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Psalm Thirty Eight

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.

to bring to remembrance. The superscript to this psalm indicates that David wrote it “to bring to remembrance”—most likely remembering the sins of earlier days, and their baleful effects on others, even though God had forgiven him because of his faith. However, it does seem that the language in some cases goes beyond David's experience and can only be explained in terms of Christ bearing the sins of every man in His body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24). See also the title to Psalm 70.

Psalm 38:1 O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Psalm 38:2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.

Psalm 38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.

Psalm 38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

gone over mine head. Only the Lord Jesus was ever completely submerged in sin, as all the sins of the world were imputed to him.

Psalm 38:5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.

Psalm 38:6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.

Psalm 38:7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.

Psalm 38:8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

disquietness. That is, “distress,” or “anxiety.”

Psalm 38:9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

Psalm 38:10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

my strength faileth me. Compare Psalm 22:14, 15.

Psalm 38:11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.

kinsmen stand afar off. “And all His acquaintance ... stood afar off” (Luke 23:49). Only the mother of Christ stood by Him at the cross, with his brothers nowhere near.

Psalm 38:12 They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

Psalm 38:13 But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.

openeth not his mouth. Compare Isaiah 53:7, fulfilled so precisely by Christ (Matthew 27:12, 14; Luke 23:9).

Psalm 38:14 Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.

Psalm 38:15 For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.

Psalm 38:16 For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.

Psalm 38:17 For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.

Psalm 38:18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.

Psalm 38:19 But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.

Psalm 38:20 They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

Psalm 38:21 Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.

Psalm 38:22 Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.