March 23 Evening Verse of The Day

41:2 To be blessed in the land was the hope of all those in Israel who were loyal to the Lord and to his covenant with them (see note at 37:3).[1]


41:2 in the land. The Lord preserves the life of His people, but He will also prosper them in the land. This applies the promise of the land found in the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 12:1–3).[2]


41:2 be called blessed upon the earth. The verb “be … blessed” is from the same Heb. root as the exclamatory description “blessed” of v. 1 (on other occurrences of the verb, cf. Pr 3:18; 31:28; SS 6:9).[3]


2. “The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive.” His noblest life shall be immortal, and even his mortal life shall be sacredly guarded by the power of Jehovah. Jesus lived on till his hour came, nor could the devices of crafty Herod take away his life till the destined hour had struck; and even then no man took his life from him, but he laid it down of himself, to take it again. Here is the portion of all those who are made like their Lord, they bless and they shall be blessed, they preserve and shall be preserved, they watch over the lives of others and they themselves shall be precious in the sight of the Lord. The miser like the hog is of no use till he is dead—then let him die; the righteous like the ox is of service during life—then let him live. “And he shall be blessed upon the earth.” Prosperity shall attend him. His cruse of oil shall not be dried up because he fed the poor prophet. He shall cut from his roll of cloth and find it longer at both ends.

“There was a man, and some did count him mad,

The more he gave away the more he had.”

If temporal gains be not given him, spirituals shall be doubled to him. His little shall be blessed, bread and water shall be a feast to him. The liberal are and must be blessed even here; they have a present as well as future portion. Our Lord’s real blessedness of heart in the joy that was set before him is a subject worthy of earnest thought, especially as it is the picture of the blessing which all liberal saints may look for. “And thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.” He helped the distressed, and now he shall find a champion in his God. What would not the good man’s enemies do to him if they had him at their disposal? Better be in a pit with vipers than be at the mercy of persecutors. This sentence sets before us a sweet negative, and yet it were not easy to have seen how it could be true of our Lord Jesus, did we not know that although he was exempted from much of blessing, being made a curse for us, yet even he was not altogether nor for ever left of God, but in due time was exalted above all his enemies.[4]


2. Jehovah will keep him, and preserve him in life. Here David follows out the same sentiment expressed in the preceding verse, when he says that the Lord will keep the afflicted, whose destruction cruel and unjust men represent as inevitable. It is likewise necessary always to bear in mind the contrast which is stated between the day of evil and the blessing of deliverance. In this verse the expressions denoting restoration to life, and blessedness on the earth, are of similar import. By these expressions, David means to show that although he had been to all appearance a dead man, yet the hope of life both for himself and for all the faithful had not been extinguished. There might, it is true, appear some inconsistency in his promising himself a happy life in this world, seeing our condition here would be miserable indeed if we had not the expectation of a better state in the world to come. But the answer to this is, that as many had despaired of his recovery, he expressly declares that he will yet be restored to his former state, and will continue alive, nay, that in him there will be seen manifest tokens of the favour of God. He does not in the least exclude by these expressions the hope of a better life after death. What follows concerning the bed of sorrow has led some to form a conjecture which, in my opinion, is not at all probable. What David says of affliction in general, without determining what kind of affliction, they regard as applicable exclusively to sickness. But it is no uncommon thing for those who are sorrowful and grieved in their minds to throw themselves upon their bed, and to seek repose; for the hearts of men are sometimes more distressed by grief than by sickness. It is, certainly, highly probable that David was at that time afflicted with some very heavy calamity, which might be a token that God was not a little displeased with him. In the second clause of the verse there is some obscurity. Some understand the expression, turning the bed, in the same sense as if God, in order to give some alleviation to his servant in the time of trouble, had made his bed and arranged it, as we are wont to do to those who are sick, that they may lay themselves more softly. Others hold, and, in my opinion, more correctly, that when David was restored to health, his bed, which had formerly served him as a sick couch, was turned, that is to say, changed. Thus the sense would be, that although he now languish in sorrow, whilst the Lord is chastening him and training him by means of affliction, yet in a little while he will experience relief by the hand of the same God, and thus recover his strength.[5]


41:2 The Lord protects and preserves them—they are counted among the blessed in the land. The first part of the verse refers to the Lord keeping the psalmist alive. The word that the NIV renders “counted among the blessed” (root ’shr) is similar to the word that begins the psalm, ’ashre (“blessed”), and may be translated in this way. Another meaning, however—and my preference—is “to take steps” (Prov. 9:6). It would be translated “he will take steps on the earth,” which is a logical sequence to the psalmist’s restoration from his sickness (i.e., “he will walk again”).[6]


The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes (v. 2). The theme of the Lord as the keeper of Israel finds fuller development in Psalm 121:7–8. Part of the protection referred to here was preservation in time of serious illness. The phrase ‘preserve his life’ can also be rendered ‘keep him alive’. There are difficulties with the following words. The Hebrew text has: ‘he will be blessed in the land and do not you give him …’ The niv follows the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and the Syriac in translating it as active (‘he will bless’), but the passive form still yields good sense: ‘he will be blessed in the land.’ The change to a second person singular form in the final clause is understandable if it is part of the prayer addressed to God: ‘May the Lord protect … and preserve … and not surrender him into the life of the enemy’. In the good land he will be kept safe (see Ps. 37:22), and his enemies will not see their desire for him fulfilled.[7]


[1] Warstler, K. R. (2017). Psalms. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 855). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 772). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 41:2). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 27-57 (Vol. 2, p. 256). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

[5] Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010). Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 2, pp. 115–116). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[6] Bullock, C. H. (2015). Psalms 1–72. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (Vol. 1, pp. 314–315). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[7] Harman, A. (2011). Psalms: A Mentor Commentary (Vol. 1–2, pp. 343–344). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.

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