The Progress of the Pilgrim: The Painful Plight of Personal Sin.  

“O my dear wife and children,” he said. “I am greatly troubled by a burden that lies heavy upon me. Moreover, I have been informed that our city will be burned with fire from heaven; and in this fearful destruction both myself and you, my wife and my sweet children, shall perish, unless we can find some way of escape or deliverance, which presently I cannot see.” (Isa. 64:6; Luke 14:33; Psa. 38:4; Hab. 2:2; Acts 16:31 Acts 2:37).

King David, much like you and me and the Pilgrim, knew the reality of the burden of sin. David, in Psalm 38, expressed deep sorrow, grief and pain due to his own sin.  While this lament psalm is by a believer needing God’s forgiveness from the power of sin, it can also apply to the unbeliever needing God’s forgiveness from the penalty of sin. The outline of Psalm 38 is a follows; The Personal Burden of Sin (38:1).““O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath!” David understood that whatever his sin was, it resulted in God’s righteous anger and wrath.

“O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger. “The word LORD (יהוה; Yahweh) is the most personal name for God. Yahweh means self-existent One. In the English, it also means “I Am” (Exodus 3:13-14).

To rebuke (תוֹכִיחֵ֑נִי; tokiheni) means to continually accuse and punish. Anger (קֶצֶף; quesep) in the context refers to God’s wrath. Wrath can mean rage and fury. While David understood that his behavior was deserving of God’s judgment, he prayed and begged for God’s grace and mercy.

A parallel statement follows. David prayed, “…nor discipline me in your wrath!” To discipline (יסר; ysr) also means to punish and chasten. Wrath (חֵמָה; hemah) literally refers to God’s heat and rage.

David does not blame others for his sin. He accepts the responsibility in all its ugliness. Whatever his sin was, David comprehended it deeply in his mind, emotions, will; and even in his physical body (Ps. 38:2-3).

“(David’s) prayers surround a core of intense lament (vv. 2–20). In many ways David’s laments parallel those of Job. David’s perspective is that his painful plight is due, at least in part, to his personal sin,” explains Dr. John MacArthur.

Have you ever sensed in your soul the painful plight of your personal sin? The fascination and delight of rebellion against God and His Word results in a conviction and remorse before God by His Word. The only hope of forgiveness is not penance but confession and repentance.

Repentantly pray to God at this moment to receive His gracious forgiveness.

Soli deo Gloria!  

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