“Pain and suffering is God’s megaphone to a deaf world” – C.S. Lewis

There is no denying the Psalms can be raw and honest – Psalm 38 is like a festering wound from which we would avert our eyes.  Here are the cries of grief and pain and complaint from the beginning to the end from a man knocked to the floor – his only view is up.

Psalm 38 is one of the penitential psalms – a prayer for deliverance from God’s chastening for his sins.

It has been suggested that Psalms 38 may have been written after Psalms 51 and 32, following the events surrounding David’s sin with Bathsheba. While forgiven of his sin, David was told he would still suffer consequences (refer 2 Samuel 12:10-14).

Whatever the nature of his illness, this psalm is the penitent plea of a sick man who understood that the physical ailments he was suffering were because of his sin and God’s righteous anger (3) and his eyes had been opened to his spiritual plight.  The impact of the illness on his body was devastating (5-10).  It has left him estranged from his relationships with family and loved ones (11), while his enemies used it as opportunity to plot his downfall (12,16,19-20).

Matthew Henry in his commentary on this passage writes – “When we perceive our true condition, the Good Physician will be valued, sought, and obeyed.”

Our struggles, our sins, our “enemies” – and the ways we describe them – may be different, but this psalm can draw us into coming before our God, as sinners, with real needs helping us come to know God’s love and mercy.





3 thoughts on “Chastening

  1. Thanks Glenn, a difficult psalm to make our own…does sickness necessarily mean we are being punished for sin? We’d prob answer no, however we can’t exclude it as a possibility. Nor can we exclude illness as the ever present reminder that sin is part of the fall and our constant reminder of being wrapped up in it and its judgement…the megaphone idea. No doubt the psalmist feels the weight of a particular issue in his own life. Interestingly, there’s nothing like being sick to lessen our belief that we are immortable and self sufficient. Sometimes sickness brings us into a more realistic perspective that we are less than we could be and need God on a wholistic level, body and soul. Thanks for raising this megaphone to me today Glenn!

  2. Thank you Glenn. I believe there can be a link to sickness and health.Not in all cases of course that would be foolish but even medical science today are finding that unforgiveness can have a direct link to a persons health. Bitterness has been linked with the forming of ulcers. I find this amazing. God has made a way for the believer and that is confession of sin. Not trying, not to think about it, not trying to justify it, confess it. Deal with it at the cross of Christ and be healed. There is always healing for the broken heart. Mercy is always freely given where there is a genuine confession. Unconfessed sin festers in our soul disrupting our relationship with our Father. There is no peace for the believer living with unconfessed sin. God takes no delight in punishing those who are His but He will also discipline His children until they will come to Him seeking forgiveness. May our hearts be humble enough to seek mercy from our Father. Pride will stop us from receiving mercy. I often wonder as each one of us walks into church on a a Sunday as God looks at my heart does He see bitterness, unforgiveness? That’s why the Word is preached to us that our hearts may come under conviction and we can cry out for mercy. May our hearts be tender enough to hear the Spirit wooing us to the Father to receive healing for our hearts. Revival is just around the corner as hearts are healed we will be revived again.

    Psalm 85:6
    Will You not revive us again so that Your people may rejoice in You.

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