Psalm 41 Commentary
This chapter leaves the New Testament saint feeling uncomfortable. For the strong thoughts of revenge, the saint remembers the word of the LORD that vengeance is of the LORD. For the direct connection between sickness and righteousness, the New Testament saint knows the equation doesn’t always balance that way.
And when the psalmist says that the LORD is pleased with him because the enemy doesn’t triumph over him, the saint is drawn to the many times when the LORD allowed the enemy to carry the day. The saint went home unhappy, in shame, but importantly, in submission and praise.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
You feel like this psalm is pouring cold water on everything we have held on to so dearly.
However, we are greatly helped by the fact that one portion is in the Old Testament and another is in the New Testament. The saint can look at the old, raw, and unpolished method of separating mixtures. The separation technique was so crude that you hardly told the difference between the sinner and sin.
With the new technique, the blood of Jesus easily separates the sinner from sin. Sin is punished and the sinner is loved and saved. Only those individuals who cling on to sin, (because of personal decisions) are destroyed together with sin.
Regardless, we are still comfortable with the thought that the psalmist hates sin and the results of sin. Let life flow without both. Let wickedness and the perpetrators of wickedness face the music. Our job as Christians is to tell the world that the individual sinner is not one with sin. Let them stay separate. Let the devil, his angels, and the wickedness they have perpetrated face the music by themselves. Don’t be part of it. God’s plans for you are good and special.
For the separated, the gracious hand of the Creator God remains on them, regardless of physical conditions. You appreciate it once you have tasted it. No wonder Stephen could forgive his brutal killers as he transitioned into glory. When you see the glory of God, nothing physical can be more important.
One thing remains, the praise of the LORD, the God of Israel. This chapter ends section 1 of the Book of Psalms. It is divided into 5 sections called books. Nearly all of them are written by David. We get a good picture of the shepherd boy and his years of innocence behind his father’s sheep. He became a commander in Saul’s army after defeating Goliath.
Then the most difficult years followed as King Saul wanted David dead. He was on the run for a long time, nearing death at several points. Eventually, David is the King of all Israel. We see all these experiences through his many prayers. He was a man of prayer.
Let your many experiences be punctured by fervent prayer. Amen.
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