We pay for what we take or get.”
–Luke Short (Brand of Empire)
“He will pay them back for their sins and destroy them for their evil. The Lord our God will destroy them.”
God made us in such a way that our spiritual well-being is closely connected to our emotional and physical well-being. A person who is emotionally distressed can begin to have physical and spiritual problems. A physical ailment or disease can definitely work on the emotions and cause one to doubt in their spirit. The culture of today wants to downplay shame and guilt, yet it is through these that anguish of the soul comes and because of that repentance. The person who does not feel shame cannot say they have sinned and thus repent.
Let me interject a severe word of warning. Sickness may come because of sin, however, remember Job. To say that all sickness, and there are some out there, comes from a person’s sin can lead to despair and depression. It may be an attack of the devil, it may come from natural causes, or in this case brought by David, it may be caused by sin. Contemplate the words of this portion of Psalm 38.
1 – Lord, do not punish me in Your anger or discipline me in Your wrath.
2 – For Your arrows have sunk into me, and Your hand has pressed down on me.
3 – There is no health in my body because of Your indignation; there is no strength in my bones because of my sin.
4 – For my sins have flooded over my head; they are a burden too heavy for me to bear.
5 – My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness.
6 – I am bent over and brought low; all day long I go around in mourning.
7 – For my loins are full of burning pain, and there is no health in my body.
8 – I am faint and severely crushed; I groan because of the anguish of my heart.
9 – Lord, my every desire is known to You; my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 – My heart races, my strength leaves me, and even the light of my eyes has faded.
11 – My loved ones and friends stand back from my affliction, and my relatives stand at a distance.
12 – Those who seek my life set traps, and those who want to harm me threaten to destroy me; they plot treachery all day long. (HCSB)
David is in anguish. We are not sure of the cause but he is physically and emotionally in severe pain. He is crushed and broken, but there is one very important fact that we must gain from this–David turned to God. It seems as if this torment came because of sin in David’s life. Many, in David’s situation, might get bitter, they might accuse God. Remember, Job’s wife, “curse God and die”? David knows that God sees him in his pain and torment. A person of God always turns to God in the turmoil and suffering of life.
Just a side note: check out verses 11-12. Does that sound like the virus we are facing today? I can imagine our President relating to these verses. In the midst of this “pandemic” some in Congress are blaming the President for the deaths caused by the virus. Hatred has overcome common sense.
We look out at the world around us and many are troubled. They want peace, that is peace down in their soul. It is always a good time to do a personal inventory. If we have offended the Lord, we need to recognize it and repent.
“O my offended Lord,
Restore my inward peace.
I know that you can; pronounce the word,
And bid the tempest cease.”
We pay for what we take or get.”