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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Psalms 41



Verses 1-13

You will see, dear friends, from these holy songs, that the saints of God in those olden days were not screened from trials and troubles, but were tempted in all points like as we are. If we happen to be in similar trying circumstances, let us take comfort from their experiences; the footsteps of the flock that has gone before should make the sheep feel that it is not lost. Psalms 41 To the chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

Psalms 41:1. Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.

David delivered others, and God will deliver him. When he is poor and needy, God will think upon him, even as he considered the poor and the needy when they cried unto him.

Psalms 41:2-3. The 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. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.

God will be condescendingly gentle to such as are kind and gentle to the poor. If we love God first, and then exhibit the result of that love in our care for the poor and the needy, we shall certainly be recompensed, for he that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord, and the Lord will pay him back, — sometimes in his own coin, and oftener in a coin of heavenly currency. Let us take note of this, and let us never harden our heart against the poor and the needy in the time of their extremity.

Psalms 41:4. I said, Lord, be merciful unto me:

David had been very kind to the poor at all times; but when he gets into trouble, he does not plead that, he just mentions it, but the main stress of his pleading is quite in another direction, namely, for mercy: “I said, Lord be merciful unto me.”

Psalms 41:4-5. Heal my soul; for have sinned against thee. Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?

But good men do not die to please wicked men, and sometimes, when the good men have been dead and buried, and their memory has been insulted by the wicked, they have risen up again in their posthumous influence. Good men live too long for the wicked, but they live as long as God wills that they should; they are immortal till their work is done. The story of Wycliffe is but a typical case of what has often happened. When the monks gathered round his bed, and expected that their opponent would soon be gone, he said, “I shall not die, but live,” and so he did; and even after he had died, he continued to be a living power in the land; indeed, we know not how much of the blessings we enjoy is the result of the light that was shed upon England by “the morning star of the Reformation.”

Psalms 41:6. And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.

Those are bad visitors to the sick who, when they speak, talk only nonsense or that which galls the sufferer; and then, when they go out, begin to tell an idle tale against him to his injury.

Psalms 41:7-9. All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt. An evil disease, say they, cleaveth .fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

Many a child of God has had his character whispered down by slanderers, many a man has had a hard time of it through the evil speaking of men of the world; yea, even the Lord of saints and the King of pilgrims knew what it was to find a traitor in his most familiar friend, and to receive the basest ingratitude from one who had eaten of his bread. Do not be carried away with too much sorrow if you are slandered or betrayed; better men than you have suffered through this fearful evil. Therefore, take the trouble to your Lord, and bear it with such patience as he will give you.

Psalms 41:10-11. But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them. By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.

“He may think that he shall triumph over me, he may even begin in his mind to divide the spoil; but he shall never really get it: ‘Mine enemy doth not triumph over me.’”

Psalms 41:12-13. And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

That is the sick man’s praise; it is full of fervor and full of life. Let us never rob God of the revenue of his praises; let us not have such a cupboard love for him that we only praise him when he gives us good things. Let us bless his name just as much when he takes away, when he afflicts, when he chastises. That is true praise which comes from the bed of affliction, and from a heart that is sore broken with sorrow. Now in the next Psalm we find the good man in trouble again.

This exposition consisted of readings from Psalms 41, 42.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 41:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 23rd, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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