Psalm 38 — Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord
Psalm 39 — What is the Measure of my Days?
Psalm 40 — My Help and My Deliverer
Psalm 41 — O Lord, Be Gracious to Me
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One Reply to “Apr 5 — Psalms 38-41”
The NIV Study Bible notes point out that “The final four psalms in Book I are all linked by common central themes,” namely: confession.
Psalm 38 is a desperate psalm with an urgent request for God’s deliverance. The key verse to me is “Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God” (38:15). This is one assurance we all have in Christ!
Psalm 39 – I heard this quite a bit growing up: “If you don’t have anything good to say, keep your mouth shut.” Psalm 39:1 sounds pretty similar. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you” (39:7) points to a key theme: hope. Through Christ, we offer hope. But that hope is not from within, rather it is from God.
Psalm 40 continues these idea, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him” (40:3). “But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me” (40:17) reminds me of Jesus’ words on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), blessed are those that recognize their desperate situation without Christ. It’s this humility that allows us to come into his presence.
Psalm 41 – “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread has turned against me” (41:9) is referred to in John 13:18, “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture.” Just after Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, he tells them about the pending betrayal, the suffering he must endure.
The overall image I keep getting from these psalms is one of humble submission to God, true humility. In our Proverbs study, Thomas pointed out that the world teaches us to look for wisdom from within, but the Lord tells us (again and again), that he is the source of true wisdom. We must look to God with humble hearts, we must wait patiently, there is our hope! “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.” (41:13).