Ps.41:1-3 – Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The LORD rescues them when they are in trouble. The LORD protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies. The LORD nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health.
This passage is loaded with promises for those who are generous to the poor. The Hebrew word for poor is filled with meaning. It refers to the helpless, those who are dangling by a rope or hanging on for dear life. It’s much easier to shut our ears to the cries of the hurting, it is more beneficial for us to hear and respond. Who exactly are the poor referred to in this verse? This is speaking of the sick, the addicted, and those hurting financially. This is a description of what ministry is about. Here is how Adam Clarke describes this verse.
“The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive. It is worthy of remark, that benevolent persons, who “consider the poor, “and especially the sick poor; who search cellars, garrets, back lanes, and such abodes of misery, to find them out (even in the places where contagion keeps its seat), very seldom fall a prey to their own benevolence. The Lord, in an especial manner, keeps them alive, and preserves them; while many, who endeavor to keep far from the contagion, are assailed by it, and fall victims to it. God loves the merciful man.”
If you read on in this Psalm you can see the blessings of the generous piling up. First, He says He will protect us. He will surround us with His favor like a shield and no weapon formed against us will prosper. Next, He says He will keep us alive. Death itself will have to back off because we are being kept by the Lord. He also promises us prosperity in the land. The land itself will respond to us. This is speaking of harvest in whatever our hand finds to do. He then says He will keep us from our enemies, nothing that is planned against us will prosper. Wicked plans will turn around to bring favor into our lives. David also says that the Lord Himself will nurse us in our sickness. He will bring us back into total health and recovery. There is a reward for the merciful, this is what our lives and church are all about.