Psalm 41 - overcomer - Blessed is he who considers the needy
To be an overcomer we need to compassionately consider those in need. We will still suffer, but in our misery the Lord will be there transforming the place of suffering.
This is quite a way to end the 1st book of the Psalms. It shows how important it is to care for the poor (James 1:26-27).
v1 - The day of trouble will come, but it will just be a day, not that long.
v2- Our foes today are spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies. (Luke 22:31)
v3- I followed John Goldingay's translation of this verse: "Yhwh sustains him on his sickbed; you transform the entire place where he lies in his suffering."
Alan, a manager at my work, recently survived esophageal cancer, the odds of survival for which are 1/14.
One day he read Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (NKJ)
He said, The Lord will give me a future and a hope.
So he was not fearful of the future.
He was confident he would survive.
He went thru chemo and radiation and had the surgery, which required the removal of the esophagus and the stretching of the stomach to reach up to the throat.
He had lots of holes in his body with tubes coming out.
He was told that in 6 mos he would start to feel better.
He was just going to let nature take its course, but he said that would be taking the credit away from the Lord. Healing is supernatural, not natural.
He did not turn on the tv in his hospital room.
He had lots of time in the hospital, so he cleaned up his room very nice, which took him long time to do a little, but he had little else to do.
He arranged the room just like he wanted it.
Nurses told him that they felt peace whenever they went in his room.
One technician was asking him how come his room felt peaceful, which was different than all the other rooms.
Alan was going to answer him, but just then the doctor came in and said that he was being discharged.
He recovered amazingly fast.
He shared about it in his Bible study group saying that he had such peace.
One of the group members said, You have peace now, but when Armageddon comes you won't have peace.
Alan researched it in the Bible and found that the opposite of peace is fear, not war.
That is why he had peace, because he did not have fear.
Some time later he went to the hospital again for kidney stones.
The same technician came to his room.
Alan told him the answer to the question he had asked before, which answer he did not know before, but he knew it now.
v4- "because I have sinned against you" probably refers to David's sin against Uriah the Hittite, because of which the Lord told him he would suffer (2Sam 12:10). I think this psalm occurred long after that sin, maybe during Adonijah's rebellion (1Ki 1:5-15).
"Because I have sinned against Thee" could modify either the preceding "heal my soul" or the following "my foes speak evil of me". I do not think David's sickness was due to his sin, though it could have been. There is no mention in the rest of Scripture of David being sick due to his sin. But it is told that David's house would suffer the sword because of his sin against Uriah (2Sam 12:10). So I think David realized that Adonijah's and Absalom's rebellions against him were because of that sin.
A person should pray that his spiritual shortcoming be cured, not only its physical symptoms - Rabbi David Kimchi (aka RaDaK) (1160-1235)
v5 - During Adonijah's rebellion, David was old and would die soon.
v9 - "heel" indicates cheating as in Jacob being called a heel-holder (Gen 27:36 etc).
David had 2 trusted friends who betrayed him in ways that foreshadow Judas: Ahithophel who betrayed him in Absalom's rebellion (2Sam 17:23) and Joab in Adonijah's rebellion (1Ki 1:7; 2Sam 20:9-10). I think this verse refers to Joab because during Adonijah's rebellion, David was sick and near to death.
The Lord said that Judas fulfilled this verse (Joh 13:18). The previous verses of this psalm cannot be about Jesus because David says that he had sinned against the Lord. Verses 9 to the end seem to be about both David and Jesus.
v10 - I took the "by this" at the beginning of v11 and put it on the end of v10.
By his being raised up from his sickbed, David will repay his foes by disappointing their hopes for his downfall. - Rabbi Hirsch (1808-88). This is the accepted Jewish interpretation.
v13 - This Doxology closes the first book of the Psalter. Each of the 5 books ends in a similar manner. - F. B. Meyer
"Amen and amen" is used 2 other times in the Bible, also at the end of of the last psalm of the next 2 books of psalms: Ps 72:19; 89:52. Psalm 72 is the last psalm of Book 2 of the Psalms and Psalm 89 is the last psalm of Book 3.
The last psalm of Book 4, Psalm 106, ends with "Amen, Hallelujah!". The final psalm of Book 5, Psalm 150, the last psalm, ends with "Praise Yah, Hallelujah!"
-copyright Steve Miller