11/13 – Blessed be the Lord! (Psalm 41)
Introduction — Here David writes a song of praise to the Lord. David sees how the Lord is with the poor. David states the faithfulness of the Lord in bringing rescue and protection to the poor in spirit. David extols the wonder of the Lord’s countless blessings upon those who follow the Lord. David opens his heart to the Lord. David sings of the Lord’s grace. David sings of the Lord’s forgiveness. David sings of the Lord’s protection. David sings of the Lord’s guidance. David sings of the Lord’s rescue. David sings of the Lord’s presence. David sings of the Lord’s encouragement. David sings the Lord’s praise. David bows in wonder. David lifts his heart to the Lord. David sings his praise to the Lord. He blesses the Lord. He truly, sincerely blesses the Lord. How about us? Do we sincerely bless the Lord? Do we bow in wonder before Him? Do we sing our praise to Him? Do we see He grace and love and mercy for us? Do we see His guidance and protection over us? Do we bless the Lord?
Though enemies taunt and friends betray, the godly will trust the Lord. Why? They know that the Lord is gracious. They know the Lord rescues. They know the Lord sustains and protects. They know the Lord is faithful. They know the Lord hears. They know the Lord is present. And they know the Lord is praiseworthy. So, they praise the Lord.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen. (13)
Let’s praise the Lord for He is worthy! Blessed be the Lord . . .
He gives us a new outlook. (1)
How blessed is he who considers the helpless; the Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble.
Comments: Here David notes the new outlook for those folks who follow the Lord. They consider the helpless. And it’s not a superficial glance. It’s a deep contemplation leading to action. Those who know the mercy of the Lord extend that mercy to others. Those who know the grace of the Lord show that grace to others. To regard the poor is to seek ways to offer the right help at the right time. To regard the poor is to see that we all stand in need before the Lord. To regard the poor is to serve the poor. Questions: Do we honor the helpless among us? Do we see the helpless among us? Do we take quick and right action? Do we show the love of the Lord to them? Illustration: All day long he is gracious and lends, and his descendants are a blessing. ~ Psalm 37:26 Application: Consider ways to serve the poor then serve the poor.
He heals our sin-sick souls. (3, 4)
The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed; in his illness, You restore him to health. (3)
As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.” (4)
Comments: David describes the gracious way the Lord sustains and restores those who are sick. Then he describes his own need for the Lord’s grace. David needs the Lord’s forgiveness. David needs the Lord to heal his sin-sick soul. Three words stand out here. The first word is grace. That David cries out for the Lord to be gracious is to state his trust in the Lord’s love and mercy. The word gracious is from the Hebrew word hanan, meaning to be kind, to have pity, to show mercy. The second word is sin. The idea here is to be culpable, to wrong, to offend, and to miss a mark. David knows that he’s ultimately missed the Lord’s mark. He’s fallen short of the Lord’s glory. The third word is heal. The picture is of something sew together or repaired. To be healed then is to be restored fully. David knows the Lord graciously hears the prayers of a repentant sinner. The Lord graciously restores and makes whole the repentant sinner. The Lord heals the sin-sick soul. Questions: Do we cry out to the Lord in repentance? Do we cease evil and turn to Him in sincere, humble faith? Do we rest in His grace? Illustration: O LORD my God, I cried to you for help and You healed me. ~ Psalm 30:2 Application: Turn to the Lord in sincere repentance. Rest in His grace. Seek His face.
He helps us be more like Him. (4-12)
As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and You set me in Your presence forever.
Comments: In this section, the contrast is clear. The blessed person walks with the Lord. The wicked person does not. The blessed speak truth. The blessed serve others. The blessed are loyal. The blessed person is a person of integrity. And that integrity is a gift from the Lord. David knows that the Lord first makes him whole and then holds him to the path of righteousness. The Lord helps David be more like Him.
Questions: Are we more and more like the Lord? Do we follow Him or do we follow the evil ways of the world? Do we walk in integrity? Do we praise the Lord for His work in our lives? Illustration: You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great. ~ Psalm 18:35 Application: Walk humbly before the Lord. Walk with integrity before the Lord. Praise the Lord that He helps you look more and more like Him.
