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41. Psalm 41

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

2The 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12 And as for me, thou wilt uphold me in my integrity Some expound the clause thus: That, as David followed after uprightness, God had stretched out the hand to him. But this interpretation does not agree very well with a preceding sentence, in which he acknowledged that he had been justly punished by God. The calamity which had befallen him exposed him to the insult and derision of his enemies; but it is not likely that they were the authors of it: and hence, it would have been out of place to have adduced his integrity for this purpose, because the Lord is said to have respect to our integrity, when he defends us against our enemies, and delivers us from the outrage of men. We must therefore seek another meaning. The Hebrew word which we have rendered integrity might be referred to the body as well as the mind, thus: I shall continue sound, because thou wilt preserve and establish me. He seems, however, to extend the favor of God still farther; as if he had said, that he had been assisted not only once by his hand, but that, during the whole course of the period he had enjoyed prosperity, he had always been upheld in safety by the power of God. If any would rather understand by this term the piety and sincere disposition for which David was distinguished, — and this meaning would be very suitable, — it will not follow from this that David boasts of his past life, but only that he declares that, when brought to the test, or in the midst of the conflict, even although Satan and wicked men endeavored to shake his faith, he had not turned aside from the fear of God. By these words, then, he bears testimony to his patience, because, when sorely vexed and tormented, he had not forsaken the path of uprightness. If this meaning should be adopted, it must be observed, that this benefit, namely, that David continued invincible, and boldly sustained these assaults of temptation, is immediately after ascribed to God, and that for the future, David looked for preservation by no other means than by the sustaining power of God. If the language should be understood as referring to his external condition, this will be found to suit equally well the scope of the passage, and the meaning will be this, That God will never cease to manifest his favor, until he has preserved his servants in safety, even to the end. As to the form of expression, that God establishes them before his face, this is said of those whom he defends and preserves in such a manner, that he shows by evident tokens the paternal care which he exercises over them; as, on the other hand, when he seems to have forgotten his own people, he is said to hide his face from them.

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