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A psalm of David. A petition.


[Preliminary Comments: The title suggests this psalm is a request, an appeal for help from the Lord, and that it clearly is. David is clearly suffering physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We don't know the cause but he simply attributes it to his sin and the sense of guilt that he has is almost overwhelming him. It isn't only an internal thing, for people around him seem to have turned against him as well. Implied within this, perhaps, is that all these things are expressions of God's discipline of him. Verses 3-5 and 18 declare his guilt but having done that he trusts that he can now call on the Lord for help.]



v.1,2 David pleads against the Lord's anger

v.1   Lord , do not rebuke me in your anger
     or discipline me in your wrath.
v.2  Your arrows have pierced me,
     and your hand has come down on me.

v.3-5 He believes he is suffering what he is because of his sin

v.3   Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
     there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
v.4   My guilt has overwhelmed me
     like a burden too heavy to bear.

v.5  My wounds fester and are loathsome
     because of my sinful folly

v.6-8a He is also feeling in physical anguish

v.6  I am bowed down and brought very low;
     all day long I go about mourning.
v.7  My back is filled with searing pain;
     there is no health in my body.
v.8  I am feeble and utterly crushed;

v.8b-10 But it is more than that, it's also a heart-emotion thing

     I groan in anguish of heart.

v.9  All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
     my sighing is not hidden from you.
v.10  My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
     even the light has gone from my eyes.

v.11,12 Friends shun him, enemies scheme against him

v.11  My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
     my neighbors stay far away.
v.12  Those who want to kill me set their traps,
     those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
     all day long they scheme and lie.


v.13,14 He feels utterly helpless

v.13  I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
     like the mute, who cannot speak;
v.14  I have become like one who does not hear,
     whose mouth can offer no reply.

v.15,16 He determines to wait on the Lord and asks for His help

v.15   Lord , I wait for you;
     you will answer, Lord my God.
v.16  For I said, Do not let them gloat
     or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.


v.17,18 He acknowledges all aspects of his anguish

v.17  For I am about to fall,
     and my pain is ever with me.
v.18  I confess my iniquity;
     I am troubled by my sin.


v.19,20 People are against him for no apparent cause

v.19  Many have become my enemies without cause;
     those who hate me without reason are numerous.
v.20  Those who repay my good with evil
     lodge accusations against me,
     though I seek only to do what is good.


v.21,22 A final plea for the Lord to come and help him

v.21   Lord , do not forsake me;
     do not be far from me, my God.
v.22  Come quickly to help me,
     my Lord and my Savior.



[Additional Thoughts: The sense of guilt and shame over his failure is very strong in David. The fact that he was described as a man after God's own heart [1 Sam 13:14 & Acts 13:22] doesn't mean that he is perfect, for he was far from that, but it does mean that in various ways he reflects God's heart. The fact of feeling really bad about his own sin is one such thing and so in this psalm we see an honesty about himself that is rarely seen in believers, and even less in unbelievers.]



Continue to Psa 39