Psalm 38


David wrote this Psalm for the memorial offering. David is feeling the conviction from God for his sins and asking for mercy. He expresses how devastated he is by his sins, and how others are avoiding him as well. He is seeking God in this time, longing for Him. People are still against him, but he has become numb to all of it, unresponsive, or perhaps passive is a good description as David waits on the Lord. David says he is ready for his discipline, since living with his sin is destroying him. There are still those who are against him wrongfully and despise his pursuit of righteousness. So, he continues to seek God as his salvation.


David—the Psalmist, the Lord, my foes

Key Verse

Verse 3-4 “There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.”

Cross References

Isaiah 1:5-6 “Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.”

Psalm 31:10 “For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.”

Psalm 40:12 “For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.”

Ezra 9:6 “saying: “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.”


Our sin is destructive to our souls, to people around us, and, of course, to our relationship with God. We are so blessed to be taken care of by God in such a way that He forgives us so quickly, that we can turn to Him with our iniquities immediately, and He will deliver and heal us. We, like David may need to have some discipline, some consequences, but those consequences are worth it to return to a right relationship with God.

Jesus in the Psalm

“This is an explicit confession of personal sin against God (vv. 1, 3, 18). The Lord had to discipline David before he could smell the stench of his sin, feel the agony of his iniquity, suffer the shame of his guilt, and realize the numbness of his spiritual senses (vv. 5-12; Luke 23:49; Rom. 6:21). God’s discipline of a believer is meant to soften the heart and ultimately restore fellowship. When we are in the midst of divine discipline, we are called to wait on the Lord (Ps. 38:15).”*

Luke 23:49 [The Death of Jesus] “And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.”

Romans 6:21 “But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.”

Tomorrow: Romans 8

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

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