Psalm 40 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Psalm 40 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

5 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

Misquoted in Heb.10:5-6 as: "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me."
Does God desire bloody sacrifices?
The words in Heb. 10:5 are rendered as per the translation in the Septuagint.
The phrase “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire” here means two things: sacrifice and offering are not sufficient to atone for sin, so God does not desire them in order to atone for sin. And secondly God does not desire sacrifices, but our hearts, that we should live holy. Sinning and then sacrificing (i.e. giving some money to the church) is not what God desires.
God did proscribe animal sacrifices in the Old Testament, but they were meant to show that payment for sin required the shedding of blood, Heb. 9:22. Sacrificing in the Old Testament pointed forward to the times of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ who gave his life a ransom for all, 1 Tim. 2:5-6. So after that time we no longer sacrifice blood.

7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.

10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.

13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.

14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.

15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.

16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.