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Bible Commentaries

Hamilton Smith's Writings

Psalms 41

Verses 1-13

PSALM 41

The humiliation of the godly but despised remnant in the midst of an ungodly nation. Christ's identification with the remnant and hence their blessing.

(vv. 1-3) The blessedness of the man who considers (or “understands”) the position of the godly remnant in Israel - here referred to as “the poor.” Christ, as we know from the Gospels, fully entered into this position, and tasted their sorrows (See Mat_5:3 ; Luk_6:20 ). Therefore there are expressions in the psalm which are used by Christ, though the psalm as a whole cannot be applied exclusively to Him. Nevertheless, seeing that Christ so perfectly entered into the position and sorrows of the poor of the flock, the blessedness consists, not only in considering the poor remnant, but very especially in recognizing Christ as the poor Man, who identified Himself with the godly.

It must indeed be blessed to pay attention to those who, like the poor of the flock, and like Christ who became poor, are the special care of the Lord. Such will be delivered in the time of trouble, preserved, kept alive, and blessed in the land, when delivered from all their enemies. They will be strengthened in weakness, and healed of their sicknesses.

(vv. 4-10) The verses that follow describe in detail the humiliations to which the godly in Israel have to submit from an ungodly nation. First, however, the soul casts itself upon the mercy of the Lord owning his sins that have called down the chastisement of the Lord.

His enemies, taking occasion by this chastisement, express their hatred of the godly, desiring his death. Nevertheless, they act with utter hypocrisy, visiting the godly to seek evil against them, fancied or real, and then spreading it abroad. They plot secretly against the godly man, devise mischief, malign him, and maliciously anticipate for him a speedy end. He is betrayed by one who affects the closest friendship - a trial which the Lord had to face ( Joh_13:18 ).

(vv. 10-12) In the presence of these humiliations the Lord is the resource of the godly man, to whom he looks for mercy and deliverance. He realizes the favour of the Lord, seeing the enemy is not allowed to triumph over him. He is upheld in his path of integrity and set before the face of the Lord for ever.

(v. 13) Seeing that Christ has so blessedly entered into the sufferings of the godly, the glorious outcome of all God's dealings with His people will be that the Lord God of Israel will be blessed from everlasting to everlasting.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 41". "Hamilton Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-41.html. 1832.