Hey everyone, I’m very excited to report that writing for Psalm 41 has wrapped up! It’s a bit of a milestone, I guess – did you know that Psalm 41 marks the end of “Book 1” in the book of Psalms? Psalm 41 concludes with a refrain of praise that serves as an “ending” to Book 1: “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen” (Psalm 41:13).
Psalm 41 opens with the phrase, “Blessed is the one who considers the poor” (Psalm 41:1). The “blessed one” may in part describe the speaker, who is bedridden but trusts in the LORD’s deliverance because of his own kindness to the poor, or the speaker may be referring to anyone kind enough to treat him well in his poor estate. It has also a general application to anyone who considers the poor – the LORD will protect him, preserve him, call him blessed in the land, and not give him over to his enemies (2). The psalmist (presumably David) goes on to describe, however, bitter mistreatment by his enemies.
Then it gets really interesting. In verse 8, the enemies’ rumors and taunts about him include the taunt, “He will not rise from where he lies” because a “deadly” (or “wicked”) thing has been poured out on him. If that connection to Christ’s suffering and resurrection isn’t strong enough, the next verse, “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (9) is quoted by Jesus in John 13:18 as being a direct prophecy of Judas’ betrayal. This makes Psalm 41 a Messianic Psalm.
The Psalm ends in confidence and triumph in God’s deliverance, and a declaration that God has set His servant “In His presence forever” (12).
Praise be to God from this time forth and forevermore for the marvelous gift of His Word to us!