Monday, 3 August 2020
Title: Do you feel sorrow and anguish?
Author: Ps Cheng Cheung
Psalm 38: 17-18
17 For I am ready to fall,
And my sorrow is continually before me.
18 For I will declare my iniquity;
I will be in anguish over my sin.
Two weeks ago, in the first part of Psalm 38, I shared how David recognised that his sins were the cause of the physical and emotional anguish he was experiencing. Realising this, he was totally honest with God and confessed. Now, I wish to share some insights which reveal what David went through in the remaining verses.
Let us venture back a short while to a time when the committing of his sin was still fresh, AND rumours of his wrongdoing had already surfaced, somehow.
It is obvious from the text that his sin, whether specifically or generally, was common knowledge. Two groups are mentioned, who apparently were aware. Loved ones and friends were one group. Those who sought his total downfall and destruction through schemes and deceit were the other. Fellow Christian, is this emotional turmoil not common for those who have fallen into sin? Our friends and loved ones get to hear and wonder what actually happened and if there is any truth in it. Whilst our ‘frenemies’ plot to expose us and maybe drive home the guilt and shame. What a predicament to be in!
The good news, of course, unknown to both parties, is that David had decided to come clean – verse 9 – for he knew he could not hide anything from the Lord. Moreover, he had decided, before his counsellors seeking to admonish him and his opponents seeking to harm him, that he would not pay attention to any of their words NOR to respond verbally to anything said about him. Instead he decided to remain silent. – verses 13 & 14.
This was not arrogance. It was the natural response of one who had been convicted of his wrongdoing by the Spirit of God. Now, placing his hope in God’s abundant grace, he threw himself at God’s mercy. What was his state of mind and the conviction of his heart as he approached the throne of grace, seeking forgiveness?
17 “For I am ready to fall”
He is at his wit’s end. He is exhausted spiritually, emotionally and physically. If God does not help now, he is doomed.
17 “My sorrow is continually before me”
He is overwhelmed by grief over his sin.
18 “I will declare my iniquity, I will be in anguish over my sin” He firmly decides that a full and open confession of his wrongdoing and total regret for his behaviour is needed. Nothing less.
20 ” . . . I follow what is good”
He resolves, with God’s strength, to turn from evil and do what is good in God’s eyes. This may involve confession to other parties, asking for forgiveness and restitution in some cases.
This takes much humility. It’s not easy to call a spade a “spade”, am I right? We often give ourselves excuses, most of them lame, why we, e.g., lost our temper and shouted expletives (the other person was unreasonable and inconsiderate!). Other times we justify our loss of control by appealing to their soft spots. ”Please understand. My needs were not being met, and something overcame me.”
But David did not do this. He declared (the nature of) his iniquity and expressed anguish over his sin. We should do the same, when asking for forgiveness from God and those whom we have wronged.
Brothers and sisters, do we take sin too lightly? Do we not know a holy God cannot tolerate sin, in fact abhors it? Let us examine ourselves in the light of David’s experience in this Psalm and change our attitude if need be.
A final thought about David’s aggressive adversaries. He communicates the thought that the cause of their enmity towards him is not his sin. No, they have no issue with that. But they are upset over his earnest endeavour to forsake his sin and follow after righteousness. The only thing anyone has to do to earn the hatred of unregenerate humanity is merely to “do good.” If you would rather pay the traffic summons than the cop, you put them in bad light. David found it so; and Christians of all ages can attest the truth of his experience.
1 John 3: 12 ”Cain . . murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.”
The point I am making is that the world often makes light of the moral standards set by God for the sons and daughters of righteousness. Often the sentiment is “Don’t worry, everyone is doing it. So join us” That is not true. Let us stick to our convictions and not be swayed by the behaviour of the world.
Heavenly Father, I thank you I can pray
Do not forsake me, O Yahweh.
O my God, do not be far from me.
Hurry to help me,
O Lord, my salvation.
And You will hear me, provided I have clean hands and a pure heart. Holy Spirit, convict me of sin and may my conscience respond without excuses. Remove all deceit from me O Lord, that my walk with You not be hindered.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
最后，让我们思考大卫王好斗的对手。他传达了这样一种思想，即他们对他的仇恨不是他的罪。不是的。 不是罪的问题。而是他们为他的认真努力改过更新，追随正义而恼怒。任何人只要“做好事”， 就必面对人类的仇恨。如果您宁愿支付交通传票而不是贿赂警察，那么您会暴露它们的恶意。大卫王如此的理解；所有不同成熟阶段的基督徒都可以认证他的经历真实性。
约翰一书3：12 “ 不可像该隐，他是属那恶者，杀了他的兄弟。为什么杀了他呢？因自己的行为是恶的，兄弟的行为是善的“