Today, Monday March 27
“LORD, Be Merciful to Me; Heal My Soul”
Psalm 41:1-4 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David
“Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed. I said, "LORD, be merciful to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You."
It is a great feeling to be back in my home office in Sneads Ferry North Carolina again after a brief and wonderful trip to the Holy Land. We had an awesome time with the students and the parents from Virginia learning together more about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we walked where He walked. Thanks again for your prayers and support as we traveled and for your patience as we obviously had to miss several of our daily chats!
Today we begin a new Psalm which is the last Psalm in the first book of the five books that the Psalms are divided into. We will explain a little more about that when we finish Psalm 41. From the title we know that David wrote this Psalm, as we believe he also wrote the first 40 Psalms. It appears that Psalms 38, 39, 40, and 41 were all born out of the same circumstances. Each of them was written around the events which surrounded the rebellion of Absalom against his father David.
No doubt many fathers have rebellious sons but not many have sons who have hated them as much as Absalom hated David. No rebellion takes place in a vacuum. Behind Absalom's rebellion, and ever haunting David's conscience, was David's sin with Bathsheba and the consequent murder of her husband. These hideous crimes had been forgiven, but the human consequences pursued David through the remaining years of his life.
Think about it! This all began as a family crisis! Absalom and Tamar were David’s children by one of his wives. Amnon was the son of another wife. Amnon had raped his half-sister Tamar, and in revenge Absalom killed Amnon his half-brother (2 Samuel 13-19). How could David impose the death sentence, required by the law of Moses, upon Amnon, for his wicked seduction of Absalom's sister, Tamar, when he himself had been guilty of the wicked seduction of Bathsheba? How could David impose the death sentence, required by the law of Moses, upon Absalom for the murder of Amnon, when he himself had been guilty of murdering Uriah? So, from that one evil seed the whole Absalom rebellion flowered, flourished, and bore fruit. Truly, what we sow we eventually reap.
You also get a hint of how Absalom is able to raise a rebellion against his father David. It also appears from many of the Psalms that David experienced a physical sickness as a result of his sin and was not able to effectively and efficiently rule his kingdom. It was in this void that Absalom took advantage of the absence of his father and stole the hearts of the people. 2 Samuel 15:2-6 “Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. So it was, whenever anyone who had a lawsuit came to the king for a decision, that Absalom would call to him and say, "What city are you from?" And he would say, "Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Israel." Then Absalom would say to him, "Look, your case is good and right; but there is no deputy of the king to hear you." Moreover Absalom would say, "Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice." And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him. In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.”
One of David’s closest friends and counselor, Ahithophel, is referred to in this Psalm (v. 9), as the one who betrayed David (2 Sam. 16:15). Jesus quoted verse 9 in the upper room when referring to Judas (John 13:38), so the Psalm has Messianic overtones. When we find ourselves in difficulty, we may use this Psalm to take an inventory of our spiritual condition by asking and answering four questions we will look at over the next few days as we meditate on this Psalm.