Psalm 39 speaks of the frailty and vanity of life. Jeduthun
was one of David’s three music leaders (the other two were Heman and
Asaph). He was also the King’s seer (II Chronicles 35:15).
Psalm 40 could be called the “Christmas Psalm” because it
looks forward to the birth of Christ. Verses 6-8 are quoted in
Hebrews 10:5-10 and apply to Jesus Christ. Historically, this Psalm
grew out of a crisis in the life of David. He was in a horrible pit
and cried to God and God delivered him. In verses 1-10 David
testifies of God’s mercy and shows his gratitude by yielding himself
anew to the Lord. In the closing verses (verses 11-17) David calls
on God for further help as new enemies approach him.
Psalm 41 is another prayer for deliverance. It was probably
written as a result of Absalom turning against David and trying to
take over the kingdom. The familiar friend in verse 9 must have been
Ahithophel, the Old Testament Judas (see II Samuel 15:12; John
In Psalms 42 and 43 the writer declares he is thirsty for
the house of God. These two Psalms form one poem. The sons of Korah,
who are listed as the authors, were a family of poetic Levites,
organized by David into a musical guild.
Psalm 44 is a cry of despair. It seems that the nation has
been overwhelmingly defeated in a time of national disaster. David’s
words to the Lord were that he would not trust in his bow nor his
sword to save him from his enemies, but only in God.