Psalm 41

The Psalms

Psalm 41
Help, harm and hope

Psalms index

Psalm 41

1 For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. 2 The LORD will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. 3 The LORD will sustain him on his sick-bed and restore him from his bed of illness.

4 I said, “O LORD, have mercy on me; 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 Whenever one comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it abroad. 7 All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, 8 “A vile disease has beset him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.” 9 Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.

10 But you, O LORD, have mercy on me; 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 In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence for ever.

13 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.

Amen and Amen.


Psalm 41 – Help, harm and hope

(Verses 1-3) This promise of God is that there are blessings for ‘he who has regard for (or ‘considers’) the weak’. The word, ‘weak’, includes the thought of a needy person who is ‘poor’, or ‘helpless’, or ‘powerless’. It describes someone with little or nothing to offer in return. The motivation today to be so kindly disposed and helpful to someone who cannot pay you back, is Christ’s love which changed you, if you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. You did not deserve that love either, when as a sinner you turned from your sin and asked Christ to save you. It illustrates God’s promise in 1 Samuel 2:30 that ‘Those who honour me, I will honour.’ See the blessings God gratuitously offers to such a loving person: God delivers in troubled times, protects, preserves life, blesses ‘in the land’ by overcoming foes, and sustains and restores when ill. That is as well as the joy of having sins forgiven, peace with God, and a home in Heaven through Jesus’ dying for your sins on the cross to take the judgment you deserve and entering your life when you came to Him for mercy and forgiveness.

(Verses 4-9) All this is not theoretical for David. At times you could experience this, too. He feels bad anyhow through some sin, the details of which are not given. He confesses that to God. He asks for mercy and healing—probably in spirit and body. His enemies maliciously gloat over him and say he will die. They lie about him. They conspire to slander him far and wide. They whisper falsely about a ‘vile disease’ that will kill him. One can imagine what that is. Worse still, his trusted ‘close friend’, to whom David had given hospitality, turns against him in his need. You can see David’s need of the Lord. He is there for you, too, in time of your need.

(Verses 10-13) It is at times like these that many of us might give up as we feel how ‘weak’, ‘poor’, ‘helpless’ and ‘powerless’ we really are. We could fall into self-pity and start gossiping and arguing. We could become bitter, and even try to ‘get even’. In times like this, follow David’s example. Ask God in His mercy to raise you up. The way you will ‘repay them’ as a Christian is with God’s love and grace that makes you pray for them to come to Christ! Then your arch enemy, the devil, has not won. God will uphold you in your integrity. He is always with you. You too will be able to praise your unchanging LORD. He is always on your side! Trust Him! He is faithful.