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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary
Psalms 41

 

 

Verse 5

HUMAN FOES AND DIVINE FRIEND

‘Mine enemies.… But Thou, O Lord!’

Psalms 41:5; Psalms 41:10

I. It was a season of bodily suffering.—The Psalmist was prone on a couch of languishing; his discomfort was increased by the consciousness of guilt, and aggravated by the ingratitude of friends and the calumny of foes. His enemies spoke evil against him, wondering when he would die and his name perish. They gloated over his misfortunes. Under such conditions he began to ask with new desire for healing: ‘Heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee.’ ‘Have mercy upon me, and raise me up.’

II. How suitable is this prayer for us all!—‘Heal my soul, for it is stricken with many diseases.’ John describes our Lord’s miracles as signs, because each one sets forth an ailment of the inner life, and the Divine method of treatment. Some blind, some paralysed, some on the verge of death—the Great Physician is bending over us. By faith let us derive healing virtue as we touch the hem of His garment. The Lord Jesus referred Psalms 41:9 to Judas, except the clause about trusting; for from the first He had been aware of the untrustworthiness of the traitor.

III. But what comfort there is in turning from faithless friends and persistent foes to the Divine vindication!—He who vindicated Abel, whilst his blood was yet warm, has done as much for all His murdered and misunderstood saints; and He will set them before His face for ever in that world where they see eye to eye, and are face to face with faithfulness that cannot forget, a truth that cannot deceive, a love which cannot misunderstand.

Illustrations

(1) ‘Of whom could the words “Happy he who deals considerately with the afflicted” be so truly used as of Him who applies other words of the forty-first psalm to Himself?’

(2) ‘That promise to God’s child, “All his bed thou turnest in his sickness,” has been touchingly paraphrased, “Thou art wont to soothe him as one soothes a sick man, who turns his whole bed over and over that he may lie softer and get some rest.”’


Verse 10

HUMAN FOES AND DIVINE FRIEND

‘Mine enemies.… But Thou, O Lord!’

Psalms 41:5; Psalms 41:10

I. It was a season of bodily suffering.—The Psalmist was prone on a couch of languishing; his discomfort was increased by the consciousness of guilt, and aggravated by the ingratitude of friends and the calumny of foes. His enemies spoke evil against him, wondering when he would die and his name perish. They gloated over his misfortunes. Under such conditions he began to ask with new desire for healing: ‘Heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee.’ ‘Have mercy upon me, and raise me up.’

II. How suitable is this prayer for us all!—‘Heal my soul, for it is stricken with many diseases.’ John describes our Lord’s miracles as signs, because each one sets forth an ailment of the inner life, and the Divine method of treatment. Some blind, some paralysed, some on the verge of death—the Great Physician is bending over us. By faith let us derive healing virtue as we touch the hem of His garment. The Lord Jesus referred Psalms 41:9 to Judas, except the clause about trusting; for from the first He had been aware of the untrustworthiness of the traitor.

III. But what comfort there is in turning from faithless friends and persistent foes to the Divine vindication!—He who vindicated Abel, whilst his blood was yet warm, has done as much for all His murdered and misunderstood saints; and He will set them before His face for ever in that world where they see eye to eye, and are face to face with faithfulness that cannot forget, a truth that cannot deceive, a love which cannot misunderstand.

Illustrations

(1) ‘Of whom could the words “Happy he who deals considerately with the afflicted” be so truly used as of Him who applies other words of the forty-first psalm to Himself?’

(2) ‘That promise to God’s child, “All his bed thou turnest in his sickness,” has been touchingly paraphrased, “Thou art wont to soothe him as one soothes a sick man, who turns his whole bed over and over that he may lie softer and get some rest.”’

 


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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Psalms 41:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/psalms-41.html. 1876.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, January 19th, 2020
Second Sunday after Epiphany
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