Psalm 38: Got Troubles? Reasons to Go to God for Help.

Psalm 38: Got Troubles? Reasons to Go to God for Help.

David wrote Psalm 38 when he was hurting — badly. When you’re in deep trouble, sick, or going through a heavy trial, and you feel there is nowhere left to turn. When you’ve hit rock bottom, the only place to turn is up. Let’s dig in…

Psalm 38

A psalm of David, asking God to remember him.

O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your rage!
Your arrows have struck deep,
    and your blows are crushing me.
Because of your anger, my whole body is sick;
    my health is broken because of my sins.
My guilt overwhelms me—
    it is a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and stink
    because of my foolish sins.
I am bent over and racked with pain.
    All day long I walk around filled with grief.
A raging fever burns within me,
    and my health is broken.
I am exhausted and completely crushed.
    My groans come from an anguished heart.

You know what I long for, Lord;
    you hear my every sigh.
10 My heart beats wildly, my strength fails,
    and I am going blind.
11 My loved ones and friends stay away, fearing my disease.
    Even my own family stands at a distance.
12 Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me.
    Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me.
    All day long they plan their treachery.

13 But I am deaf to all their threats.
    I am silent before them as one who cannot speak.
14 I choose to hear nothing,
    and I make no reply.
15 For I am waiting for you, O Lord.
    You must answer for me, O Lord my God.
16 I prayed, “Don’t let my enemies gloat over me
    or rejoice at my downfall.”

17 I am on the verge of collapse,
    facing constant pain.
18 But I confess my sins;
    I am deeply sorry for what I have done.
19 I have many aggressive enemies;
    they hate me without reason.
20 They repay me evil for good
    and oppose me for pursuing good.
21 Do not abandon me, O Lord.
    Do not stand at a distance, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
    O Lord my savior.

Psalm 38 NLT

  • The is a song of repentance. God was disciplining David with sickness. Now, that doesn’t mean that every time we catch a cold, a virus, or God forbid, cancer, we are being punished by God. Nevertheless, when we’re in bad shape, we need to turn to God for help. Sometimes He makes us go through stuff to strengthen us, get our attention, or slow us down.
  • David isn’t saying that it’s not fair. He knows he’s guilty. He knows he’s been a fool and done stupid, selfish things.
  • Obviously, it’s gotten to the point that he can’t take it anymore.
  • That’s when he turns to God for mercy — for salvation.
  • To top it all off, David’s friends use his illness as an excuse to abandon him. Some friends. Furthermore, his enemies take advantage of his sickness.
  • Then, he admits that he is waiting for the Lord. He prays for an answer. He’s at the end of his rope.
  • However, God is still holding on to the other end of the rope. You can have a tug of war with God, but face it, He’s going to win. He’s bigger and stronger than you could ever be.
  • On the verge of collapse, David confesses his sins. He is deeply sorry for what he’s done.
  • He cries out to God for help. “Do not abandon me, O Lord!”
  • Notice the last line, the last desperate plea, “Come quickly to help me, O Lord my savior.”

The Gospel is Help for the Hurting

We turn again to the folks at Spoken Gospel

Confession is vulnerable. It’s an admission we don’t have it all together and need help. We often avoid confessing because we’re ashamed or we believe others will use our confession to take advantage of us. But David discovers it’s more humiliating not to confess sin. 

God’s discipline towards David’s un-confessed sin shamed him in front of his friends, gave his enemies an opportunity to take advantage of him, and proved that he needed help. Ironically, everything David tried to avoid by not confessing is exactly what David got anyway. 

But David’s hope and ours are the same. If we confess our sins, God will be merciful to forgive us (1 John 1:9). If we admit we’ve done wrong, God is willing to heal us (James 5:16). And if we confess Jesus as the one who saves by what he did on the cross, we will never be shamed (Romans 10:9,11). Even when our sickness is a product of our sin, as it was for David, we’re told  it is by the stripes of Jesus that we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). 

When we confess our sins and trust that God has dealt with them in Jesus, we are not embarrassing ourselves or opening ourselves up to attack. Instead, we are calling on the resurrection power of God to be merciful and to save. And if anyone wonders if God really will do this, the answer is—yes (2 Corinthians 1:20)! Jesus was buried and rose again so that your forgiveness will be more certain than death. 

And if you’re crying out in need today as David did, saying, “Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior” (Psalm 38:22), be comforted by Jesus’ final words in our bibles: “Yes, I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20)!

See for Yourself

May the Holy Spirit open your eyes to see the God who is merciful. And may you see Jesus as the one who comes quickly to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from our sickness. 

Spoken Gospel

How to Pray Psalm 38 when you need help…

Praying a psalm back to God is simply putting in your own words. Here’s a sample…

O, Lord, are you angry at me? I feel so far away from you. I’ve lost all my energy and my head aches. You’ve got my attention, Lord. I know I failed you and fell short of your righteousness. I was foolish and I knew better. I’m sorry. Forgive me, Lord.

Come quickly to help me, O Lord my savior! In Jesus mighty, name, I pray, Amen.

Paraphrase on Psalm 38 by Giselle Aguiar

I’m going to borrow a final greeting from Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica…

23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NLT

Jesus is coming soon whether you’re ready or not!
Why not begin a relationship with Him?

Jesus knocking at the door of your heart.
Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart.
Isn’t it about time you let Him in?

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

No Longer Slaves

Make Room

Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be The Glory!

Help support this website…

Leave a Comment