Crippled by Your Sins? You do not have to be -David!!

Psalms Chapter 38 #Sin #Anguish #Burdened #Overwhelmed #Forgiveness It’s Sunday Morning: Come To the Altar

(Unless otherwise cited, this devotional is from the King James Version-Psalms 38 mainly because it is public domain.)



This psalm demonstrates the emotional and psychological pain that the writer is experiencing. Therefore, it fits the category of “a psalm of lament.”  Although the psalmist is aware that the pain that he is experiencing is a result of his own sin, he is not dissuaded to and goes to his Abba/God for assistance. There is only one person who can forgive sin and release the torment of guilt, God. The psalmist is acutely aware of this. He is also aware that his enemies are apprised of his weakened emotional and psychological condition. They will attempt to use this moment in David’s life to attack him. Where can he turn? The sense of urgency in the psalms is indicative of David’s need for God’s protection over his life.  Longman (2014) proposes that Psalm 38 is traditionally considered “a penitential psalm ‘along with Psalms 6, 32, 51, 102, 130, 133” (p. 182).

  • Verses 13-16  But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth, not his mouth. I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. . .In [you] O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise, they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.

In verses 13- 16 David is numb and crippled by his sin. Verses 13-14: “And I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth” [He lost his ability to speak.] The persecution was so much that he was speechless. I was perfectly silent under all this persecution. Scripture detailed the same experience for Christ. (Isa. 53:7; 1 Peter 2:23; Matt. 26:63; 27:12; Matt. 27:14). Was David foreshadowing what would happen to Christ? We don’t know. We do know that in our own experiences it is best to take the high road and be silent when false accusations are made against us. It does no one any good to refute them. David may not be able to speak, but his expectation is that God will speak on his behalf. He will do the same thing for us too!

David Confesses: 


Verses 17-20 For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

David’s remorse, physical, and psychological pain are at its peak. He is overwhelmed by all of it. His pain is about to completely conqueror him.  He had a spiritual earthquake or felt the tremors of one, but he has not given up. His spiritual home is not destroyed.  The intensity of his spiritual, emotional, and physical pain is a ten on a scale of 1 to 10. But he has confessed,

palms147 He is aware that his enemies are ready to pounce on him like a lion.  You know what it is like when folks realize that a person has sinned, especially a well-known person. Generally, we are ready to de-bone them. In verses 19-20, we see the rigor of hatred that David’s enemies have for him. It is unparalleled. Just look at why his enemies are so hateful to him “because I follow the thing that good is.” He confessed his sin. He also restated his confidence in God.

Verses 21-22

Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.

Psalm 73:1-5 (MSG) states No doubt about it! God is good—good to good people, good to the good-hearted. But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness.  I was looking the other way, looking up to the people at the top, envying the wicked who have it made. Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world?


Longman concludes this Psalm 38 by stating

[the psalm] provides a compelling portrait of the pain of guilt. The difference between the godly and the wicked isn’t that the latter sin while the former do not, but rather that the godly feel remorse that leads them to repentance and a desire to move closer to God.

On the other hand, the wicked are calloused and do not feel as if they have done anything wrong. Even before the psalmist feels completely forgiven, he still calls on God to help him against his enemies who want to take advantage of him (p, 183).

I want to end the study of this Psalm with this statement. Happy Sunday morning! Sin does not have to cripple us. David, the man after God’s own hearts, sinned, he repented, received forgiveness, and delighted in the Lord.

Not just once, but each time that he sinned, did he think that he was above God’s gracious forgiveness! You are not either. Think about it and take it to the Altar. Come and experience peace, joy, love, and forgiveness. There is NO sin that is too great for God to offer you His hands of mercy and the peace that comes with forgiveness. Just ask. Come to the altar @Freedom Life Church, where we are growing closer to God & learning to love people better.

Each believer must confess their sins before their Heavenly father. The model prayer that Christ left us instructs us to seek God’s forgiveness. Not just once but continuously. To do so, we must confess our sins to God (Matt. 6:12).

Like David, we should ask God to do what David did in Psalm 139:23-24 (ESV)

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

Prayer: Lord, we are your children, and you know our hearts have a tendency to wave according to whatever flavor is currently prevalent in society.  We are not willing, nor are we ready to allow you to deal with all of the injustices that rise up in our world. We want an answer, and we want it now. David felt that same pain Lord. He confessed his sins, and you dealt with his enemies.  Lord show us our hearts and reveal our sins to us primarily when we are pointing our finger into the face of another person. Give a contrite spirit and a humble soul – by the blood of Jesus, we plead for mercy, grace, and peace. We fall at your feet right before your altar and deliver our minds to you – amen!

Song: O Come to The Altar


Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed January 12, 2020. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Psalm 38

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