PSALM 41 – THE BLESSED MAN SUFFERING
Blessed is the man… this is an echo of the first Psalm we read. And this psalm 41 provides closure for Book 1 of Psalms with its “Blessed is the one who considers the poor (the weak, the helpless).” In Psalm 1 blessedness is experienced by those who rightly relate to God, In Psalm 41 this same blessedness is experienced by those who rightly relate to other people – the poor, in particular. Love of God, love of people. Mat 22:37-40 says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Even when we are suffering because of sin (ours or that of others against us), we have an example here of David repenting and calling on God’s grace. We see David’s agony when a close friend (Ahithophel, 2 Sam 16:23) turned against him. Jesus experienced the depths of this pain, when one of the Twelve, Judas Iscariot, became his betrayer. Jesus quoted Ps 41:9 to express his agony (John 13:18). Because Jesus was betrayed and died as a result, we can receive mercy to meet all our needs, whether those needs are for healing or forgiveness or strength to endure unjust opposition. In Jesus we have a best friend who will never betray us, but will always be there to give us mercy.
David knew that God was pleased with him, because his enemies were not permitted to have the final victory. He was preserved because of his integrity. The idea is that the person of integrity is consistent and faithful, not morally perfect. David was a man of integrity. He was a godly man. But he still sinned and suffered as a result. Here David was like Job, who was “blameless” (Job 1:1) – a man of complete integrity, but Job also sinned and needed the grace of repentance (Job 42:6). This grace comes from the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting” and who is worthy to be praised. “AMEN and AMEN”