Monday, October 3, 2011

Psalm 41 - Blessed are the Merciful

LINK: Psalm 41

BACKGROUND 

David mentions sickness (41:8, 10) and sin (41:4) in this psalm, indicating he was in distress and danger from enemies plotting against him. Therefore, commentators usually put the time of this psalm during Absalom's rebellion because David could not lead the nation due to illness in 2 Samuel 15:1-6. Consequently, Absalom took advantage of this to try to become king. David's "close friend" in 41:9 could have been David's counselor, Ahithophel (2 Samuel 16:15-17:29).

This is a prayer for God's mercy when one feels sick and abandoned. According to covenant stipulations (Leviticus 26:1-13; Deuteronomy 7:13-16; 28:1-14), David could not ask for mercy unless he himself had been merciful to others. From our reading thus far, he had shown mercy to King Saul, Saul's grandson, Mephibosheth, and Shimei the Benjamite.  Jesus told us of blessings when we show mercy too (Matthew 5:7 and Luke 6:37-38).

David knew that God was always at his side though all his sufferings. He knew that God set David in His "presence forever" (41:12). 

The Scarlet Thread of Redemption

Jesus quoted 41:9 in reference to Judas (John 13:38).  

APPLICATION 

How can you show mercy today?

PRAYER

Lord, thank You for Your mercy. Help us to show mercy to others today. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. 
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