Psalm 41


1. This is a psalm of David, the "sweet psalmist of Israel" (2SA 23:1).
2. As with other psalms, there is a prophetic perspective that applies to Jesus Christ.
v.9 c/w JOH 13:18; PSA 40:6-8 c/w HEB 10:5-7.
A. Some things in such psalms may apply to the psalmist only. v.4.
B. Some things in such psalms may apply to Christ only.
PSA 16:8-11 c/w ACT 2:25-31.
C. Some things in such psalms may apply to both the psalmist and Christ.
v.9 c/w 2SA 15:12; JOH 13:18; MAT 26:50.
D. The troubles and triumphs of both the psalmist (immediately) and Christ
(prophetically) are for the patience, comfort and hope of instructed believers. ROM 15:4.
3. The psalm opens with a blessing of man and closes with a blessing of God: a demonstration of a bridled tongue "of a ready writer." PSA 45:1 c/w JAM 3:8-9.
4. David apparently wrote this while stricken with sickness. vs. 3, 8.
A. Even the most faithful labor under the bondage of corruption and may fall
sick. ACT 9:36-37; PHIL 2:25-27; 1TI 5:23.
B. David's trust was in a God of mercy and pity towards them that fear Him.
PSA 103:13-17.
C. Our trust is in the same God of mercy Who became us and "took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses" (MAT 8:17) and said, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness" (2CO 12:9).
5. vs.1-4. Here is an expression of the principle of PSA 18:25 c/w MAT 5:7.
A. Consideration of the poor is a mercy towards them and an investment for
the giver. PRO 19:17; 2CO 9:6-11.
(1) "Poor" is a condition of lacking the basic stuff, not a condition of lacking the Jones' stuff. JAM 2:13-16.
(2) Consideration of the poor does not mean partiality to the poor.
LEV 19:15.
(3) Some are poor by chance, others by choice---in which case they may
be left poor. It is against duty to subsidize folly.
1TH 4:11-12 c/w 2TH 3:10-12.
(4) "Poor" may refer to reduced strength, which David seems to have in mind here.
a. The Hebrew word here translated "poor" (dal, S.R.N. 1800) elsewhere denotes weakness. GEN 41:19; 2SA 3:1.
b. We are as obliged to show mercy to the sick as we are to the needy. MAT 25:36.
(5) A Samaritan made a double-dividend investment. LUK 10:30-37.
B. Such consideration of the poor is godliness which has "promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come" (1TI 4:8).
(1) Consider King Hezekiah's experience in light of this psalm's promise.
(2) Hezekiah had set religion in order in Judah. 2CH 29:3-5; 31:1, 21.
(3) Hezekiah's service was remembered in his time of trouble and
sickness. ISA 38:1-6.
(4) Relief of the poor is pure religion. JAM 1:27.
(5) Indeed, "religion is the chief concern of mortals here below..."
C. Mind that David appealed not to his own merit but to God's mercy towards
a sinner. v.4 c/w LUK 18:13.
6. vs.5-9. David's misery was compounded by two types of troublers: enemies and
enemies posing as "friends."
A. David's enemies spoke evil of him, a good thing in one sense. LUK 6:26.
(1) They couldn't wait for him to die (vs.5, 8). It is a worldly, depraved mind that is pleased by the death of the righteous.
ACT 22:22; REV 11:10; JOH 16:20.
(2) They pretended concern for him with soothing words that covered their
real intent. v.6 c/w PSA 55:21; 35:11-12.
(3) They whispered (secretly slandered, maliciously insinuated) together
against him, a vile sin (ROM 1:29-30) that may have played a role in
turning Ahithophel against him. PRO 16:28.
(4) They implied that he had merited this sickness because of his wickedness. v.8.
a. "An evil disease..." is from Hebrew words meaning "a matter
or thing of Belial or wickedness."
b. Job had "friends" like this who were "miserable comforters."
JOB 16:2.
c. It is wrong to assume that every affliction is a direct judgment
for one's sin. JOH 9:1-3.
B. The deepest cut came not from known enemies but from a trusted friend.
v.9 c/w PSA 55:12-14.
(1) David did eventually recover his health and throne in spite of this.
(2) Ahithophel did not fare so well. 2SA 17:23.
7. vs.10-13. David spoke not to men about this but to God.
A. His appeal again was to God's mercy. v.10.
(1) He desired recovery that he might requite his troublers.
(2) The best requiting is by returning blessing for cursing.
PSA 35:13-14 c/w LUK 6:27-28.
B. That wickedness not triumph over David was a sign of God's favor. v.11.
(1) This was the realization of the Son of David. ACT 2:25-27.
(2) This is the expectation of those who, like David, trust in God and His
mercies in all things. ROM 8:35-37 c/w 1JO 5:4.
C. David was renowned for integrity. 1KI 9:4.
(1) Integrity guides and preserves the upright. PRO 11:4; PSA 25:21.
(2) But one's integrity is owing to the work of God within: "...thou
upholdest me in mine integrity..." (v.12). PHIL 2:13; HEB 13:20-21.
(3) "...and settest me before thy face for ever" (v.12).
PSA 17:15; 23:6.
D. "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting.
Amen, and amen" (v.13).