He keeps us close to Him. (12)
As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and You set me in Your presence forever.
Comments: David sees that he will dwell with the Lord forever. By the grace of the Lord David will be in the presence of the Lord forever. The Lord lifts David. The Lord upholds David. The Lord sets David before Him, face to face. That David will live with the Lord always is a precious gift, indeed. The Lord who protects David keeps him alive in this age and in the age to come. The Lord keeps David close to Him. Questions: Do we thrill at the Lord’s presence? Do we get bored with His presence? Do we praise the Lord that He keeps us close? Do we praise the Lord that He sets us in His presence forever? Illustration: Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. ~ Psalm 23:6 Application: Praise the Lord that He keeps you close. Praise the Lord that He is with you. Praise the Lord that you will dwell with Him forever.
Word Study for Psalm 41
1 blessed (asre—blessed!; how happy!; heightened state of joy; fortunate)
1 considers (sakal—get wisdom; gain understanding; be skilled; have insight; comprehend)
1 helpless (dal—low; weak; powerless; insignificant; humble)
1 deliver (malat—to save someone; rescue; spare)
2 protect (samar—keep; guard; watch; be secured; watch over)
3 restore (hapak—overturn; overthrow; demolish; turn around; change)
4 gracious (hanan—have mercy; be gracious; take pity; be kind; show compassion)
4 heal (rapa—repair; rebuild; sew together; mend)
4 sinned (hata—to miss a mark; to wrong; offend; culpable; at fault)
7 whisper (lahas—speak in low tones; incantations; charming; muttering)
9 trusted (batah—confide in; be confident in; feel safe; believe in)
10 raise up (quwm—to rise; arise; stand up; establish; be exalted)
12 set (nasab—to take one’s stand; make solid; to remain; to place; healthy)
12 uphold (tamak—to grasp; support; take hold of; hold securely)
12 integrity (tom—completeness; wholeness; blamelessness; innocence)
12 presence (paneh—face; in front; turned toward)
13 blessed (barak—kneel; worship; praise; extol; bless another; consecrate)
13 amen (amen—trustworthy; surely; truly; firm; secure; faithful)
Application for Psalm 41
Let’s think of creative ways to assist the helpless among us.
Let’s look to the Lord as our rescue.
Let’s see the protective love of the Lord over us.
Let’s cry out to the Lord in our most difficult moments.
Let’s confess our sin to the Lord.
Let’s not be that friend who betrays our friend.
Let’s live by faith in the Lord.
Let’s praise the Lord forever and ever.
Gospel Connections for Psalm 41
Jesus is with the helpless. Jesus rescues the helpless person from sin and death. Jesus protects that individual. Jesus keeps him alive. Jesus gives him abundant life now and always. Jesus is gracious. Jesus gives the godly person a repentant heart. Jesus leads the godly person through difficult times in life, even the betrayal of close friends. Jesus understands the betrayal of friends. Jesus repays evil with good. Jesus is victorious over evil. Jesus is with the godly person. Jesus is mighty. Jesus is over all. Jesus is worthy of worship from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.
Thoughts and Quotes for Psalm 41
You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run. ~ Augustine
Human beings by their very nature are worshipers. Worship is not something we do; it defines who we are. You cannot divide human beings into those who worship and those who don’t. Everybody worships; it’s just a matter of what, or whom, we serve. ~ Paul David Tripp
I have concluded that the more we seek the Lord, with a passion for His worthiness, the more we are gripped with our neediness. Adoration cultivates desperation. ~ Daniel Henderson
Faith is the road, but communion with Jesus is the well from which the pilgrim drinks. ~ Charles H. Spurgeon
We have come to worship things, status, fame, popularity, money, security. Anything that comes between God and ourselves is idolatry. Jesus demands Lordship over all such things. ~ Billy Graham
We become what we behold. ~ Matt Chandler