Psalm 38

Psalm 38

A Penitent Sufferer’s Plea for Healing

A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.

     When other people point out my sin, I would be defending myself and angry against those critics. However, when I repent my sins, I would be purified and relieved in God! David, when he was in bed (probably sick), he confessed his iniquities and ask God’s grace!

“O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath. For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me. There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; they weigh like a burden too heavy for me. My wounds grow foul and fester because of my foolishness; I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all day long I go around mourning. For my loins are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am utterly spent and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.”

     With these physical symptoms, David did not pray for cure. He prayed for healing, restoration of the relationship with God. In this condition, his friends left him and his enemies came to attack him. Only God is left with him faithfully: “O Lord, all my longing is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me. My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction, and my neighbors stand far off. Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin, and meditate treachery all day long.”

      Here, David confessed that nobody else but he is the cause of all the troubles that he experienced. Once David removed the wall between him and God-his unwillingness, then things would turn around: ”But I am like the deaf, I do not hear; like the mute, who cannot speak. Truly, I am like one who does not hear, and in whose mouth is no retort. But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. For I pray, ‘Only do not let them rejoice over me, those who boast against me when my foot slips.’ For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin. Those who are my foes without cause are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully. Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries because I follow after good.”

      After his confession and repentance, now David is ready to pray for help: “Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, do not be far from me; make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.” Now he is at peace!

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