With anticipation the people wondered: when would the king be born? You can hear a mother telling her children, “Don’t worry, my child. The king is coming.”
At Christmas we celebrate Jesus’ birth. He was born to live the life we couldn’t live, a life of perfection in every way. He died the death that we deserved to die; he died in our place. His death paid the penalty for our sin. He rose from the dead on the third day, rising as a victorious conqueror over death, hell, the devil and the grave.
On the night before he died, Jesus was betrayed by one of his closest friends. Yet he rose victoriously. He is the eternal king!
King David wrote Psalm 41 and saw much of it fulfilled in his lifetime in regards to his reign as an earthly king. However, Psalm 41 has its ultimate fulfillment in the life of Jesus, and it has implications for our lives today.
1 Happy is one who is considerate of the poor; the LORD will save him in a day of adversity.
2 The LORD will keep him and preserve him; he will be blessed in the land. You will not give him over to the desire of his enemies. 3 The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed; you will heal him on the bed where he lies. 4 I said, “LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.” 5 My enemies speak maliciously about me: “When will he die and be forgotten?” 6 When one of them comes to visit, he speaks deceitfully; he stores up evil in his heart; he goes out and talks. 7 All who hate me whisper together about me; they plan to harm me. 8 “Something awful has overwhelmed him, and he won’t rise again from where he lies!?”
9 Even my friend in whom I trusted, one who ate my bread, has raised his heel against me.
10 But you, LORD, be gracious to me and raise me up; then I will repay them. 11 By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy does not shout in triumph over me. 12 You supported me because of my integrity and set me in your presence forever. 13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen.
The king cares for all people, including the poor (v1). It is normal for kings and other leaders to associate with the rich and powerful people of society. It is normal for kings to ignore the poor. But that was not the way David operated and it certainly wasn’t the way Jesus operated. Jesus cared for all people, including the poor. We should follow his example.
The king stands strong against opposition (vv2-8). In life, we will face challenges, obstacles and opposition. The more we seek to obey the Lord, the more opposition we may find. Stand strong against opposition in the strength of the Lord. They may mock you, despise you, ignore you or worse. Rely on the Lord and stand strong. He is faithful to sustain you, strengthen you and give you perseverance. David stood strong. Jesus stood strong. You can too.
The king realizes that people may betray him (v9). David was betrayed by people from his own household and inner circle of leaders. He was betrayed by someone who shared meals with him, someone he trusted. Jesus was betrayed in the same way, by someone he had shared meals with, someone he trusted, someone he invested in and cared about and believed in. As disappointing as their betrayals were, neither David nor Jesus allowed the betrayals to stop them from fulfilling God’s plan through them. No one wants to be betrayed, but if it does happen, don’t let it derail your faith in God. God will help you to endure the betrayal and continue to move forward to accomplish his will.
The king is victorious as he stands in the strength of the Lord (vv10-13). When David slew Goliath, it was God who gave him the strength. When Jesus endured the cross and rose from the dead, it was the power of the Holy Spirit that gave him his strength. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, his Holy Spirit lives inside you, giving you strength to be victorious in the battles of each day. Stand in his strength. I don’t know what battles you are facing (only the Lord knows), but I do know that if you rely on the strength of the Lord, he will empower you to be victorious in Jesus’ name.