Psalms 38

Psalm 38

Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord

A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.

38   O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger,
    nor 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;
    like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
  My wounds stink and fester
    because of my foolishness,
  I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
    all the day I go about mourning.
  For my sides are filled with burning,
    and there is no soundness in my flesh.
  I am feeble and crushed;
    I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
  O Lord, all my longing is before you;
    my sighing is not hidden from you.
  My heart throbs; my strength fails me,
    and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
  My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague,
    and my nearest kin stand far off.
  Those who seek my life lay their snares;
    those who seek my hurt speak of ruin
    and meditate treachery all day long.
  But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,
    like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
  I have become like a man who does not hear,
    and in whose mouth are no rebukes.
  But for you, O LORD, do I wait;
    it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
  For I said, “Only let them not rejoice over me,
    who boast against me when my foot slips!”
  For I am ready to fall,
    and my pain is ever before me.
  I confess my iniquity;
    I am sorry for my sin.
  But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty,
    and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
  Those who render me evil for good
    accuse me because I follow after good.
  Do not forsake me, O LORD!
    O my God, be not far from me!
  Make haste to help me,
    O Lord, my salvation!


Psalm 38 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Once again, the psalmist is upset with his enemies and those who do evil. However, picking up from yesterday’s blog, the writer is primarily concerned with his own relationship with God. In fact, the first half of the psalm contains agonizing statements as a result of his sin. It’s called conviction.

For my iniquities are gone over my head; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.  5  My wounds grow foul and fester Because of my folly.

Psalms 38:4-5 NASB

Ask yourself, do you feel conviction over your sin? I can always tell when the Lord is seeking to change me in some way because He brings the same thoughts to my mind day after day. It’s kind of like a bottle that keeps building with pressure. It’s strong enough to cause alarm but tender enough to meet me where I am. I can’t escape it. Sometimes I decide to act on that conviction and sometimes (to my shame) I don’t. But just as the psalmist describes, that weight becomes too much to bear. Eventually, those wounds will grow foul and fester as God will force us to deal with it.

You know, there are some today who feel conviction but never do anything about it. They refuse to repent and then take action. So, as their body is rotting away with festering wounds, they just try and cover them up with bandages. The problem is, the next day they are open and bleeding again. Not only that, they are contagious. Our sinful rebellion impacts everyone around us. David was a man who loved the Lord but his life is an illustration of how our sin can have horrific consequences for the loved ones around us. The turmoil his family endured was partly due to David’s downfalls.

Because of the Lord’s heavy conviction and discipline, the psalmist repents.

For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me.  18  For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.

Psalms 38:17-18 NASB

Have you confessed the sin you are currently being convicted over? Furthermore, have you taken action steps to turn from it? Are you still the same person you were last year or are you growing in your faith? These may seem like basic questions but to be honest, I see so many Christians today who simply “feel sorry” for their sin and never do anything about it. Where do you need to put actions steps behind your feelings?

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