Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 38 – Intro

Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart. This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 38 is a psalm of David in sin. He exists in the midst of knowing his own sin before the Lord, of the adultery, the deception, the murder. He has fallen, and is wallowing in a cesspool of condemnation, both in his thoughts, emotions and feelings.

This psalm is a second in a series of psalms that catalogues David’s writings while he is in the throes of his estrangement from God. Psalm 6, our current Psalm, Psalm 51 and Psalm 32 gives us an overview of King David’s struggles in processing through this self inflicted personal and public tragedy. This psalm provides David’s inner doubts and despair, much like Psalm 6, but prior to his full confession and repentance in front of the Living God in Psalm 51.

This psalm may be considered seeing two “persons” impacting David and his sin.

First off, David describes his Experience with God. We will look at verses 1-10 and summary verses 17 & 18 in our next post. A concluding post will look at verses 11-16, recording David’s Experience with men. Verses 19-20 will supply a summary regarding men and their “mercy” (ahem) towards David.

The last two verses caught my attention this morning, and I would like to settle on them for a wee bit. It is a common refrain through the psalms that although many psalms start out in sorrow and in pain, each psalm ultimately ends with hope. This particular psalm describes a saints heart when in despair, a hope the saint may have while under trial, while being abandoned, while alone and under conviction of sin.

Let’s take a moment to read the last two verses and consider.

Psalm 38

21 Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

Take note my friends, that David, in the midst of all the pain and loss he describes in the verse 1-20, knows Who to call out to. He knows the One that can be approached, that will act. He calls out to God, claiming three names in his relationship with him.

He calls out to God as

  • LORD (Yᵊhōvâ)
    • The God of the covenant, of the promise. David call’s out to the One who initiated relationship, who pursued and promised.
  • my God (‘ĕlōhîm)
    • The name Moses used to describe the all-powerful creator of all things. The One to whom nothing stands in the way, the One to whom David claims as his own, his God, his powerful God
  • O Lord (‘ăḏōnāy)
    • A reference to David’s personal Master, his Lord, not just the Lord, but his own Lord. Even in the midst of his pain and distress, he never disowned his Lord. The very pain he went through may have been because he hung on, he persevered with a faith that accepted his sin, that owned his culpability and brought it before his Master.

But let us not stop with the three primary names David refers to in his closing plea. He also tags on “my salvation” and I realize I may be taking license in my next statement, but consider.

Many times in the Old Testament, God is referred to as the salvation of the nation of Israel and of individuals. Two verses as examples.

But Israel is saved by the LORD with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity. – Isa 45:17

It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. – Lam 3:26

Let’s remember whom God has designated as the One we are to look to for salvation, for His very name is Jesus.

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Mat 1:21 ESV

When David tagged on “my salvation”, was he looking to the One who would walk amongst us, live a spotless life, speak truth to hearts and experience physical, emotional, spiritual sufferings we know nothing about. I like to think he was.

My salvation is found in no one else, not even my own self effort or supposed obedience to any moral code I may have erected in my mind.

David was in the midst of his deepest failure, and in the middle of this deep valley of despair, he looked to Him who was the salvation of Israel, and did not promise to “do better”, or “act nicer”. No – his trust was in someone outside of himself, in the ever living One.

Jesus is worthy of our trust. He is the only One we can approach in the midst of our sin, whom we can have confidence in that He will not utterly reject us.

He is good. Look to Him in your despair, in your pain, in your disappointment. He has suffered beyond our comprehension, understands deep despair, and disappointment and is waiting there for us.

Truly, He is good!

I do hope you will join me as we begin at the beginning of this psalm in our next posting. (I think I may have gotten a bit ahead of myself!) Hope to hear from you – Thanks for visiting!



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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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