Psalm 41 and 42 in Russian: Rules for Reading a Prayer
I regularly read psalms — the sacred texts collected in the Psalter. I prefer to use them in worship or at home (privately). The psalms reflect the historical events experienced by the authors and their appeals to God.
Today I will talk in detail about the Psalms 41 and 42, I will describe the rules for their reading.
About man and society in psalms
The concept of salvation in the Psalter is assigned a predominant role. A person at the same time looks very impartial — he is represented by a sort of nest of evil and vice.
Sin accompanies him from the very moment of birth and accompanies him to the very departure to another world. Throughout his life, sin is also a constant companion of man, paralyzing his soul and body, taking away his will and soul world.
The fact that people become enemies of each other is also the detrimental effect of the same sin, the constant companion of man.
In many psalms, the relationship between people is very important. But from the very beginning it becomes clear that without the presence of God, humanity would be a crowd of evil, aggressive and deceitful creatures. In psalms, such people who live outside of faith in God are called enemies.
Enemies oppressed the authors of the psalms, craved their defeat and death. For enemies, the most favorable atmosphere is an atmosphere of lies, slanderous, fuss and chaos.
These atheists can be determined already by their way of life — they do not suffer from anything, they are accompanied by strange luck, they do not work on human work, they are not attacked by others. Of character traits, they have pride, audacity, an irresistible love of gossip, contempt for others. Here it is separately mentioned that even the closest friend, a person who has been given unlimited trust, can become a traitor.
And it is even worse than the machinations of the most fierce enemies.
The result of all this is that the author of the psalms becomes an outcast, loneliness in the crowd is his lot, for the righteous is always the same. Even in those psalms, where this is not directly mentioned, it is clear that the feeling of loneliness always accompanies the author.
He has no support and protection. If somewhere there is talk of a meeting of the righteous, then these are only moments of attendance at worship services, where the glory of God is preached.
But even here one can see complete detachment from warmth, sincerity, good healthy emotion, lack of support and friendly participation.
Only in the only psalm number 127 is the idyll of family life described, and in 132 the friendly life of two brothers. There is nothing surprising, because the Bible said — “look for the enemy in your house” — this means that a traitor and an enemy can always be worried in a family.
In many psalms there is utter despair and darkness, hostility of others, but this is the reality. The author describes the traps and traps that his enemies wish to lure, they slander, gossip about him.
The author turns all his experiences and sorrowful thoughts into prayer, expressing with all this that God is his only possible protection and support. And not only him.
Often it is made clear in psalms that even in such hopeless darkness one can preserve holiness and righteousness. However, the author understands that he cannot hope to be justified by God, he just hopes for it.
This is expressed in seven penitential psalms, where the author expresses the hope of receiving forgiveness not by merit, but by grace.
After repentance, the life of the author is an effort to maintain his righteousness. He understands that the support of God can only be expected when you yourself act righteously in relation to the people around you, even if they are hostile.
In psalms, the theme of freedom of choice for a person is often traced. Separately and very clearly also emphasizes his responsibility for the perfect choice.
The end of the world and the afterlife in psalms
The psalms often mention the terms — thanksgiving and praise. Not every person is able to distinguish between these concepts, considering them synonymous.
However, it is quite simple. Thanksgiving comes from man to God for some of His gifts, while praise is the unconditional worship of Him, almost ecstasy.
Thanksgiving glorifies the Most High for some good, praise for being God.
In the Book of Praises, the topic of the afterlife is very mysteriously described, it can be said — this is the most mysterious topic here. Life after death in it is covered with a veil of secrecy. Even the author himself asked the Lord a question — who will praise him after the death of the psalmist?
This moment gave rise to the fact that for a long time in Israel there was no faith in the existence of an afterlife. It seemed to people in the form of non-existence.
In psalms, it is often the theme of non-existence that rises. Even in the Old Testament, the topic of the afterlife is not fully disclosed, the prophets have not even established that particular place where human souls will live after death.
In the Psalms, there is also no usual heaven and hell, instead — a certain realm of the dead Sheol — a country of oblivion, silence. Those who the Lord will never remember again, those who could not praise Him, go there.
Researchers in their arguments argued that Sheol can not be called a sheer non-existence, a weak form of life is still there. It is useless, joyless, aimless, but it is.
This must seem to much suffering to be even more terrible than complete non-existence. Therefore, everyone should do everything they can during life to get rid of Sheol’s power in the future.
In Psalm 41 there are two parts, which are separated from each other by the chorus, «What, my soul, do you feel despondent?» In the first part, the author shows his spiritual suffering from the fact that the Lord left him. In the second — his hope that soon he will be delivered from all misfortunes.
The authorship of this psalm is attributed to the sons of Korey, who beat the gatekeepers of the Jerusalem temple. However, the existing inscription «Psalm of David» confuses many.
In fact, the psalm is dedicated to King David and all the difficulties that fell on his way of life.
The sons of Korah were similarly close and loyal companions of David, who did not turn away from him even in difficult moments of flight from rebellion. They dedicated this psalm to him, which began to be considered in Orthodoxy as the song of an exile. In the song, David complains that he has become an exile outside his own country.
For all his despair, the king does not lose faith in God, and only this keeps him from despair in a foreign land.
Therefore, reading psalm 41 is recommended for those who are currently in a foreign land and are suffering from separation from their native side. In addition, Psalm 41 helps all those who suffer from unrequited love.
- The sons of Korah teach the Israelites the proper attitude toward God.
- David grieves for those gracious times when he had the opportunity to express his prayers to God in the temple, he is very upset about what is currently deprived of this. But despite everything, David does not allow despondency to penetrate into the soul.
- David’s longing comes to such an extent that God is seen everywhere — even in the noise of waterfalls.
- For a heart that sincerely loves God, there is no need to express our feelings on purpose, love pours from the heart itself, like the turbulent flow of a river.
- David’s sorrow switches over to the fact that the enemies of the Lord scold Him and slander Him.
- In conclusion, David expresses the hope that everything will one day be completely normal, and he will again be brought closer to God.
This text is the shortest in the entire Psalter. There are arguments that 41 and 42 psalms are actually one psalm.
Authorship also belongs to the sons of Korea, and it is also dedicated to King David. It covers the period of the king’s life when the revolt of his son Absalom took place.
That is, it was one of the most difficult moments of his life, when many seemingly faithful people turned away from him.
The sons of Koreev were of those who remained with David to the end. Their father was considered a famous rebel, he was credited with inciting unsuccessful rebellion against Moses.
He was rich, the reign of Moses despised and was always unhappy with something. There is an opinion that the authors of the psalms were not precisely his sons, and their parent was some other Koreas, but there is no certain confirmation of this.
Psalm 42 is most often read for the release of captives.
As mentioned, Psalm 42 is Supplement 41, and in some manuscripts they are one. But more often 41 psalms are considered as an independent song.
- The psalmist prays to God for help against the people plotting evil against him.
- Verse 3 contains hope and a plea for returning to Jerusalem, on Mount Zion. The light described in the psalm is a symbol of life and understanding, and the truth is the word of God. In the end — the expression of hope and the same refrain as in the previous psalm.
- It seems society in general and man in particular in the vision of the Psalmists.
- The theme of the end of the world and the afterlife in psalms.
- Psalm 41 consists of two parts, expressing the suffering and hopes of David.
- Psalm 42 is the shortest in the entire Psalter.
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