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Psalm 41

Assurance of God’s Help and a Plea for Healing

To the leader. A Psalm of David.


Happy are those who consider the poor;

the L ord delivers them in the day of trouble.


The L ord protects them and keeps them alive;

they are called happy in the land.

You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.


The L ord sustains them on their sickbed;

in their illness you heal all their infirmities.



As for me, I said, “O L ord, be gracious to me;

heal me, for I have sinned against you.”


My enemies wonder in malice

when I will die, and my name perish.


And when they come to see me, they utter empty words,

while their hearts gather mischief;

when they go out, they tell it abroad.


All who hate me whisper together about me;

they imagine the worst for me.



They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me,

that I will not rise again from where I lie.


Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted,

who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.


But you, O L ord, be gracious to me,

and raise me up, that I may repay them.



By this I know that you are pleased with me;

because my enemy has not triumphed over me.


But you have upheld me because of my integrity,

and set me in your presence forever.



Blessed be the L ord, the God of Israel,

from everlasting to everlasting.

Amen and Amen.

4. I have said, O Jehovah! have mercy upon me. By this verse he shows that in his adversity he did not seek to soothe his mind by flattery, as the greater part of men do, who endeavor to assuage their sorrows by some vain consolation. And, certainly, the man who is guided by the Spirit of God will, when warned of God by the afflictions with which he is visited, frankly acknowledge his sins, and quietly submit to the admonitions of his brethren, nay, he will even anticipate them by a voluntary confession. David here lays down a mark by which he distinguishes himself from the reprobate and wicked, when he tells us that he earnestly entreated that his sin might not be laid to his charge, and that he had sought refuge in the mercy of God. He indeed requests that some alleviation might be granted to him under the affliction which he endured: but he rises to a higher source of relief, when he asks that through the forgiveness of his sins he might obtain reconciliation to God. Those, as we have said elsewhere, invert the natural order of things, who seek a remedy only for the outward miseries under which they labor, but all the while neglect the cause of them; acting as a sick man would do who sought only to quench his thirst, but never thought of the fever under which he labors, and which is the chief cause of his trouble. Before David, therefore, speaks at all of the healing of his soul, that is to say, of his life 104104     “C’est a dire, de sa vie.” — Fr. he first says, Have mercy upon me: and with this we must connect the reason which immediately follows — for I have sinned against thee. In saying so, he confesses that God is justly displeased with him, and that he can only be restored again to his favor by his sins being blotted out. I take the particle כי, ki, in its proper and natural signification, and not adversatively, as some would understand it. He asks then that God would have mercy upon him because he had sinned. From that proceeds the healing of the soul, which he interposes between his prayer and confession, as being the effect of the compassion and mercy of God; for David expects that as soon as he had obtained forgiveness, he would also obtain relief from his affliction.

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