Oh David: Psalm 38 Lent Reading

SheReadsTruth 2014 Lent Experiment

Psalm 38

This is my reflection on Psalm 38 from the Lent #SheSharesTruth experiment. This week’s assigned scripture was Psalm 38.

psychology

I wasn’t too excited when I began reading this chapter; it is dark, gloomy, and brutally honest. When we read this chapter we are reading the raw emotions of a man who is experiencing the physical embodiment of sin. This Psalm is attributed to David and as we know from reading about his life in the Old Testament, he was a man who committed a series of extreme sins. I don’t believe that God was punishing him for his sins. I see David as a man who was experiencing social consequences, instead of divine punishment for his sins.

 

 

How does David describe his illness brought on by sin:

Foul and festering boils (abscess)
Unhealthy bones
Hunched over
Heavily pounding heart
Eyes that lack luster
Worn out body
Physical pain
Emotional distress

Notice how David’s symptoms closely resemble those described by the American Psychological Association as the physical signs of stress.

pray

Eventually David acknowledges and confesses his sins to God. David knows that his only hope is God, especially since his friends and family have stayed away from him. It’s not so much that God can change David’s situation; what we can focus on is the fact that God is there to forgive David despite the sins that have brought him so much physical and emotional pain. When we commit chronic sins against other people and they retaliate, we can’t be surprised when we become sick with worry and fear as the situation turns 180 degrees against us.

psychotic

 

When we are forced to face the consequences of our sin, don’t blame God; He isn’t the sin revenger. God allows us to face the consequences of our actions, even if they are painful and lead us into a deep mental anguish. Our consequences are not a sign of God’s distance or punishment; they are the fruits of our actions.

If there is anything I wish for people to take from this Psalm, it is this: God does not punish us for our sins; we are punished by those we sin against! God loves you too much to punish you, but He loves you enough to give you the freedom to make your own choices whether good or bad. God loves us enough to provide guidance through His holy word; by providing us with godly leaders; and by empowering us with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

QUESTIONS:

  • Are there consequences of sin that you have attributed to divine punishment from God?
  • Have you ever experienced physical illness or emotional anguish caused by your own sins?

ACTION:

Give this physical prayer position a try. In Jesus’ Jewish culture, people prayed in various physical positions. One way that people had prayed was lying in what we now call corpse pose; this was a prayer position that was mostly done while lying in bed. During your prayer time if you are comfortable doing a corpse pose/resting pose, https://holyyoga.net/poses_details/e2c420d928d4bf8ce0ff2ec19b371514/, move into this position and pray. Focus on how your body and mind feels while praying in this stress reducing position.

Yoga_CorpsePose_300x350

Relaxation Poses

Hope your time of Lenting has so far been blessed with wisdom, strength, grace, and self-forgiveness.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Oh David: Psalm 38 Lent Reading

  1. 🙂 When I first learned this prayer position I always fell asleep. I felt really bad until I read that in ancient times a lot of Jewish people had used it as a means of falling asleep peacefully with the feeling of God’s protection as they slept.

  2. Thanks Jovella! I didnt know this was corpse prayer position, Ill have to practice it and remember to pray! Thanks. Joyful

  3. I love your insight on this Psalm! I particularly appreciate how you confirm that David’s consequences have actions and that his physical suffering was as a result of this. Thank you for sharing.

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