Book #1: 1-41, cont’d.
Some see a close comparison between this Psalm and the 5th BeAttitude that Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount:
Matthew 5:7 (NASV)
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Psalm 41:1-3-We are blessed and delivered from trouble when we do the same to others. The Lord is the One Who will deliver us, protects us, and keep us alive.
Psalm 41:4-9-David admits that he has sinned. But, he says that his enemies give false, damaging reports about him…that misrepresent and amplify his sin. The sad part is that a close friend has betrayed him. This verse is a picture of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas (cf. John 13:18-19 where this verse is quoted).
Psalm 41:10-12-But God shows that He is pleased with David by not allowing his enemies to overcome him. In fact, God even defends David’s integrity.
Psalm 41:13-This verse is the doxology that closes Book #1 of the Psalms. See these Psalms for the doxologies of the next 4 books: 72:18-19; 89:52; 106:48; 150:1-6.
Book #2: 42-72
Psalms 42 and 43 are a single poem, or song. The writer is exiled in northern Palestine (42:6) and here he expresses his longing to return to the Temple in Jerusalem. Twelve Psalms are dedicated to the “sons” (descendants) of Korah (Psalms 42-49, 84-85, 87-88). They were singers in the Temple choir (cf. 2 Chronicles 20:19).
Psalm 42:1-5-The writer speaks of his intense desire to be in God's presence (:1-2). How beautiful and picturesque are these words. Then, he says that his enemies mock his faith in God to protect him. As if saying, "Where is God now?" (:3). He nostalgically recalls the days past when he would join with others as they would joyously enter the Temple on days of celebration (:4). He speaks words of encouragement and hope to himself…that he will do so, again (:5).
Psalm 42:6-11-The writer identifies where he is at the time of his writing. The “peaks of Hermon” is a 20-mile long ridge of mountains that is located 40 miles northeast of the Sea of Galilee. “Mount Mizar” is apparently in the same vicinity but is not specifically identified. “Deep calls to deep” means that in the same way that the water at the headwaters of the Jordan floods over the rocks in wave after wave…so his sorrow floods over his heart in wave after wave. It is an overwhelming flow of sorrow (:7). Again, he gives him reassurance that despite that fact that he is not in Jerusalem, God is with him both day and night (:8). His enemies only compound his struggle. As if it isn’t enough that he is separated from his beloved Jerusalem and the Temple…his enemies constantly hound him. They belittle his faith in God and question God’s ability to save him (:9-10). Again, the writer speaks words of encouragement to himself. He makes a bold statement of faith that the day will come again when he will praise God (:11).
Psalm 43:1-5-He now has a change of heart. His confidence in God returns and he says that he will yet return to worship in Jerusalem. Notice that three times in Psalms 42 and 43 the psalmist writes, “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him…” (42:5,11; 43:5).
Prayer: Lord, when I am struggling in my soul and You seem far away…please give me the faith to say, “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him.” Let Your Spirit be my strength and confidence during those days. Give me the faith to see beyond the moment and through the circumstances…until I see You.