Jenny's Psalm Reflections: Psalm 41 v.1

Today’s verse is Psalm 41 v.1

“Happy are those who consider the poor, the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.”

Background:

Psalm 41 marks the end of the first book of Psalms. We’ve made a significant passage through these psalms since the COVID outbreak. This first grouping has been particularly resonant at this time as Psalms 1-41 emphasize how God is beside us. These are psalms voiced by David as an individual and are very personal, while the later books bring in the social and community aspects of life and work.

Psalm 41 gives assurance of God’s help and it is also a plea for healing. The psalmist in verses 2-5 appears to be the victim of a “whispering” campaign and it is affecting his own sense of worth. He prays to be “raised up” (verse 10), restored and rehabilitated while those about him mutter “empty words” (verse 6).

How often do we feel like this? Especially when everyone on social media seems to be having a marvellous time being bright, funny and witty? TV adverts are also always encouraging us to buy more, to look for products to slow down aging and make us beautiful but we should be confident in our own abilities and build others up. Sometimes when we have opposing views to the mainstream, we too can be talked about.

Illustration by jeremythomasart.co.uk
Illustration by jeremythomasart.co.uk

What is more important is that what we do and say should always reflect the love of God, through the love we show to others, especially the marginalised. That doesn’t mean that we have to be “soppy” and muffle the truth, for sometimes the truth is hard to hear. However, we do need to show integrity in a loving manner. As the Psalmist writes in verse 1, those who consider the poor and needy will be blessed by God. Sometimes that will make us vulnerable to criticism. However, we should continue to “live up” to God’s standards and not necessarily those of the world, and campaign or speak out for justice for all in our society.

Meditation

1. Find a quiet place.

Sit comfortably but alert – feet flat on the floor, back pushed hard against the back of the chair.

2. Focus as well on your breathing.

Pay attention to in-breaths and out-breaths. You may think of breathing in God’s life and peace and breathing out any tension.

3. Be aware of your body.

Let your aches and pains be there. Rest your feet on the floor; still being aware of them pressed firmly into the floor. Shrug your shoulders, ease your neck. Take time to become still.

4. Ask God how he can make your life count.

You may have some ideas already but read the words of verse 5 again slowly and listen to what your inner voice is saying.

5. Sit quietly and feel safe.

Hand over the situation to God.

6. Finish with this prayer:

God our deliverer and constant companion, help us through you to speak up for the poor and comfort the lost, through the one who for our sakes became poor and whose life was lost to bring about our salvation, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Posted on May 20th 2021

Loading... Updating page...