Psalms 38

* God's displeasure at sin. (1-11) The psalmist's sufferings and

prayers. (12-22)1-11 Nothing will disquiet the heart of a good man so much as

the sense of God's anger. The way to keep the heart quiet, is to

keep ourselves in the love of God. But a sense of guilt is too

heavy to bear; and would sink men into despair and ruin, unless

removed by the pardoning mercy of God. If there were not sin in

our souls, there would be no pain in our bones, no illness in

our bodies. The guilt of sin is a burden to the whole creation,

which groans under it. It will be a burden to the sinners

themselves, when they are heavy-laden under it, or a burden of

ruin, when it sinks them to hell. When we perceive our true

condition, the Good Physician will be valued, sought, and

obeyed. Yet many let their wounds rankle, because they delay to

go to their merciful Friend. When, at any time, we are

distempered in our bodies, we ought to remember how God has been

dishonoured in and by our bodies. The groanings which cannot be

uttered, are not hid from Him that searches the heart, and knows

the mind of the Spirit. David, in his troubles, was a type of

Christ in his agonies, of Christ on his cross, suffering and

deserted.
12-22 Wicked men hate goodness, even when they benefit by it.

David, in the complaints he makes of his enemies, seems to refer

to Christ. But our enemies do us real mischief only when they

drive us from God and our duty. The true believer's trouble will

be made useful; he will learn to wait for his God, and will not

seek relief from the world or himself. The less we notice the

unkindness and injuries that are done us, the more we consult

the quiet of our own minds. David's troubles were the

chastisement and the consequence of his transgressions, whilst

Christ suffered for our sins and ours only. What right can a

sinner have to yield to impatience or anger, when mercifully

corrected for his sins? David was very sensible of the present

workings of corruption in him. Good men, by setting their sorrow

continually before them, have been ready to fall; but by setting

God always before them, they have kept their standing. If we are

truly penitent for sin, that will make us patient under

affliction. Nothing goes nearer to the heart of a believer when

in affliction, than to be under the apprehension of God's

deserting him; nor does any thing come more feelingly from his

heart than this prayer, "Be not far from me." The Lord will

hasten to help those who trust in him as their salvation
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