March 11 2023
Today, Saturday March 11
We Can Experience God’s Forgiveness
Psalm 38:15-22 “For in You, O LORD, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God. For I said, "Hear me, lest they rejoice over me, Lest, when my foot slips, they exalt themselves against me." For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin. But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong; And those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied. Those also who render evil for good, They are my adversaries, because I follow what is good.
Do not forsake me, O LORD; O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!”
Today we are going to pick up from where we left off in Psalms before we went to the Holy Land. We were looking at Psalm 38, which is one of the Penitential Psalms. David is sorry for his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the scheme and murder he committed to try and cover it up.
In verses 1-8, he focuses on himself and describes the painful consequences of sin that he is experiencing. His suffering is spiritual (vv. 1-2), physical (vv. 3-7), and emotional (v. 8). In verses 9-14, he begins to focus on others around him and describes sin’s loneliness. Both his family and his friends forsake him (v. 11).
Now in verses 9-14, David does the best thing he can do and that is, he focuses on the LORD and experiences sin’s forgiveness. For the third time, David addressed the Lord, but this time he got down to business and dealt with his sins. He hoped in (waited for) the Lord, knowing that God would hear his prayers. He wasn't praying only for his own deliverance just so he could be comfortable; he wanted God to work so the enemy couldn't use him as an excuse for sinning (vv. 16, 19-20; Ps. 25:2; 35:19). When they slandered David's name, they also slandered the Lord (see 2 Sam. 12:14), and David wanted to honor the Lord. He felt like he was about to die (v. 17), and he confessed his sins to the Lord in true repentance and faith.
As David closes his prayer, he is confident that the Lord has forgiven him and he makes three requests. First he ask that that the LORD would be with him. “Do not forsake me, O LORD” (v. 21). We find the answer to this request in Deuteronomy 4:30-31: “When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice (for the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.” And also in Hebrews 13:5-6: “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
He then prayed; LORD be near me. “O my God, be not far from me!” (v. 21) This request finds its answer in Psalm 16:8: “I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.” And in Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.” And in the NT, James 4:8: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
And finally, David requested that the LORD be for me and help me. “Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!” (v. 22). This request in answered in: Psalm 28:7: “The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.”
And in Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'”
Yes, my friend, we are a profoundly fallen people in a profoundly fallen world but we have a great God and Savior who will forgive us if we repent and confess our sins with a broken heart. We should also always remember these words of Paul in Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”