Psalms 41 Commentary

Psalm 41 A friend’s treachery

At the time of the writing of this psalm, David was ill and unable to help himself. One of his closest friends took the opportunity to act treacherously against him. The psalm would suit such circumstances as when his trusted adviser Ahithophel plotted his overthrow by organizing the rebellion of Absalom (see v. 9; cf. 2 Sam 15:12,31).

Those who help the needy will themselves receive help from God when they are in trouble (1-3).

David knows that many are glad to see him lying helpless because of his sickness and are hoping he will die. To his face they say that they hope he will recover, but behind his back they plot against him (4-6). They encourage one another with the news that he has no hope of recovery (7-9).

David prays that he will recover so that he can deal with the plotters (10). He is confident that his uprightness before God will guarantee God’s help and so bring him victory (11-13).

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