In these sad times the psalmist probably wrote—Psalm 38. which is entitled—
He feared that he was forgotten by his God, and therefore pleaded to be remembered.
Rebuked I must be, but Lord deal gently with me; chastening I richly deserve, but do not smite me too heavily lest I utterly perish.
Spiritual distress is painful to the last degree. However sweet sin may have been in David’s mouth, it was bitter enough when it had once reached his inward parts.
Psalm 38:4, 5
Conscience laid on stripe after stripe till his soul was wounded in a thousand places, and the wounds became loathsome as well as painful. No ulcers and putrefying sores can match the unutterable vileness and pollution of iniquity.
Thus the penitent are made to feel the smart of sin. The reprobate feel nothing of this, but go singing merrily down to hell; those whom the Lord loves are never allowed to find comfort in sin.
The good Physician understands our case without our needing to explain to him—
“He takes the meaning of our tears
The language of our groans.”
Here begins another tale of woe. While he was in pain within, he was forsaken and persecuted without.
He would not hear Shimei, so as to punish him. A deaf ear is often a great blessing.
He would not deny that he had done amiss, although he was innocent of the worst charges which were laid against him.
God is not only our Saviour, but our salvation. He who has the Lord upon his side has salvation in present possession. Faith sees in this last sentence the sure result of her prayers, and begins to glorify God for the expected mercy. We shall never be forsaken by our heavenly Father. His grace will come to the rescue, and ere long we shall magnify his name for saving us out of all our troubles. Have we all repented of sin? Are we all resting by faith in him?
Jesus, full of every grace,
Now reveal thy smiling face;
Grant the joys of sin forgiven,
Foretaste of the bliss of heaven.
All my guilt to thee is known;
Thou art righteous, thou alone,
All my help is from thy cross;
All beside I count but loss.
Lord, in thee I now believe,
Wilt thou, wilt thou not forgive?
Helpless at thy feet I lie;
Saviour, leave me not to die.