Weds 15 September - Psalm 41
1 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
2 The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.
4 I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;
heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
5 My enemies say of me in malice,
“When will he die and his name perish?”
6 When one of them comes to see me,
he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
then he goes out and spreads it around.
7 All my enemies whisper together against me;
they imagine the worst for me, saying,
8 “A vile disease has afflicted him;
he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
9 Even my close friend,
someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
has turned against me.
10 But may you have mercy on me, Lord;
raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever.
13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
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Meditation on Psalm 41
There are some common themes that we have already come across and which will come up again as we continue through the Psalms. As Michael Wilcock says, ‘there is sin that needs forgiving and sickness that needs healing.’
There are also those enemies who are malicious and dangerous.
Verse 4 “Have mercy on me, LORD; … for I have sinned against you.”
Read Psalm 32:5 – “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.”
Read Psalm 38:3 – “Because of your wrath there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin. My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.”
Verse 4 “Have mercy on me; LORD; heal me…”
Read Psalm 6:2-7 – “…I am faint…”; “my bones are in agony…”; “my soul is in deep anguish.”; “I am worn out…”; “my eyes grow weak with sorrow…”
Read Psalm 38 – “…no health in my body…”; “my wounds fester and are loathsome”; “my back filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body; I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.”
We don’t know a specific cause of his sickness but it is clearly real to him.
We do know the times when he sinned.
Because of these experiences David can be open and honest with the LORD, as can we.
Verses 1-3 and Verses 11-12 Confidence in the LORD
These verses are linked. Verses 1-3 relate to the person who will be blessed because ‘they have regard for the weak’.
Other translations refer to those who are ‘poor’ and ‘helpless’
Spurgeon comments, ‘the poor intended here are such as are poor in substance, weak in bodily strength, despised in repute and desponding in spirit. These are the mostly avoided and frequently scorned.’
David then goes on to define the blessings that will come to those who look out for, and look after, the poor, whether practically, emotionally, spiritually.
- delivered when troubles come
- protected and preserved
- sustained in times of sickness
Verses 11-12 speak of those who have already been blessed. David speaks of the Lord being ‘pleased with him’ and of his ‘integrity’ and looks forward to those blessings being forever.
Verses 5-9 The concern about his enemies
See how David describes them.
- imagining the worst for him
We know that David had his enemies – two stand out, apart from Saul.
His own son, Absalom and his Ahithophel.
2 Samuel 15 gives us a picture of these two men supposedly loyal to King David.
Verse 12: ‘while Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel…David’s counsellor, to come from his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.’
Verse 31: ‘now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.”
The most telling indictment of all must be verse 9: “even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.”
This brings us forward to Jesus.
Jesus was blessed because of His concern for the ‘weak.’
Jesus faced many enemies.
But one great sadness must have been the betrayal by Judas – a close friend; trusted enough to be the treasurer for the disciples. He shared bread with Jesus. But he turned against Jesus when he betrayed Him – Jesus quotes verse 9 in John 13:18.
What lessons there are for us to learn about others, about our relationship with the Lord and about being loyal to Him.
The doxology at the end covers all the Psalms in the first book.
It reminds us that He whom we follow and serve is ‘from everlasting to everlasting.’
He is the great “I Am.”
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