Psalm 41

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
    the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them –
    they are counted among the blessed in the land –
    he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sick-bed
    and restores them from their bed of illness.

I said, ‘Have mercy on me, Lord;
    heal me, for I have sinned against you.’
My enemies say of me in malice,
    ‘When will he die and his name perish?’
When one of them comes to see me,
    he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
    then he goes out and spreads it around.

All my enemies whisper together against me;
    they imagine the worst for me, saying,
‘A vile disease has afflicted him;
    he will never get up from the place where he lies.’
Even my close friend,
    someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
    has turned against me.

10 But may you have mercy on me, Lord;
    raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me,
    for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
    and set me in your presence for ever.

13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

I would love to know what was going on as David wrote this psalm. I wonder whether the person who has ‘regard for the weak’ mentioned at the beginning is him referring to himself? I wonder who he had looked out for that led to him facing adversity. Sometimes we have to make the hard choice, don’t we? Sometimes standing up for the weak can leave us in a pretty unprotected position ourselves. Sometimes it might not feel like God has our back as David seems to suggest, if we’re really honest. But he does. Our God is a God concerned for the weak and defenceless and he charges his people to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with him (Micah 6:8). And when we do, we know that we are people of integrity kept safe under the shadow of his wing.

Questions for thought and discussion

  • How can you act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God in the week to come?
  • How can we help our young people to cultivate hearts of compassion towards those who would seem weak?