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Psalms 5; 38; 41-42 Listen
To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David.
1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
David is named in the introduction as the author of this one. This seems to be a waking-up prayer. "Nehiloth" means "wind instruments." It was likely written to the guy in charge of the wind-instrument section of the choir. Remember back in I Chronicles 15 (see notes) when David appointed a very large number of Levites to make up a choir and orchestra? Now he's giving them material. Paul quotes from verse 9 in Romans 3:13 (see notes) as he writes about the depravity of man when he wrote, "Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips."
Who are these wicked about whom David is speaking. He reveals their identity in verse 10 when he says of them, "...they have rebelled against thee." So...these aren't just people who have resisted David and his leadership, but those who have rebelled against God himself. David is calling upon God for the destruction of these enemies of God. And the righteous? Blessings be upon them.
A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.
1 O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.
3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.
11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.
12 They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
13 But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.
14 Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
15 For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
16 For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.
17 For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.
18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
19 But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.
20 They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.
21 Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.
22 Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.
Psalm 38 was written by David and is one of the seven penitential psalms, the others being Psalm 6 (see notes), Psalm 32 (see notes), Psalm 51 (see notes), Psalm 102 (see notes), Psalm 130 (see notes) and Psalm 143 (see notes). David may be sick, but he's not too sick to write down his thoughts in the form of a poem. It is obvious that he considers his infirmity a result of sinning against God, as seen in verses 1-5. In verses 6-11, David describes some of the symptoms of his physical ailment. Apparently his symptoms are so obvious that he is considered contagious by his friends. Without question, David is repenting (verses 12-17) as he further credits God with bringing chastisement upon him for the sin. Look at verse 18, "For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin." Whatever he has carries some horrific symptoms. And then there are his enemies; they're rejoicing in his illness. David cries out for forgiveness and healing.
David's looking for a little relief (Psalm 41)
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
1 Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
2 The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
3 The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
4 I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
5 Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?
6 And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.
7 All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
8 An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.
9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
10 But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
11 By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
12 And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.
13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.
In this Psalm David talks about restoration from sickness again as he did in Psalm 38 (see above). It must be severe sickness; David refers to it as "an evil disease" in verse 8. As before, he ties this illness to sin as he says in verse 4, "I have sinned against thee." He asks God to restore him so that his enemies will not gain pleasure from his infirmity. Notice verse 5, "Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?" He calls upon God to fulfill his promise to preserve him so that he might triumph over his enemies. And when David is considered by those around him to be near death (verse 8), even his close friend turns on him (verse 9).
The author uses a metaphor (Psalm 42)
To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.
1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
It is impossible to say with certainty who wrote this Psalm - could be David. In the introduction, "Maschil" means an instructive poem. As the deer longs for a taste of water, so does my soul long for God. Here, the author is writing while waiting for deliverance, and in a few of these verses we see discouragement. However, the author is certain God will deliver him; you simply must focus on your faith relationship with the Lord.