Monday November 23: Psalm 41, Psalm 42, & Proverbs 31:1-9

From Chris Dodds 

Psalm 141: In the crisis of exile, the psalmist cries out not only that God will hurry to help, but also that He will protect him from the temptation to assimilate to the culture. In Psalm 140 the psalmist cries out to be protected from the enemy who make their tongues as sharp as snake-bites (140:3), but here he prays for a guard for his own mouth (v3). He prays he won’t be tempted to feast on their delicacies. Our culture bombards us with offerings to consume and images to be assimilated to, and based on what we see and hear, this way may appear to be the way of prosperity, but the psalmist recognizes that true hope is in the Lord and fixes his eyes on Him. 

Psalm 142: A man walks alone, with no one to stand up for him, no refuge available, and no one to care for him (v4). In a world that often doesn’t seem to care for the poor and lonely, the Lord does. He is on the side of the destitute and those who, recognizing their desperate need, call out to him and place their dependence on him. The psalmist looks forward to his rescue and place in the community of the righteous who will praise God (v7).  

Proverbs 31:1-9: What is a mother’s advice to her son who will be king? The three-fold “what” in verse two shows this isn’t just an off the cuff piece of advice, but the heartfelt, most important thing she can leave him with. Her counsel? Don’t spend your energy on women or alcohol – frivolous pleasures that do not befit a leader. A King must give himself to the establishment of justice for the oppressed and needy. The wisdom of the King’s mother echoes the instructions given to Kings in Deuteronomy 17.