Psalm 38:1-22 A Lament/Pentitential Psalm by David
Psalm 38:1-22 Heartsick
Psalm 38 is another lament psalm from David. I don’t mind having so many lament psalms, do you? Life is hard. Laments are encouraging. They start out whiney but almost always end with encouragement and an exhortation to trust the Lord. This one doesn’t. David is very ill and is begging God for healing. We don’t know what occasioned this psalm, when he was this sick. It is also a penitential psalm, meaning he was confessing his sin.
David begins his prayer by asking that God dismiss his sin (v. 1, 3). Disease is not always caused by our sin but it is part of being fallen human beings. The blind man in John 9 was not afflicted due to his or even his parents’ sins (cf. John 9:1-3). Sometimes disease just happens.
David is in a bad way. He feels like God has shot him with arrows (v. 2). His bones ache (v. 3). He has festering wounds (v. 5). He can’t stand up straight (6). His groin burns (v. 7). Whatever part of his body has not been described is numb (v. 8). It seems, in this case, that David’s sin has caused all this (vv. 2, 4a, 5b, 10, 18). David’s illness is Jobian.
David’s relatives don’t even want to have anything to do with him (v. 11). But David stills craves a good relationship with the Lord (v. 9). Someone is out to off him (v. 12, 16, 19-20).
David does what he should do. He throws himself before the mercy of God’s court (15, 17, 21-22). He relies completely on God and just keeps his mouth shut (vv. 13-14).
When you are in pain and want to cry out to God, this is a good psalm to pray. It’s always good to confess sin when we are sick just in case that is the cause (cf. James 5:14-16).
Proverbs 10:8-9 Babblative
Did you know that babblative is actually a word? I wouldn’t have either except it was on my “word of the day” calendar. Someone who is babblative is someone who babbles a lot. Back in the 1500’s, they actually used to use that word. I doubt they had more babblers than we do today. Someone who just babbles is generally a “fool.” Don’t forget a “fool” in Scripture and in Proverbs is an unbeliever (v. 8b). Unbelievers babble because they don’t have anything usually to say about life. Think about it. Ultimately, what do they have to say?
But to be fair, who is really preaching the Word these days? I just had lunch with a fella who had gone to church for probably over five decades. He said to me, “No one is teaching.” I agreed. But then, who wants to hear anything these days? One of the main characteristics of the end times is that people want to hear what they want to hear.
They will want their ears “tickled.” “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2Tim. 4:3 NASB). Can you believe it actually says “tickled”? I guess that’s what babblative preachers do.
“The wise of heart” will want good preaching (v. 8a). They will be secure because they are honest and honest to God (v. 9, cf. John 3:21). Perverts and babblative people will be exposed for what they are (v. 9b).