We move on today to Psalm 41, David praying for mercy when he is seriously ill.
However, the Psalm begins with the principle that the one who has regard for the weak (and we presume David is counting himself in this number) is blessed because the Lord will protect and deliver them when they are in trouble or are weak themselves.
Verse 4 is David’s cry to the Lord for mercy and healing, again acknowledging that this is a result of his own sin, and so there is a connecting theme with the previous 3 psalms (38-40) which all cover this type of circumstance.
What makes things worse here (vs.5-9) is that his illness is compounded by the malicious taunts and whispers of those around him who want the worse outcome for him, even his close friend, who he trusted, who shared his food with him (v.9).And you might recognise that thought as Jesus, the Son of David, applies this verse to Himself, when He tells His disciples in the Upper Room that He is about to be betrayed by one of them (John Chapter 13 verse 18) – do look it up.
So this Psalm/prayer ends in confidence (vs.10-13) that the Lord will raise him up, because the Lord is pleased with him, not because he is sinless, but because he is chosen by God and seeking to serve him.And of course these words are also a shadow of what is to come when the One who was sinless, and yet was put to death for our sin, was raised to life through the resurrection, and ascended back to heaven to be in the Father’s presence for ever.
So the end of the 1st book of Psalms ends with a worthy doxology of praise (v.13).
Having reached a breakpoint in our journey through the Psalms, and with all that is going on at the moment with the building move, and with preparations for Christmas closing in, I have decided to take a break from the daily email so I can recharge my own spiritual battery. As in recent years, I am going to use the season of Advent (which begins on Sunday) by getting stuck into a devotional book, and encourage you to do the same. Last year we read a book together, but I apologise that I haven’t managed to organise that again this year, but one option would be to read that again.Another would be to find something online, or from Eden https://www.eden.co.uk/, or the Good Book Company https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/.Also you could use the SAT-7 Advent prayer guides which Lynn brought last Sunday, there are still some left at church.
Although there won’t be a daily email in this style, there will still be regular emails from me giving out information about all that is happening over the next few weeks, so do look for those in your inbox.
In our cycle of prayer, let us pray for 2 more of our overseas contacts, praying for their ministries and their personal lives,- Frank and Val in Nazareth- Fekede Senbeto from Ethiopia, who is our new Crosslinks student who we are supporting financially and praying for. Fekede has been a pastor and evangelist in his church for the last 10 years on a voluntary basis, but is now undergoing further study to help him be more equipped in his ministry.
Let us continue to look to the Lord as individuals and as a church together to praise Him and trust Him as we move forward into the future.