Friday, March 23, 2012

Show Mercy

[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David]

1 Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

2 The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.

3 The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.

4 I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.

5 Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?

6 And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.

7 All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.

8 An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.

9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

10 But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.

11 By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.

12 And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.

13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

—Psalm 41 KJV Bible

This psalm of David is an amplification of the beatitude later spoken by Jesus and recorded in Matthew 5:7 ("Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy"). This principal of mercy is repeated in Proverbs 19:17. In the song, David instructs the congregation that the merciful will receive mercy. He recalls his experience with those who did not show him mercy and praises God, who did.

In verses 1 through 3, David instructs the congregation that the merciful will receive mercy. David explains that God will be their protector and will care for them.

In verses 4 through 9, David recalls his experience with those who did not show him mercy. In verse 4, David says he sinned by breaking God’s rules. Some think David is referring to the time when he sent Uriah to die, so that David might marry Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:6-17). When David was ill, many came to visit him. David thought they were his friends, but they were not. They were looking for bad things to say about David. They wanted him to die so that there would be a new king. Some suggest this is a reference to the time surrounding the rebellion of David's son Absalom (2 Samuel 15-18).

In verse 9, David records a betrayal by a false friend. This act is echoed in the actions of Judas Iscariot. The Apostle John records Jesus' use of the passage at the Last Supper, but the phrase "in whom I trusted" is omitted (John 13:18-19).

In verses 10 through 12, David praises God, who did show David mercy. By the fact that he is not a captive of his enemy, David knows that God is pleased with David.

In verse 13, David closes with a doxology of praise to God. This doxology marks the close of the first of the five Books of the Psalms. The other four Books are Psalms 42 through 72, Psalms 73 through 89, Psalms 90 through 106, and Psalms 107 through 150.

Father, though I do not deserve it, I thank You for Your mercy to me. I ask You for eyes to see needs and a heart to be merciful.


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