Text: “But Thou, O Lord, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.” Psalm 41:10.
Good morning, down-trodden Christian! Today, you and I may feel so very down-trodden. Down-trodden by illness; down-trodden by family problems; down-trodden as Bible-believing Christians, compelled to live in societies that have no longer any use or time, or respect, for Christian beliefs, morals, and standards of decency. We so often feel absolutely down-trodden.
However, I have good news for each of us this morning: The Lord Jesus delights to raise up the down-trodden! Hallelujah! We have Divine help in the Lord God!
“For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm of Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and they redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13-14)
Here, in verses 10 and 11 of Psalm 41, we find the Psalmist making further pleas for Divine help: to be raised up from the down-trodden position; and that he might requite his enemies, so that they might not continue to ‘…triumph over…’ him.
Dictionary Definition: Requite – (verb transitive) to repay (an action); to avenge, to repay (a person, for); to retaliate on; to counterbalance…payment in return, recompense, reward, etc. (Chambers Dictionary, page 1403)
Why does the Psalmist want the Lord to ‘…raise him up…’? He desires to be raised up and enabled of the Lord in order to ‘requite’ his enemies who are presently seeking to ‘…triumph over…’ him! David needs to be enabled by the Lord in order to successfully ‘contend’ with all his oppressing enemies – Spiritual and physical!
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common Salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3)
You and I are engaged in an active Spiritual WAR! This is no time for timidity!
William Gurnall, writing in the Seventeenth Century, wrote: “The subject of the treatise is solemn: A War between the Saint and Satan. And it is such a bloody one that the cruelest war ever fought by men will be seen as but sport and child’s play compared to this. It is a Spiritual war that you shall read of; not a history of what was fought many ages past and is now over, but of a war now going on – the tragedy is present with us. And it is not taking place at the farthest end of the world; it concerns you and everyone who reads of it. The stage on which this war is fought is every man’s own soul. There are no neutrals in this war. The whole world is engaged in the quarrel, either for God against Satan, or for Satan against God.” (The Christian in Complete Armour, (Volume 1), page 20, by William Gurnall (1616-1679), Banner of Truth Trust)
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, CHOOSE you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods; for the Lord our God, He it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt (the world), from the house of bondage…” (Joshua 24:15-17)
Well, down-trodden Christian? Do YOU believe you are engaged in such a bloody and ruthless Spiritual war? Do you think for one moment that you and I can just breeze through this Spiritual carnage without contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints? Do you and I still believe that we are to be mere interested onlookers in this great global and universal Battle? No! Let us don ‘the whole armour of God…’ and go forth into the fray. Onward, Christian soldiers! Jesus has won the Victory! Hallelujah! His Victory is ours! Glory to His Holy Name!
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against Spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day…” (Ephesians 6:10-20)
The Palmist, here in Psalm 41, is making a plea to the Lord to be lifted up after, perhaps, being knocked down somewhat by a fall, a slip, being thrown by a fault or a failing in his faith. We all need raised up again in such ongoing situations and circumstances as we persevere in the ‘…faith once delivered unto the saints…’
Verse 11. “By this I know that Thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. When God doth deliver us from the hands of our enemies, or any trouble else, we may persuade ourselves thereby, He hath a favour unto us, as David did.
“But then it may be demanded, if God doth love His church, why doth He suffer His church to be troubled and molested with enemies? The reason is this – because by this means His love may be made more manifest in saving and delivering them. For as a sure friend is not known but in time of need, so God’s goodness and love is never so well perceived as it is in helping of us when we cannot help ourselves.” (William Burton 1602)
Thought: “Dear Lord God, I am wounded in the great Battle for souls, please raise me up, strengthen me, help me – that I may once more engage in the War as your soldier, servant, and friend. This I pray, in Christ’s Holy Name, Amen.”