A Lesson from Psalm 41

In Psalm 41, David told of the mercy of God that is extended to those who have shown mercy to others. In the context of this psalm, we see that David was very ill, and he acknowledged that his present illness was a consequence of his own sin. Certainly not all illness and affliction is a

consequence of one’s own personal sins, as is clearly taught in the Book of Job (Job 1:1, 2:8, 2:3). However in the context of this psalm, David acknowledged his illness to be a result of his sin. Beginning in verse 1, we read:

 

How blessed is he who considers the helpless; The LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble. The LORD will protect him and keep him alive, And he shall be called blessed upon the earth;

And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies. The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed;

In his illness, You restore him to health.

 

As for me, I said, “O LORD, be gracious to me;

Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.” (Psalm 41:1-4)

 

The promises of God’s blessing that we find in these verses are given to those who show mercy to the weak. David taught that in return for the mercy that we extend to those who are helpless and in distress, the Lord will extend His mercy to us and deliver us in our own times of trouble.

 

Even as David acknowledged in verse 4 that his current affliction was a result of his own sin, he knew that God would remember the mercy and kindness he had shown to others in their weakness, vulnerability and need. God will remember our acts of mercy toward others, and He will in turn show His mercy to us in our time of need, even in the midst of His disciplines, which always come upon us as a consequence of our sin.

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