Experiencing The Wrath Of God – Psalm 38

While everyone wishes to enjoy the blessings of God, only a few are ready to experience His wrath too. Many believe that exposing the outcome of the wrath of God is a shame. Or knowing that God is not on our side, people will bounce on us from every angle. Especially our enemies will use this opportunity to destroy our image in our societies. Satan used Job’s wife on one such occasion to destroy the integrity of Job, but Job said You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble (Job 2:10)?  During the time of Job and David, the wrath of God bore the death penalty on their head, yet, they faced it boldly. But God enables us to stand in His presence by cleansing us with the blood of His Son. With this privilege, do we ever experience His wrath?

Arrows Of God Pierced Me

LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.

Your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath, there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.

Psalms 38:1-4

Though this Psalm is similar to Psalm 6, it is not a repetition but a fresh cry of the author to set things right in the sight of God. Daily sin enters all the areas of our lives and affects all aspects of our lives. Before this, Holy Spirit helps us to identify the areas prone to be affected by sin. Unfortunately, we ignore what the Spirit wants to convey through our consciousness and are ready to live with it. Some people connect hardships and sickness to the vile deed of the devil. Unlike them, David linked the mishaps to the outcome of sin and confidently asked God to stop His anger. The author wanted to be disciplined by God, but not in His wrath. The arrows of God pierced His heart to make him known of his guilt, and after this experience, sin became a burden to him.

Sometimes, reading the Bible is a burden for many people. If at all we read, obeying His word has become the most challenging job of our lives. We seldom allow the Word of God to judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Keeping us at par with the values of the world comforts us, and the norms of His Kingdom burdens us (Romans 12:2). All these things should become vice versa if we want to become His children.

Sickness is not the punishment given by God for our sins because God laid this punishment on His Son two thousand years ago. Sickness is the outcome of our sin, and if not cleansed daily, it erodes all the parts of our bodies. Probably it begins from our bones. The author depicts this eroding in this chapter (Psalms 30:5-8).

An Emotional Set Back

All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away.
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.

Psalms 38:9-12

Despite the sickness, and the outcome of sin, the author was able to place his desires before God and believed that his sighing reached His presence. Unlike the Psalmist, weakness in our body prevents us from connecting with God. When we are not connected with God, we feel forsaken by our associates, and their words threaten us. Once disconnected from God, we want to be connected somewhere, and we acquaint ourselves with the wrong associates by compromising our values. This attitude is a common phenomenon, but when we confess our sins, we will not pay attention to the empty talks of people. We will never show interest in those meaningless fellowships.

When we have learned to shut our ears to worthless talks, those near our hearts will tell us how people are speaking ill about us even though we will not hear them talking ill of us directly. If sin dominates our lives, our ears will be exposed to filthy allegations and threats. If we hear all these through someone, we are safe, and we ought to ignore the people who talk to us about others’ worthless talks. But if we hear them directly, it is time to take refuge in Him. Fortunately, the Psalmist was not mindful of what people talked about and kept silent (Psalm 38:13-16).

Learning To Do Good

For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.
Many have become my enemies without cause;
those who hate me without reason are numerous.
Those who repay my good with evil
lodge accusations against me,
though I seek only to do what is good.

Psalms 38:17-20

Confessing our sins at the right time to the right person is the need of the hour. Satan knows that if people confess their sins to God, then he will not have any hold on them. Hence, he tries to prevent people from doing this. Till the sixteenth century, the devil misdirected people to confess their sins to the wrong persons. We should be aware that Jesus paid our debts in full. God redeemed us from slavery to freedom through the priceless blood of His Son.

Worrying about people’s reactions to our goodness is nothing but a regular feature of society right from the creation of this world. By sharing the fruit with her husband, Eve did nothing wrong but served her husband. But Adam accused Eve of feeding him the forbidden fruit. Nothing would have gone wrong if Adam had confessed his mistake. But he blamed God for giving Eve, else he would not have eaten the forbidden fruit. Cain became the enemy of Abel without any reasonable cause. The brothers of Joseph hated him, not knowing the real meaning of his dream. Despite the good works done by Jesus, people chose to crucify Him.

If people are coming against us despite doing good, we should not mind them. Because this is the trend of the world, and it happens with everyone who is doing good. We are the children of God, predestined to do good, despite opposition (Ephesians 2:10). Let us make our conscience clear before God (not before men) and continue doing good.

Lord Help Me

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

Psalms 38:21-22

Unlike other Psalms, this Psalm does not end with the solutions the author received from God but expects us to write the end note affirmatively using our own encounters with God. We need God by our side and the Holy Spirit in our hearts to accomplish His will. Do not count on people but rely on God. He is the one who is near us at all times. Do not think it as a curse if people come against us. It is a blessing in disguise to see our God who holds the waters to lead us through the roaring ocean. He is our Lord and Saviour.

Lord, help us to accomplish your will in our lives despite threats and discouragement. 
Open our eyes to see you rejoicing in our deeds while people insult us.


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