybe he was waiting patiently for the Lord because God is his help and deliverer.
Regardless of what Bono may have been thinking, I have been singing the song to myself lately as a worship/love song. I long for the day when I will be with God the Father and my Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:1-2 (ESV) ** bible.com
1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,
When I sing “how long” it is because I long to be in heaven with the God I love. For me it has nothing to do with my circumstance here in this body (or tent). God can put me in a pit or set me on a rock. He can raise me up and make me as wise (before he had 700 wives) and rich as King Solomon or he can lead me to a Roman coliseum to be eaten alive by lions. Whatever His will is, I will be content to know God, love God and walk with God.
If you are ever looking for something interesting to study, all of Psalm 40 and the lyrics for Yahweh have a great deal to ponder and meditate on.