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Psalm 38

December 26, 2008

PSALM 38
We must teach what the bible teaches regarding sickness. Ultimately, all sickness and death is the result of sin being in the world and more importantly being in Mankind. The world only sees sickness as part of the survival of the fittest…it’s natural to weed out the weaker of the species. They see sickness as a natural part of life or as some random event or some psychosomatic—“you believe your sick so you become sick.” They will even see it as the result of bad choices—“lifestyle choices”, being around sick people who are contagious, etc. But they have no room for Divine Intervention – whether it is for the glory of God as in John 9 (the man born blind) or as we’ll see here for sin. The church has about thrown the baby out with the bath water. As we become more scientific, we look more and more to the reliability of science to explain everything in our lives and in practice, less and less on the biblical view of reality.

I ) The direct cause of his situation and sickness –
1) sin, iniquities, folly – vs 3c, 4a, 5b
CF.  1 Corinthians 11:30 “For this reason many among you are sick and weak, and a number sleep.”
-1 John 5:16 “There is a sin leading to death.”

II) The symptoms his sin has caused in his body/soul
Illustration – None of these diseases
1) brings God’s wrath/displeasure – vs 1 – rebuke ‘legal term’ bring into account, reason against something
‘ burning anger’ trans. as venom in 58:4
2) guilty conscience feels the pain of its sin – vs 2
3) can cause physical sickness/symptoms – vs 3  – your arrows – usually are used against David’s enemies, now God has them aimed at His servant. Cf 18:14 “He sent out His arrows and scattered them” – physical illness is sometimes a result of sin – whether God providentially brings it upon you or allows you to suffer the consequences of your sin….”Weirsbe – we are free to sin. We are not free to choose the consequences.”
4) felling of being overwhelmed and not able to function; no rest in your inner person vs 4 – ‘burden’ – used of animals/priests carry heavy loads
weigh too much ‘ kabod – where the term glory gets its root—weight, heaviness”
‘for me’ – sin  costs you more than you think you can bear…sin costs more than the pleasure that it brings
5) situation seems to grow worse over time; sense of hopelessness sets in – vs 5-8
6) loss of joy –vs 10 “lit. to loosen, release, forsake”
7) heaviness of heart – vs 10
8) possible chest pains – vs 10 Illustr. Pastor friend – thought he was having a heart attack but found out everything was ok physically…was under a lot of stress
9) pain – in body and soul –vs 17 “sorrow – Lit. ‘pain’
10) anxiety – vs 18 “Could also read “I will be sorry for my sins.”

Illustration: “With every passing year, we obtain a wider comprehension of the ability of the mind (psyche) to produce varied disturbances in the body (soma): hence the term psychosomatic. Invisible emotional tension in the mind can produce striking visible changes in the body, changes that can become serious and fatal.” Page 58.
***Read Pg 61 of areas affected from inner turmoil that can be produced by sin.

III) Other consequences that have resulted from his sin
A) It may alienate friends and family – vs 11  Why? Maybe they may catch what you got if they are around you…maybe they see God’s discipline in your life is so strong they are afraid to try to alleviate God’s actions…or maybe, as it seems to be the case, people don’t want to get involved with another person’s troubles…they reason they have enough of their own…
B) It may attract those who are waiting to show you up or waiting for their “I told you so moment.”  12, 19, 20   …there is no mercy with the wicked towards the godly but all kinds of mercy towards those who are like themselves!…Cf. Romans 1 “giving hearty approval to those who practice such things.”
C) Your left with no credible testimony or justifiable defense for yourself and your life. – vs 13,14

IV. Seeks God’s mercy and grace despite his sin
A) Wouldn’t call on YHWH if he wasn’t gracious – vs 1
B) Can be honest with YHWH in his heart despite his troubles and his sin. – vs 2-3a; vs 9     Ilust. : note difference between contending with Maker and responses like Job and the Psalmist here….Cf. Illustr – me and my prayer with mom about her salvation the day she was saved.
C) Even though he immediately prays, he expresses hope and is willing to wait on God mercy to come to him. – vs 15  ‘hope=wait for’  Do you have faith to wait on God for grace/mercy/restoration? A truly repentant heart over sin will! Hope is renewed with repentance because it once again trusts God’s grace/faithfulness..  “You will answer – vs 15”
D) Asks despite his sin, that his troubles will not be magnified by his enemies being able to rejoice over him. He wants deliverance all around – vs. 16…If this isn’t coupled over repentance for the sin, then this is a selfish wish. But here as we can see it’s not. He’s willing to confess his sins. Cf w. vs 18a “For I confess my iniquity.”
E) Seek’s the fellowship and presence of God. To lose this is the worst thing imaginable to the Psalmist. Prays with urgency but is willing to wait as we saw earlier for God’s timing. But you can hear his desperation for God Himself…how about you?

IV. Why does David have the confidence to approach God like this? Because of who He is:
A) God is merciful and doesn’t give us what we deserve – vs 1..despite the sorrow of all the verses he expresses, he still pleads for God not to ‘turn up the heat’ which means he knows he’s not getting what he deserves even as bad as it is.  Cf – as a matter of fact the Lord Jesus took fully what we deserve while we get mercy from God! Rom. 8:1
B) God is a God who sees and sympathetically takes note of our condition – vs 9 Did you think that God is moved by your sorrow/sickness/grief, even if it’s due to your own personal sin?  CF. Jesus weeping over Jerusalem/The Holy Spirit grieved by our sin.
C) God is a covenant faithful God – vs 15 – NOTE: the term LORD…God will not forsake His inheritance for His name sake…Jesus: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” “Lo, I am with you always even until the end of the world.”

D) He is the God who saves, and can do so quickly! – vs 21,22 – NOTE: “My God…O Lord, my salvation”   Jesus has saved us by pronouncing us righteous be/c of His life, death, burial, resurrection, is saving us by the work or His Spirit, and will save us when He returns. Truly God is a God who saves!!

V) Conclusion:
A) James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.” See all also vv 14, 15
B) Proverbs 3:1,2 and 4:20-22
C) Ultimately we all get sick and die because of sin: we are born in sin and we are sinners by choice. If you have never turned from your sin, sought God’s mercy/forgiveness from His wrath against your sin, you have a sickness until death. Right now your body is dying a little more each day. So are all of us but we have Christ’s promise to redeem us. Read Is 53:3-6 Christ can give you eternal life so you can know Him forever. Do you know Him? Does He really know you? Have you turned from your sin and sought mercy in His blood He shed for sinners?

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