It is hard for me to imagine that a book about depression would be very popular, but in 1965 D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, published a book entitled Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure, which turned out to be one of the most highly valued and widely circulated books he ever wrote.1 Perhaps you have seen it. The only conceivable reason it has been so popular is not that the subject itself is attractive, but that so many people, including Christians, are depressed and looking for solutions.2

Verse 12, the last verse of Book 1 of the Psalter, is a final outbreak of praise. Significantly, it is how each of the five books end. Books 1, 2 and 3 end with the phrase "Amen and Amen." Book 4 ends with the words "Let all the people say, Amen! Praise the LORD" (or "Hallelujah"). Book 5 ends with a double "Praise the LORD.”

The worst thing of all was that David has been betrayed by his close friend (v. 9). This may have happened more than once in David's life and no doubt did. But the situation in the psalm is adequately accounted for or at least well illustrated by the betrayal of Ahithophel, David's trusted counselor, at the time of Absalom's rebellion (2 Sam. 16:15-17:23).

His enemies were hoping for his death (v.4). It is hard for us to imagine such ill will on the part of anyone toward David, because we have such a good impression of him from the account of his life given in the Old Testament. But David did have enemies. At the beginning of his reign he had enemies from the family and house of King Saul, his predecessor. Later, even his own son Absalom turned against him, and when Absalom did that there were many in the palace and army who followed him.

The composition begins with the word “blessed”. There are two ways the blessing can be taken. It can be understood as an encouragement to show compassion for the weak or as an objective statement implying that the speaker is one who did so and was therefore cared for by God.1 No doubt it is both. As the rest of the psalm will make clear, David was in the position of being a weak person due to his illness, and he wanted people to show mercy to himself and those like him, which his enemies were not doing.