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Psalm 41

Hillary Donohoue

1 Blessed is the one who considers the poor!
In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him;

the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
he is called blessed in the land;
you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.

The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;
in his illness you restore him to full health.

As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me;
heal me, for I have sinned against you!”

My enemies say of me in malice,
“When will he die, and his name perish?”

And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words,
while his heart gathers iniquity;
when he goes out, he tells it abroad.

All who hate me whisper together about me;
they imagine the worst for me.

They say, “A deadly thing is poured out on him;
he will not rise again from where he lies.”

Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

10 But you, O Lord, be gracious to me,
and raise me up, that I may repay them!

11 By this I know that you delight in me:
my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.

12 But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
and set me in your presence forever.

13 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen.

When I read the first few verses of this Psalm, I thought it was going to be one about justice for the poor and needy-which I love as a theme in the Word.  But by the end of the Psalm,  it seems that David is talking about a time when he was severely sick and really needed a touch from the Lord to heal his body and just support from his friends.  He really sounds physically weak, and like his enemies are taking advantage of that…and just desperately hoping that David will die.  Even a close friend of David betrays him-maybe acting to his face like he was there for David and supporting him, but behind his back slandering him? 
After reading through this Psalm, it really made me think of Job (maybe my favorite book of the Bible)…just how Job was sooooo ridiculously sick and how everything he loved was being ripped away from him.  Job clearly felt confused at where the Lord was in all the chaos, illness, and death.  Even all his close friends turned on him in judgement…it probably began with one friends speculation of why God was allowing this to happen to Job….and then gossip…and then flat out judgment and statements concluding that Job must be in sin.  I can’t imagine how forsaken Job must’ve felt…even his family was all dying so he didn’t have them to vent to or pray with.  
One thing similar between David and Job is that they both felt the pleasure of God…most of the time at least…felt that confidence that God was for them and that they were actually blameless before Him..that they had confessed their sin (41:4 and Job 31)…that they had a clean slate before God…not deceiving themselves-arrogantly believing they were perfect, but that they were forgiven and righteous.  
For Job, that’s why it was so perplexing to him…His life seemed so imbalanced in the justice department-it probably felt like he was being punished for doing good and right.  
I know everyone feels this way throughout their lives for different reasons and in different seasons…I have felt that way for people within our own congregation-“God, why in the world would you allow that to take place in their lives…they have devoted their life to You? It just doesn’t seem just, God!”
But this psalm also foreshadows the One who is Just and who was unjustly made weak, slandered, hated, plotted against, gossiped about, betrayed and crucified…all to justify the wrath of God on our behalf.  He truly is the only One who was perfect, sinless, spotless and treated completely without justice. 
I don’t get the justice of God on this earth at times…but exponentially more so, I don’t get the justice of God when Jesus died on the cross…and how He actually went through with it.  Now that truly doesn’t  make sense and truly wasn’t fair.  I can just imagine that Jesus, even when he felt abandoned and alone by his friends and most of all by the Father…that He felt God’s pleasure over His life and that He was confident that the Lord would set Him in His presence forever (11-12)…Jesus then was ‘raised up’ after 3 days and forever defeated Satan and sin-Jesus is victorious!!
Let us each ask God to give us a heart for the weak ones around us, to lift them up in their trials and battles, and to beseech our Lord and King Jesus for healing, favor, mercy, and justice in our lives.
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