The Other Side of the Coin
Lord Jesus, help me to worship You today and every day, in Your spirit and Your truth to Your glory.
Read PSALM 38:1-22
 A psalm of David. A petition. LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.  Your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down on me.  Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.  My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.  My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.  I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning.  My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.  I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.  All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.  My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.  My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away.  Those who want to kill me set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they scheme and lie.  I am like the deaf, who cannot hear, like the mute, who cannot speak;  I have become like one who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply.  LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.  For I said, “Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”  For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me.  I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.  Many have become my enemies without cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous.  Those who repay my good with evil lodge accusations against me, though I seek only to do what is good.  LORD, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God.  Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is the psalmist's problem and his hope for help?
Not all suffering is undeserved. If I do wrong I can expect to suffer the consequences. Like Job, David was often brutally honest with God, especially in his psalms. This is one of his “Penitential Psalms.” David is very conscious of his sin and acknowledges it (5,16). He knows it is the cause of his suffering. Job could not understand why he was suffering. David certainly did (4).
What do we do when we are in one of these situations? Whatever it is, honesty is our best response. Really, it is our only way. Sometimes it is right for us to confess to one another (Jas. 5:16), but only the Lord can forgive. Confess to him. This always has a good and healing effect (1 John 1:9).
Like Job, David complains to God (with graphic details) over the state of his body (5-8). Also, he is socially isolated and in danger (11,12). He is sure that God knows all about him. He lets him know this (9). Why tell God what he already knows? Why pray? In his prayer, David shows God that he really means business with him.
Have you been waiting for God to help you or do something for you for some time? Allow v. 15 to encourage you.
“Lord, don’t leave me; my God, don’t go away. Quickly come and help me, my Lord and Savior” (Psa. 38:21,22 NCV).
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