Sunday 2nd June, 2013

Psalm 38

1 Lord, don’t correct me when you are angry. Don’t punish me when you are burning with anger. 2 You have wounded me with your arrows. You have struck me with your hand. 3 Because of your anger, my whole body is sick. Because of my sin, I’m not healthy. 4 My guilt has become too much for me. It is a load too heavy to carry. 5 My wounds are ugly. They stink. I’ve been foolish. I have sinned. 6 I am bent over. I’ve been brought very low. All day long I go around sobbing. 7 My back is filled with burning pain. My whole body is sick. 8 I am weak. I feel as if I’ve been broken in pieces. I groan because of the great pain in my heart. 9 Lord, everything I really want is clearly known to you. You always hear me when I sigh. 10 My heart pounds. My strength is gone. My eyes can hardly see. 11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds. My neighbors stay far away from me. 12 Those who are trying to kill me set their traps. Those who want to harm me talk about destroying me. All day long they plan ways to trick me. 13 I’m like a deaf person. I can’t hear. I’m like someone who can’t speak, who can’t say a word. 14 I’m like a man who doesn’t hear. I’m like someone whose mouth can’t make any reply. 15 Lord, I wait for you to help me. Lord my God, I know you will answer. 16 I said, “Don’t let my enemies have the joy of seeing me fall. Don’t let them brag when my foot slips.” 17 I am about to fall. My pain never leaves me. 18 I admit that I have done wrong. I am troubled by my sin. 19 I have many powerful enemies. They are strong and healthy. They hate me without any reason. 20 They pay me back with evil, even though I was good to them. They tell lies about me because I try to do what is good. 21 Lord, don’t desert me. My God, don’t be far away from me. 22 Lord my Savior, come quickly to help me.

David is desperate for God.  He is pouring out his heart before God and holding nothing back. He does not want to be alone yet isolation is a constant theme throughout this Psalm.  David feels distant not only from his Lord but also family and friends.  Why does David feel so alone?  Sin separates us from God.

We also learn that David is deeply convicted of his sin and is truly sorry for his actions.  Much of the middle of the psalm lists the consequences of sin such as pain, grief, a sense of being overwhelmed, weak, anxious, even physical pain.

David has no time for what his enemies might say or do.  He wants God – he’s the only one who can help!

I am touched by the raw honesty of David before God.  I’m also more aware of the gravity of sin and the need for repentance.  Sin is serious, sometimes I can be a little blasé about it, not fully realising the consequences nor the separation from God that it causes.

Dear Lord, help me to be truly honest before you like David.  Help me not to take sin lightly remembering to confess, repent and restore my relationship with you. Amen

Written by Ainslie Woods

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