Psalm 41

Journal 2005

How blessed is he who considers the helpless.

The Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble (Psalm 41:1 NASB).

The Psalms are a mystery to me sometimes. I believe David’s words are inspired Scripture, but I don’t read them as universal truths or commands. For example, Psalm 41:2 says, “The Lord will protect him and keep him alive.” If this statement were a truism, a promise from God, and God didn’t protect him just ONE TIME, then this statement is false. So what does this mean? That David meant it figuratively (that he’d be kept alive in heaven?) or was it true for him and he said this applying to all men? Was this simply his perception?

Matthew Henry’s commentary suggests: “Either this is about David, or this is about how his friends have treated him.” This is not a universal promise to all mankind, but more of a comfort to David in his present circumstances.

David writes about himself, his wishes, prayers, and struggles and how he views his world. I think we’re looking into the heart of a man who expresses himself poetically. Perhaps a better understanding of Hebrew poetry is the key.

Anyone care to jump in and wrestle along with me on how to interpret the Psalms?