The Book of Psalms Bible Study Psalm 41

Psalm 41

This Psalm is another example of David turning to G-d in difficult times. 

v1: Blessed: A joy or happiness related to being blessed by G-d. The verse continues by telling us what we need to do in order to be blessed by G-d

  • Consider – this is a word of intelligence; a word associated with someone causing himself to think about something.  
  • Poor – this is not the normal word for being poor or afflicted. It speaks about someone who is in a very meagre situation – one who lacks greatly. 
  • The L-rd will deliver – this is a spiritual law (spiritual “insurance’). If we are mindful of the poor then the L-rd will deliver us in the day of evil (literal translation of “time of trouble’)

v2: Keep him alive – The L-rd causes this one, who is mindful of the poor, to exist in situations where others would not – supernatural provision and protection. 

  • Blessed – certified. What David is saying here is that the one who looks on, and responds to, the suffering, affliction or needs of another will receive G-d’s supernatural help.

 v3: G-d is at work in this person life. Even when he is sick (unable to function optimally) G-d provides for him. 

v4: This is a key verse in this Psalm. It tells us that once again David is going through a difficult time due to sin. Sin in David’s life is the exception rather than the norm. Although David is committed to the things of G-d there are times when he stumbled and fell into sin. 

  • ‘I said’ : David is able to speak confidently as he has seen G-d work in this way before. 
  • Merciful = grace. G-d heals through grace – this can have both physical and spiritual implications. The grace of G-d is multifaceted. When we have sinned we need to quickly and confidently turn to G-d in order to seek His grace. We are guilty before G-d when we sin and we need His grace. 

 v5: David’s enemies want to exploit his sinful condition. 

  • ‘When will his name perish’ tells us that David’s enemies have total contempt for him. They do not want to hear his name as he primarily (mostly) stands for righteousness. David is mindful of those who are in need, the suffering, the poor etc. 

 v6: ‘he’ speaks about David’s enemy. When this one comes to visit David on his sickbed he doesn’t come sincerely, he comes with vain or meaningless words. He doesn’t come to encourage, strengthen or pray for David. He doesn’t want David to recover but wants his name to perish – be blotted out. 

  • His heart gathers iniquity – inside of planting G-d’s Word in his heart he plants sin in it. 
  • Goes out – He speaks about his wicked plans publicly. 

 v7: This verse confirms that these people (these enemies of David) are all for the annihilation or destruction of David. Why? Because David is a man of G-d, a servant of G-d. They don’t want people like David in their presence. 

 v8: Their thoughts and desires are that David will never rise up again. They are against David’s presence. More and more we are going to see this world come against those who stand for true justice and truth. 

 v9: own familiar friend – those who appear to be at peace with David. They appear to be truly concerned about his well-being.

  • Ate my bread – they had fellowship together. 
  • Lifted up his heel – an idiom that speaks about kicking someone away, pushing them down and defeating them. He is using his power against another (Matt 24:10) 

 v10: Raise me up – establish me. 

  • I may repay them – David wants to be an instrument of G-d’s justice. Part of G-ds justice is seeing those who are opposed to Him receiving judgement.  

 v11: By this – being raised up, being established. When David sees G-d doing this for him then he knows that G-d delights in him. David wants to be given another opportunity to serve G-d.

  • Does not triumph – David’s enemy will not have the final word. They will not be able to rejoice over David’s defeat as G-d is going to re-establish him. 

 v12: Integrity – we need to be people of the utmost integrity – we need to keep our word, honour our promises etc. We need to be honest people. When we lack integrity G-d will not bless us. When we are people of integrity, we can expect G-d’s support in our lives (‘uphold’)

  • Set me – ‘stand me’ – G-d will position us. Integrity causes G-d to position us whereby we will be recipients of His blessings, His Presence. 

 v13: David ends off this psalm by praising G-d. This is a verse of worship. 

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