The tone the writer uses in Psalm 38 describes the pain of the remorse he feels for his wrongdoing. The title and byline are Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord – A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.
“… 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” (Psalm 38:3-4 ESV).
“… all the day I go about mourning. For my sides are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and crushed. I groan because of the tumult of my heart” (verses 6-7).
Though the psalmist’s sorrow is intense, these two verses show he recognizes he is not alone, and that there is hope.
“O Lord, all my longing is before you. My sighing is not hidden from you” (verse 9).
“… But for you, O Lord, do I wait. It is you, O Lord my God, who will answer” (verse 15).
“… I confess my iniquity, I am sorry for my sin. But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully” (verses 17-19).
At the end of this psalm the writer still feels the weight of his issues, so he calls out for help from the One who is his salvation. It may not be a happy ending, but it is a good “to be continued” ending.
“Do not forsake me, O Lord. O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation” (verses 21-22).
by Kathy Sheldon Davis