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Reading:                                  Psalm 38

(Verses 17-22)

For I am about to fall,     

and my pain is ever with me.

I confess my iniquity;     

I am troubled by my sin.

Many have become my enemies without cause;     

those who hate me without reason are numerous.

Those who repay my good with evil     

lodge accusations against me,     

though I seek only to do what is good.

LORD, do not forsake me;     

do not be far from me, my God.

Come quickly to help me,     

my Lord and my Savior. (NIV)

Reflection

Today’s reading is the concluding portion of Psalm 38. As noted previously, this entire psalm is a lament over sin, and the trouble and affliction it has brought into David’s life. Rather than blaming others or blaming God, David takes responsibility for his self-inflicted difficulties. In anguish of spirit he cries out, “I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.”

Bilberry Creek -- David Kitz

Bilberry Creek — David Kitz

Are you troubled by your sin, or do you revel in it? Have the consequences of sin started to bite. The writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us that Moses “chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25). There are pleasures in sin for a season, but the long term consequences are pain and death. It would appear from a full reading of this psalm that David is suffering some of the consequences of his misguided sin.

But David has the correct response. He confesses his sin and throws himself upon the mercies of God. Hear his humble plea, “LORD, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.”

God’s ears are always open to that kind of prayer. We may believe that we have fallen too far –that our sin is too great –that we have sunk too low. But God hears our cry and His grace is sufficient. His mercy knows no bounds. The blood of Christ flows to the lowest valley. He can cleanse the vilest heart.

Repentance is a wonderful gift, perhaps the greatest gift of all. At various times in his life David fell into the grip of sin. But David knew how to repent and as a result he found favour in the eyes of God. Discover the gift of repentance today. It’s more than feeling sorry for yourself. It’s a 180-degree turn from pursuing sin to pursuing God.

Response: LORD God, grant me the gift of repentance. I am thankful that Jesus died on the cross to wash me clean. Hallelujah! I want to pursue you, Lord. You are my help and my righteousness. Amen.

Your Turn: Are you troubled by sin? Have you found a remedy?