1 O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.
3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
I’m not sure who exactly put the order in the Psalms. I imagine it was probably the original writers of the bible and it happened many centuries ago. I do not think it has anything to do with chronological order. We go from Psalm 37, which was mostly a psalm about the righteous and the blessings that come their way, to Psalm 38, which is pretty much David asking God to forgive him. In any case it once again shows us that David’s life was not a bed of roses.
Personally when I’m looking through scripture, I can only think of three places, perhaps four, where David would be this downtrodden. The first would be when he learned he had to leave his dear friend Jonathan because Saul was ready to kill David. The second would be when David found out that Saul was dead after a battle. David felt great remorse at this time. The third would be after his scolding by Nathan for his affair with Bathsheba. Most writers believe Psalm 51 was written in response to that incident The fourth would be when he numbered the people and was relying on his own strength is that his strength of God to fight the battle. In any case this is something we can look at as a Pslam that would be good to pray when we sin and disobey God, r when we feel great remorse.
Look at the wording here. Don’t rebuke Me Lord don’t. Chasten Me Lord. Your arrows are stuck in me and your hand presses me sore. David obviously felt it throughout his whole being. His flesh was not sound because of the Lord’s anger. He has no rest in his bones because of his sin. He says his iniquities are going over his head and his burden is too heavy. Have you ever feel this way about something in your life? Have you ever had this much remorse runnimg through your whole body that you were hurting from it? This is the way we should feel whenever we do something that disappoints God.
6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.
David continues talking about his feelings because of his sin. I want to focus on verse 9 Lord All My Desire is before thee and my groaning is not hid from thee. David knew that the Lord knows his heart. He knows that God is well aware of his situation. And yet, he verbalizes it anyway. It’s not enough to just think in our head that we have done wrong. We must talk to God about it, repent out loud, and ask forgiveness. This is true repentance. David also knows that God is a just God. We know from other Psalms that David trusts completely in the Lord and that God will see him through. Oh, how I need to have that kind of trust in God. That no matter what the enemy brings, He will see my through.
11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.
12 They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
13 But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.
14 Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
Here David says all his friends have turned against them. They have turned their backs on him and his enemy is still coming against him. More often than not, they imagine the deceitful things that he is done, but in reality he has done nothing wrong. David is not listening to them and he’s not responding to them either. Sometimes that’s the best way to deal with people that are coming against us. Don’t try to defend yourself. Those that know you the best will know the lies that they’re telling. They will not listen to the lies of your enemy.
15 For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
16 For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.
And then right in the middle of his lament David says Lord I Hope in you. David never lose hope. What a great example for each of us. Let us never lose hope in God. David reminds God that he has called out to him that is enemies won’t rejoice over him and David has hope the God will hear him. It never hurts to pray scripture and remind God of His word. It’s not that he doesn’t know it -He just wants to know that you know it!
I am in the midst of a terrible battle right now with cancer but it’s not the cancer medications that are bothering me. I have developed neuropathy and drop foot in both feet, and a bad shoulder. These things hinder me in everything that I do. There are times that I wonder if God has forgotten me but then I look up and I know that there’s hope in the Lord. I know that He will never forsake me. I know that He is the Healer. And I know that He does all things for my good.
Because of all this I can know that whatever comes out of this situation it’s going to be for my good and for His glory. The testimony that He will give me will reach many souls for Christ. It will bring hope for healing to many that have lost hope. I am thankful for the struggles that he’s putting me through because they will bring great victory in the end. I know that my God is faithful. Hallelujah!
17 For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.
18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
19 But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.
20 They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.
21 Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me.
22 Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.
David’s about ready to give up. But he will go before God and declare his sin and he will have remorse for it. We all need to do this more often. And with the same heart that David shows in this Psalm, A Heart full of Sorrow and remorse and genuine grieving for what he’s been through and what he’s done in disobeying God
And he finishes up by asking God not to forsake him and not to be far from him. He says Lord I hope you’ll help me soon because you are the God of my salvation. This is something we always need to remember. That no matter what we go through Jesus is the Lord of our salvation and if we cry out to Him he is faithful to hear our cry.