In the Midst of Enemies

OPENING PRAYER

God, rather than be weighed down by difficulty, I lean on Your strength to sustain and deliver.

 

Read: PSALM 41:1-13

[1] For the director of music. A psalm of David. Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble. [2] The LORD protects and preserves them- they are counted among the blessed in the land- he does not give them over to the desire of their foes. [3] The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness. [4] I said, “Have mercy on me, LORD; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”[5] My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die and his name perish?” [6] When one of them comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it around. [7] All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, [8] “A vile disease has afflicted him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.” [9] Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. [10] But may you have mercy on me, LORD; raise me up, that I may repay them. [11] I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. [12] Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever. [13] Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen. 

 

Reflect: HOW DOES DAVID RESPOND TO HIS DISTRESS?

In this psalm David is on his sick bed and is surrounded by enemies—a good reminder that the Bible is located in the real world! There is no pretense in following Christ; we are not expected to sweep our troubles under the carpet and pretend as if everything were OK. The psalms give us a vocabulary for expressing our hearts to God. In verses 1–3 David describes the blessings that are promised to people who show mercy to the weak, and he uses this as a basis for his plea for help from the Lord. It is a good reminder to us over the Christmas season of indulgence to remember to be generous to and supportive of others. God cares about those in need, and we should too.Then in verses 4–9 David lays out his own situation. If you can relate to his suffering at the hands of cruel people, bring that experience to the Lord in prayer. David then turns to prayer (10), asking the Lord for mercy. Verses 11 and 12 suggest that he experiences relief in God’s presence as he closes his psalm with words of praise (13).

 

APPLY

Think about the people who have hurt you, and pray for God’s mercy. Then praise God for all of his blessings.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

You are gracious, Lord. I want to be gracious as You have been to me.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

Terry Schneider