Psalm 38

Psalm 38  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The penitent in this Psalm feels both the weight of God’s righteous anger, and the bitterness of man’s undeserved enmity (Psa. 38:4,19-204For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. (Psalm 38:4)
19But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. 20They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is. (Psalm 38:19‑20)
). It suits David’s suffering from Absalom because of his sin against God in the matter of Uriah. He speaks as like a leper outside the camp.
And such is the figure of a convicted sinner, or of a saint under discipline. He is separated as one defiled and defiling; but Jesus can meet us in that place, though none else can. As a poor woman convicted of her sins once said, “I am too bad for any but Jesus,” and that blessed Saviour, as we know, at once “spotless” and yet “made sin,” was led to the slaughter without opening His mouth. (Psa. 38:1313But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. (Psalm 38:13); Matt. 26:63; 27:12,1463But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. (Matthew 26:63)
12And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. (Matthew 27:12)
14And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. (Matthew 27:14)
.) He did not answer the accusing of the wicked, but silently, or in the unutterable musing of His spirit, committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously. This was expressed in David towards Shimei (2 Sam. 16). David knew not the counsel of the sons of Zeruiah—his soul had no sympathy with it.
And this Psalm may be read as an utterance of the Remnant; for they will call to remembrance, and take upon them the sin of their nation in shedding the righteous blood of Jesus, though personally they had no share in it (Zech. 12:1010And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10)). For the sin of David touching Bathsheba and Uriah may represent Israel’s sin touching Jesus; innocent blood was shed, and unclean alliances were formed. The Jewish people cried out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him,” and at the same moment said, “We have no king but Caesar.” And then, we may say in a sense and measure, the subsequent sorrows of David at the hand of Absalom represent the Remnant’s sorrows at the hand of their enemy, the willful king; and this makes the same penitential Psalms the utterance of both David and the Remnant.