Lord, help me in my weakness to turn to You, my rock and fortress.
Read Psalm 41
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
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[b] 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.
a Psalm 41:1 In Hebrew texts 41:1-13 is numbered 41:2-14.
b Psalm 41:9 Hebrew has lifted up his heel
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink about what this psalm teaches us about our own frailty and the suffering of Christ for us.
This psalm marks the end of the first book of Psalms (there are five in all). It starts with the same phrase as Psalm 1: “Blessed are those…” and ends with a doxology to bring a close to this first collection. David reminds himself in verses 1 to 3 that the Lord blesses those who show mercy. Jesus affirms this truth in the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:7).
Conscious of his own sin and sickness, David pleads for God’s mercy. He is also aware of the action of his enemies, possibly referring to the rebellion of his son Absalom (2 Sam. 15,16). Use your imagination to flesh out what David is talking about in verses 5 to 9.
Can we see our own lives and needs in this psalm? Can we see sin that needs forgiveness, sickness that needs healing, trouble from people around us (including friends)? Do we follow David’s example and cry to the Lord for help in every circumstance of life?
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of this psalm is that it is a Messianic prophecy. Jesus quotes verse 9 in relation to Judas, his betrayer (John 13:18). David’s suffering foreshadowed Jesus’ suffering. Notice the links between what we read here and what we have been reading in 1 Peter this last week.
In what ways have you been able to show mercy and care for someone in this last week?
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting” (Psa. 41:13).