Psalms On Saturday ~ Psalm 38

Psalm 38 describes what happens when we deliberately sin.

If you are in the midst of a decision of dishonesty, maintaining an illicit relationship, dabbling in the muck of impurity, and you have justified this sin by thinking, “No one will know,” or “There won’t be any consequences,” then read Psalm 38 five times.  

In fact, even if your walk with Jesus is on His narrow path, read Psalm 38 five times as a warning to stay completely faithful.

King David describes the result of his sins . . . 

My whole body is sick; my health is broken (v. 3, NLT).

All day long I walk around filled with grief (v. 6)

I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart (v. 8).

Before sinning, you should magnify the consequences and consider the worst possible outcomes of your decision.

David knows he sinned, but he doesn’t understand why he must endure so much pain because of his sin. He is wondering, “When will the punishment stop, and will I ever experience God’s mercy again?” 

David prays . . . 

“For I am waiting for you, O Lord. You must answer for me, O Lord my God” (v. 15).

David’s pain isn’t just physical; his relatives and friends have forsaken him too . . . 

My loved ones and friends stay away, fearing my disease. Even my own family stands at a distance (v. 11).

And sensing weakness, his enemies, previously hidden and waiting for an opportunity, rise up against him . . . 

Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me. Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me. All day long they plan their treachery (v. 12).

Consider these magnified consequences:  distance from God, sickness, despair, family gone, and enemies attacking. I bet King David (and all of us who sin) wished he had obeyed God’s Word.

As a pastor, I’ve encountered several people who sinned, knew they shouldn’t, and did it anyway.  They lived deceptively, hiding their sin, and then were caught. Then they endured all the calamities mentioned in Psalm 38 — sickness, lost family, lost careers, and everyone turning against them.

As I observed the lives of those caught in their sin, I noticed two responses:

Some got mad at God for their plight, wondering why people lacked grace, and they eventually lost faith in Jesus. They became so hardhearted that they didn’t allow the toughness of God’s discipline to cut them deeply enough to bring ultimate healing.

Others repented, took full responsibility, and cried out like King David . . . 

I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done (v. 18).

And . . . 

Do not abandon me, O Lord. Do not stand at a distance, my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my savior (vv. 21-22).

Those who resorted to anger never found restoration.

But those who confessed and patiently waited for God’s mercy eventually found it, and God’s blessings returned to their lives.

Psalm 38 is a living in the fear of the Lord Psalm.

Amen. Peace out!

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