Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 41 – D

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 41:11-13
By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.
But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever.
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.

Let’s summarize what we have discussed in the last few posts regarding Psalm 41.

David started out this psalm with a statement of blessing upon the one who considers the poor, and the reciprocal reaction of the Lord toward the saint when he is in trouble, keeping him alive and giving the saint a good name, being called blessed in the land.

He continues with his confession of sin, and experiencing an attack from his enemies. The attack appeared to be the spreading of malice, empty words and whispering against the king.

Our last posting described the continued attack upon David and his throne through the betrayal of David’s familiar friend, Ahithophel, joining his son Absalom in the rebellion. He ended the passage from our last post with his request to the Lord to raise him up, that he may repay his enemies.

In our passage above, David states his dependence on the Lord to respond favorably to his request for deliverance. He is looking for the Lord to provide deliverance, giving a proof of His delight in him. The deliverance will provide David an opportunity to find justice over his enemies and be restored to the throne.

And then he speaks of the Lord upholding him due to his integrity.

What? Now I am confused!

In our last post I suggested the betrayal of Ahithophel may have sprung from David’s sin with Bathsheba, his greatest fall from grace. David now claims the Lord upheld him in his integrity? How does a fall from grace relate to this claimed integrity of David? David claimed an integrity during this trial, and the Lord Himself described David as one with integrity of heart when Solomon came to the throne.

And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, – 1 Kings 9:4

Am I confusing innocence with integrity? Can the saint walk in integrity, though having fallen in sin?

Let me go out on a limb and suggest that the integrity David walked in included an active response to his own sin. He did not seek to deceive his God in denying his sin before the Lord, as we will continue to see as we travel the psalms. This teaching is somewhat similar to the teaching of the New Testament believer being blameless. Let me explain.

The believer is admonished to be blameless in a number of New Testament passages, one of which is Philippians 1:10

so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, – Philippians 1:10

As you read the verses leading up to verse 10, you will find that Paul is encouraging the believer to grow in their knowledge and discernment. This has always fascinated me, in that the believer is encouraged to find the Lord’s will, which may include possible mistakes or errors. Through these efforts, the believer gains knowledge of the Lord’s will and thus discernment. Paul speaks of the saint “approving” what is excellent, implying that some actions are to be disapproved, and possibly an error for that particular saint. How can the saint then be blameless, if he is not in the Lord’s will completely and fully at all times?

As I walk my faith out, I may hurt of offend a brother. Let’s say I exercise my thieving side, and steal something from a brother. I then repent and go to my brother the next day, confess my fault, offer restitution and ask for forgiveness. At this point, I understand I have regained my blamelessness before my brother and God. My brother can forgive me, or reject my appeal, but he can no longer blame me in good conscience.

So, in simple terms, blamelessness is the condition of a good conscience toward our brothers and God.

It turns out that David is a stellar example of this, in that the Word describes David as a man after God’s own heart, and yet he experienced a great fall. In the midst of this fall, when challenged of his sin, he repented and found mercy.

As may be apparent by now, I do not understand blamelessness to be sinless perfection, but a brutal honesty before those we relate to. David was brutally honest with his God, and the Lord looks for this in His people.

Psalm 41 ends with David stating that the Lord set him in his presence forever. David was in the Lord’s presence at the very time of the psalm being written, and that David experienced the presence of the Lord during his time on earth. He didn’t state that he would be in the presence of the Lord in the future only, but that the Lord “set him” in His presence, even at that current time!

This is the God we serve. Out of the greatest fall in David’s life came a threat that potentially would remove David from his Throne, and extinguish his life from the earth. And yet, God “set’s” him in His presence forever.

As we walk this sod, let us remember to imitate the Lord’s grace, not allowing evil to triumph but to overcome evil with good. As you go about your day, watch for opportunities to be gracious to those who may seek your harm. Disarm your enemies with love!

But let us not forget how this relates to the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Word speaks ultimately of Him. Per verse 11, we know that God delights in His Son, and that the enemy did not shout in triumph over Him, but that His resurrection proved to be the enemies downfall.

Join me in confessing with David – Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel! Jesus is “set” as the King over all, forever and to everlasting.

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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3 thoughts on “Psalms for Psome – Ps 41 – D

  1. An interesting review of the Psalm, you raise the point of Integrity – in Hebrew the word denotes Fulnness, complete, or whole. In humans this is used to emphasise the personal commitment or devotion to Jehovah God. So King David could show integrity although not being sinless. If Jehovah decided that he had to die for the sin with Bathsheba it is evident that King David would not have railed against this decision.
    He accepted the consequences of his sin, and remained loyal to his god.

    His forgiveness was on the basis not of his personal righteousness but on the conviction God had that Jesus would live up to his promise and become the Ransom for all humanity past and future.


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