Psalm 38

Psalm 38
of David
1 O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.
2 For your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down upon me.
3 Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin.
4 My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.
5 My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.
6 I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning.
7 My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.
8 I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.
9 All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who seek my life set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they plot deception.
13 I am like a deaf man, who cannot hear, like a mute, who cannot open his mouth;
14 I have become like a man who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my foot slips.”
17 For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many are those who are my vigorous enemies; those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil slander me when I pursue what is good.
21 O LORD, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God.
22 Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.

As I read this psalm which is title “A Psalm of David to bring to remembrance” I cannot help think back to the story of David’s affair with Bathsheba. As I study God’s Word, I see how God’s way is so easy and yet religion and man tries to make it seem so difficult. We can speculate about the events that led up to the events that lead David to take Uriah’s wife Bathsheba and have an affair with her, however we know it happened. We can give suggestions and create books on how to live a blameless life that will keep us from falling into sinful situations; however, the bottom line is this we do fail every once in a while. And when we do this is the psalm that we must bring to remembrance.

Jesus message was simple. In Matthew 11:29 he stated, “take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. This psalm gives us the steps of putting on this yoke. First David realized his sinful folly, and the guilt that overcame him. We too must realize this in our life and not to try to cover up our sinfulness. David tried this with Bathsheba’s pregnancy and brought Uriah home from the battle to sleep with his wife; however, this did not work. So, to protect Bathsheba as well as himself he sacrificed his own friend and arranged Uriah’s death in battle.

Lesson one from God’s Word: as soon as you are in the wrong, confess your sin and ask for forgiveness. Do not try to cover it up or make excuses for it. If you do it will lead to greater sins and greater cover-ups which will lead to damage to others. Your relationship with God will also come to a stand-still. It is only as David writes about in verse eighteen “I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin” that we can renew our relationship back to God.

Lesson two from God’s Word is that there are consequences for our actions. David could not take back the pregnancy, he could not give life back to Uriah, and he could not defend his actions to his enemies. Yes, the last consequence of living with our life with the knowledge that our sinful actions are known to everyone. That we are just as evil as the next person, or even worst we are much more evil then those around us. There was a song we use to sing when I was young that had this phase in it “anything you can do I can do better”. That phase is still true today in the world we are living in. Most of the people all around us are comparing themselves to others and attempting to justify why they are better. The problem that mankind faces is “we have all sinned and came short of the glory of God”. However, mankind likes to judge and usually our known sins makes us less good than those around us. However, when we commit a sin like this of David’s then our enemies will use this knowledge to slander us and cause us to be hated by many. No matter how much we try to make things right there will always be those who will continue to slander us and use the sin to destroy us.

Lesson three from God’s Word is that he is the one we need to turn to when we have sinned. It is He who can help us. James puts it this way in James 4:7-10:
Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep:
let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Therefore, confess your sins to God, accept the consequences that will come about because of sin, and wait on God to answer your prayer of forgiveness.

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