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Commentary » Psalms 41:1-Psalms 41:9 »

A Prayer For Protection

The late Vance Havner told a story of how he had taken a picture of his wife about two years before her death. After her death, he remembered that he still had the roll of film in his camera so he had it developed. As he looked at the pictures, there she was smiling at him out of … More


Psalm 41 is a lesson based on a prayer for help against treachery. In grace, God visited the writer with deliverance and put a song to rejoicing upon his lips. He concluded the preceding psalm by calling himself poor and needy. In this one, he begins by commending those who consider the poor, who regard the afflicted affectionately. It appears to have been written around the circumstances of the rebellion of Absalom against his father David. This passage describes David’s fears, his foes and his best friend.

  1. David’s fears (vv. 1-3) - He had a good cause to fear because his circumstances were serious indeed. The man who had never lost a battle and had led the Hebrew people into an international power had let the matters of state slip away from him. He no longer had a firm hand as leader of the kingdom. That is what sin had done for David. It was only the Lord who could preserve him and keep him alive (v. 2).
  2. David’s foes (vv.  4-8) - David has become the object of misrepresentation  and abuse.  Israel’s hearts have been stolen away by Absalom (II Sam. 15:3-4) who had  all of David’s wit and charisma but none of his honesty and spiritual life.
  3. David’s friends (v. 9) - Ahithopel, one of David’s best friends and counselor betrayed him and shifted his allegiance to Absalom (II Sam. 16:15-23). Bathsheba was Ahithopel’s grand daughter and despite his pretended friendship with David it seems he never forgave David for the seduction of his granddaughter and the murder of her husband. It is also evident that there is a messianic connotation given to this verse because the Lord quoted it in speaking of Judas Iscariot (John 13:18). As Ahithopel ate bread with David, so Judas dipped in the same dish with his Lord. Ahithophel is a type of Judas, as David is a type of Christ.


I need to remember to pray.  - No matter what happens in my life, God is still in control!!!

Psalms 41:1-9 (English Standard Version)

Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him; the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health. As for me, I said, "O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you!" My enemies say of me in malice, "When will he die, and his name perish?" And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers iniquity; when he goes out, he tells it abroad. All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me. They say, "A deadly thing is poured out on him; he will not rise again from where he lies." Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »