Meditations on the Psalms #80

Day 80

Psalm 38: Read here –

This is a song full of pain and dark with guilt, as David felt the sore effects (seemingly both physical and spiritual) of his sin. There is no certain link to a specific time or event in David’s life. This is one of the Penitential Psalms. Vs 1-10 describes the judgment of sin using the words “wrath”, “anger” and ‘indignation.’ God’s wrath against sin must be evident before a watching universe (Eph 3:9-10), but David also new that Yahweh was the covenant God of Israel who heals and forgives transgression. The psalm begins with the word Yahweh. Every person must reckon with Law that is both natural and moral, and God cannot be seen to be excusing sin of any kind. While understanding God’s ‘wrath’ & ‘displeasure’ against sin (v1-2) David took the only wise path of drawing near to God, not as a condemning judge but as a chastening father. David used poetic pictures to describe how deeply he sensed the displeasure of God.

It was ultimately Jesus who carried these acute pains and was ‘pierced’ & ‘pressed down’ (v2) in a greater way than David ever endured, as He sustained the sins of the world. We then understand that on the cross Jesus was made the target of the same agony, but for our sins, not for His own. This hand of ‘indignation’ ‘pressed down’ upon Jesus, way beyond what David ever knew. Understanding the agony helps us to understand something of the greatness of the love that sent Him to the cross – for us. The covenant God of Israel is our God too! David looked forward, via the lesson book of the Sanctuary, to the time when Yahweh would deal with sin & its curse, forever. For us, the shadow has become reality.

Sin is the wound of the soul, v3-4, which must be washed with the tears of repentance, cleansed by the blood of Christ, and healed by the Holy Spirit.

The pain of David’s sin affected him in almost every way. He described a severe depression and melancholy as well as specific bodily afflictions. He was weak and severely broken. (V6-8)

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