From Chastening to Closeness
Topic: Psalms, Trials, Suffering, Depression, Scripture: Psalm 38
There is a dark side to the spiritual life. This is not due to darkness in the Divine Person but in fact due to the darkness in us. Even those who have come to faith in God through Jesus continue to wage war with their sins. At times we lose a battle and fall for the lusts of the flesh. Because of our stubborn pride, God sometimes uses this to wean us from lust and clean us through His pure love. Psalm 38 grants us an inside view of this spiritual formation that God does in us. In this Psalm, we see David at one of his lowest points. He is spent, near death, abandoned by loved ones, attacked by enemies, and chastened by God. What does he do? What would you do?
Willem VanGemeren: “In this individual lament the psalmist calls on the Lord for healing from the crippling disease. He is overwhelmed with guilt, abandonment, and a desire for renewed fellowship with God. He suffers from a sickness from which he has not yet recovered. All the while he experiences the hand of God’s discipline and waits for the Lord to respond to his need. Because of the themes of sin, guilt, judgment, and hope in God’s salvation, Psalm 38 has been used as a penitential psalm (cf. Pss. 6; 32; 51; 102; 130; 143).” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, p. 306.
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