My Story…My Song
You are the God of work and rest, the work of creation and Sabbath rest. On this Lord’s Day I rest in You.
Read PSALM 41:1-13
 For the director of music. A psalm of David.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
God’s goodness is greater than all human badness; God’s power to redeem is finally greater than evil’s power to corrupt” (John Claypool).
The 13 psalms that relate to specific moments in the life of David all tell of dark and painful times. Psalm 3, for example, reflects his betrayal by his son Absalom; Psalm 59 reflects Saul’s repeated attempts to assassinate him. This poem is one of 60 further psalms linked less clearly to David’s life. It, too, is a song of pain and, I suggest, an example of the kind of determined interaction with God’s loving discipline that we looked at yesterday.
The story behind this psalm is almost certainly the disloyalty of Ahithophel, David’s close and trusted confidante who threw in his lot with the treacherous Absalom (2 Sam. 15:12,31; 16:20-17:4). David’s response communicates a picture of a sick and stressed king (3,4,8,10) surrounded by opportunistic courtiers who express polite good wishes (6) but spread the word that the king is dying (7,8) and encourage open treachery (9). Ahithophel, Absalom and other members of David’s court are among those who devise violence and talk of mischief; the whisperers who kindle strife and the dissemblers with smooth lips and an evil heart; they stoop to the disloyalty that forsakes a friend.
Perhaps the most important thing is that David is talking frankly to God about this painful experience. He is open about both his sinfulness and his integrity (4,12), anguished about the pain of disloyalty (9) and humble about his need of God (4,10). He is honest about how he would really like to react (10). In the end, Ahithophel took his own life, but his son Eliam became one of David’s most trusted men (2 Sam. 17:23; 23:34).
Bring any feelings of betrayal or disappointment with others to God. Express your feelings openly and ask for God’s help to act faithfully.
Lord, use my daily interpersonal contacts to mature me. May I learn patience, forgiveness, courage and challenge from others.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.