Today, Wednesday February 22
A Prayer of Remembrance
Psalm 38:1-5 A Psalm of David. To bring to remembrance.
“O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! For Your arrows pierce me deeply, And Your hand presses me down. There is no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor any health in my bones Because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds are foul and festering Because of my foolishness.”
Thank you so much for being a part of our “Daily Chat” on a regular basis. We have rarely missed a day doing a chat since covid closed things down in March 2020. I was actually on my way back from a trip to India, Jordan and Israel at the same time (Feb 28, 2020), when the pandemic started circling the globe. Tomorrow, Thursday, I will be leaving to lead a group of 17 on a tour to Jordan and Israel. I am saying this to let you know that we might be missing a few days trying to post a chat because of time and internet access. We will do our best to post a chat from different Biblical sites there and also upload the daily Bible readings, and the devotions by Blackaby and Chambers. But give us grace if we miss a few days. We would also appreciate your prayers as this is our first trip since February 2020. Thanks!
Today in our chat we will start our study and meditations on Psalm 38. From the title we learn a couple of things. First, we know that David wrote this Psalm and secondly that it was written as a prayer of remembrance or confession. This Psalm is the third of seven penitential Psalms: Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 103, and 143. These are Psalms of confession, especially of sin that has brought sickness, grief, pain, and suffering into one’s life.
We need to note here that not all sickness and suffering is a result of specific individual sin. The truth is that all the suffering in this world is the result of the original sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden. We all suffer in many ways because of the fallen nature of man. Remember Jesus was asked by His disciples in John 9 if the blindness of the man they encounter was because of his or his parent’s sin. Jesus answered: "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him” (John 9:3).
Job’s sufferings and losses were not because of his sin or sins, but were allowed by God as a test and a trial in his life to bring him into a closer relationship with God. Sometimes God allows natural sickness and suffering to come into our lives simply to get our attention. To humble us and help us realize just how fail and weak we are and that we need to always trust the Lord.
It is obvious in Psalm 38 that David’s painful suffering described here is a result of God’s chastening hand upon him because of his double sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah to cover it up. This Psalm is full of grief and complaint from the beginning to the end. David's sins and his afflictions are the cause of his grief and the matter of his complaints. He was now very sick and in pain, which reminded him of his sins and helped to humble him for them.
We will see that David was, at the same time, deserted by his friends and persecuted by his enemies; so that the psalm is calculated for the depth of distress and a complication of calamities. We will feel David’s pain and distress as he complains of God's displeasure, and of his own sin which provoked God against him (v. 1-5).
David tells of his bodily sickness (vv. 6-10). He mentions the unkindness of his friends (v. 11). He describes some of the injuries which his enemies did him, pleading his good conduct towards them, yet confessing his sins against God (v. 12-20). And lastly, he concludes the Psalm with earnest prayers to God for his gracious presence and help (v. 21,22).
So, this is a Psalm where David is remembering his sin but at the same time asking God to remember and act on his behalf to have mercy on him in the midst of his pain. May the Lord help us today to pray, “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:12-13)