World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
A Penitent Sufferer’s Plea for Healing
A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
or discipline me in your wrath.
For your arrows have sunk into me,
and your hand has come down on me.
There is no soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.
My wounds grow foul and fester
because of my foolishness;
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all day long I go around mourning.
For my loins are filled with burning,
and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am utterly spent and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
O Lord, all my longing is known to you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction,
and my neighbors stand far off.
Those who seek my life lay their snares;
those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin,
and meditate treachery all day long.
But I am like the deaf, I do not hear;
like the mute, who cannot speak.
Truly, I am like one who does not hear,
and in whose mouth is no retort.
But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me,
those who boast against me when my foot slips.”
For I am ready to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity;
I am sorry for my sin.
Those who are my foes without cause are mighty,
and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
Those who render me evil for good
are my adversaries because I follow after good.
Do not forsake me, O Lord;
O my God, do not be far from me;
make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation.
Ps 38:1-22. To bring to remembrance, or, remind God of His mercy and himself of his sin. Appealing to God for relief from His heavy chastisement, the Psalmist avows his integrity before men, complains of the defection of friends and persecution of enemies, and in a submissive spirit, casting himself on God, with penitent confession he pleads God's covenant relation and his innocence of the charges of his enemies, and prays for divine comfort and help.
2. arrows … and thy hand—the sharp and heavy afflictions he suffered (De 32:23).
gone over mine head—as a flood.
5-8. The loathsomeness, corruption, and wasting torture of severe physical disease set forth his mental anguish [Ps 38:6]. It is possible some bodily disease was connected. The
loins are the seat of strength. His exhaustion left him only the power to groan [Ps 38:9].
9. That God can hear (Ro 8:26).
10. My heart panteth—as if barely surviving.
11, 12. Friends desert, but foes increase in malignity.
13, 14. He patiently submits, uttering no reproaches or replies (Joh 19:9) to their insulting speeches;
15-17. for he is confident the
18. Consciousness of sin makes suffering pungent, and suffering, rightly received, leads to confession.
19, 20. Still, while humbled before God, he is the victim of deadly enemies, full of malice and treachery.
enemies are lively—literally, "of life," who would take my life, that is, deadly.
21, 22. (Compare Ps 22:19; 35:3). All terms of frequent use. In this Psalm the language is generally susceptible of application to Christ as a sufferer, David, as such, typifying Him. This does not require us to apply the confessions of sin, but only the pains or penalties which He bore for us.