Psalm 38 Prayer in Time of Chastening

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.

I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly;
I go mourning all the day long.
For my loins are full of inflammation,
And there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am feeble and severely broken;
I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.

Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.
My heart pants, my strength fails me;
As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.

My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague,
And my relatives stand afar off.
Those also who seek my life lay snares for me;
Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction,
And plan deception all the day long.

But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
And I am like a mute who does not open his mouth.
Thus I am like a man who does not hear,
And in whose mouth is no response.

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!

Sin in our lives causes true Christians to suffer from feelings of guilt and shame. This ought to lead us to repentance; if we refuse to acknowledge our sin and turn from it, then it often brings physical ailments as a manifestation of our troubled mind. Our enemies might seem to prosper in persecuting us, but God can still protect us even though we need to be disciplined for our actions. Although not sinning in the first place clearly would be the best solution, our desires often lead us astray. Instead of being too proud to admit one’s fault, simply admitting the sin and turning from it quickly brings us back into a better relationship with God.

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