Today’s Bible reading is Leviticus 23-24, Psalm 41, and Mark 13. Our devotional is from Psalm 41.
Psalm 41 challenges believers to consider their relationship with others and how they respond to them who disappoint and betray.
King David was at a low point in his life, physically and emotionally, when he composed this psalm. Rehearsing the LORD’s promise to hear and heed the cries of His people in their hour of need (41:1), David remembered God keeps watch over His people and delivers them out of trouble in His time (41:2). David writes,
Psalm 41:1-4 – “Blessed [Happy] is he that considereth [understands] the poor [weak; needy]: the LORD will deliver [save] him in time of trouble [sin; wickedness; evil]. 2 The LORD will preserve [keep; guard] him, and keep him alive [sustain]; and he shall be blessed [prosperous] upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver [abandon] him unto the will [desire] of his enemies [adversary; foe]. 3 The LORD will strengthen [support; uphold] him upon the bed [couch; canopy] of languishing [sorrow]: thou wilt make [turn; overthrow] all his bed in his sickness [disease; malady]. 4 I said, LORD, be merciful [gracious; show favor] unto me: heal [cure; purify] my soul [life]; for I have sinned [committed sin; guilty] against thee.”
David tossed and turned upon his bed; as sorrow and disappointment washed over his soul. He spent sleepless nights praying and waiting on the LORD (41:3). Searching his soul, David confessed his sin and believed God would show Him favor and restore him (41:4).
Psalm 41:5-6 – “Mine enemies speak [charge] evil [sin; wickedness] of me, When shall he die [be slain], and his name [fame; honor] perish [destroyed]? 6 And if he [enemy; adversary] come to see [look; behold] me, he speaketh [declare] vanity [deceit; lies]: his heart gathereth [collect; heap; take up] iniquity [sin; wickedness] to itself; when he goeth [go forth] abroad [in the streets], he telleth [speak; say; talk] it.”
Every saint who strives to serve the LORD and walk with integrity will inevitably face the bitter distress of betrayal. When you feel the sorrow of duplicity, remember the LORD felt the caress of Judas’ kiss upon His own cheek.
Psalm 41:7-8 – “All that hate me whisper [mumble] together [i.e. in chorus] against me: against me do they devise [imagine; fabricate] my hurt.8 An evil [wicked] disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth [lays down] he shall rise up no more.”
It is a terrible way when embittered souls wait the day they can take satisfaction in the fall of a pastor or a fellow believer (41:8).
Psalm 41:9 gives us insight into the personal nature of the betrayal that befell David.
Psalm 41:9 – “Yea, mine own familiar [close] friend, in whom I trusted [a confidant], which did eat [devour; consume] of my bread [food; meal], hath lifted up his heel [foot] against me [magnified himself].”
David’s adversary wanted to grind the king under his heel and humiliate him. His enemy waited for the satisfaction of the king’s demise. Although not identified by name, I believe David’s enemy was either Absalom, the king’s own son (2 Samuel 15) or Ahithophel, the king’s trusted counselor (2 Samuel 16:23).
Let’s take a lesson from David’s life and remember betrayal and sorrow is the affliction of saints who walk with integrity and minister to others with abandon.
Be watchful you do not become embittered when you suffer injustices and betrayals; after all, the LORD suffered the same and He will never abandon you (Psalm 41:10-13).
Copyright 2019 – Travis D. Smith