Psalm 38

She Reads Truth is doing something new for Lent – every Friday the reader’s share their own thoughts on a certain passage of scripture. This is my response for the week. 

This week we read a Psalm of David, titled “Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord.” We read Psalm 38.

The message speaks so boldly to my heart, it pierces it, and kind of sets me back and question how bold David is speaking to God. Look at the list of things David is going through (from the Message version of Psalm 38):

  1. He’s lost 20 lbs in 2 months (because of God’s accusation)
  2. His bones are brittle as dry sticks (because of his sin)
  3. He is swamped by his bad behavior
  4. He has collapsed under guilt
  5. Cuts in his flesh stink and grow maggots (because of how badly he has lived)
  6. He is flat on his face, feeling sorry for himself all day long
  7. His insides are on fire
  8. His body is a wreck
  9. He has had enough, his life is “a vomit of groans.”
  10. His heart is about to break
  11. He is burned-out
  12. Cataracts blind him to God and good
  13. Friends are avoiding him like the plague
  14. Family never visits
  15. Neighbors stab him in the back
  16. Competitors defile his name, praying for his ruin

Aye, aye, aye! And we thought we had it bad! Part of me wants to think David is being a bit dramatic, but then I realize who David was and what he had done. See 2 Samuel 11 to read about David and Bathsheba.

But this is not where it ends! David closes out his list of troubles with a plea. He says:

But I’m deaf and mute to it all, ears shut, mouth shut. I don’t hear a word they say, don’t speak a word in response. What I do, God is wait for you, wait for my Lord, my God – you will answer! I wait and pray so they won’t laugh me off, won’t smugly strut off when I stumble (he lists a few more problems)… Don’t dumb me, God; my God, don’t stand me up. Hurry and Help me; I want some wide-open space in my life! (Psalm 38:15-22, MSG).

David chooses to let it go, to stop believing those around him and the lies of the enemy, and to remember that his God is the God who saves, who forgives, and who redeems. This Psalm reminds us that through our sorrow for our sin we can find HOPE in God – the source of healing, redemption, grace and mercy.


We can dismiss the mocking of other sinners, and we can turn a deaf ear and keep our mouths shut as we wait upon the Lord.

See last week’s #shesharestruth post – Psalm 130

photo credit to my brother, Daniel. Follow him on instagram @ an_idiot_abroad


4 thoughts on “Psalm 38

  1. That list of 16 things at the start of your post was really striking! Going to head off and read the Message version for myself! Thank you for sharing this today. Tabitha x

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