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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.

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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