The final plea to Yahweh not to forsake David (Ps 38:21-38:22)

“Do not forsake me!


O my God!

Do not be far from me!

Make haste to help me!


My salvation!”

The final plea of David was to remind Yahweh not to forsake him, not to abandon him. He wanted Yahweh to come quickly to help him. This psalm ends with the cry that Yahweh was his salvation.

David is sorry for his sins (Ps 38:17-38:20)

“I am ready to fall.

My pain is ever with me.

I confess my iniquity.

I am sorry for my sin.

Those who are my foes without cause are mighty.

Many are those who hate me wrongfully.

Those who render me evil for good

Are my adversaries.

However I follow after good.”

David said he was ready to fall because the pain was all over him. He confessed his iniquity and was sorry for his sins. However, his foes and haters were strong and would render him evil for good. Notice that he says “foes without cause” or “hate me wrongfully.” This seems to indicate it would not be wrong to be his foe or hater if they had a reason to do so. Anyway, his adversaries brought evil for good, while David always followed the good. Once again, even in his confession of sinfulness, there was self-righteousness to it.

Waiting for Yahweh (Ps 38:15-38:16)

“But it is for you!


That I wait!

It is you!


My God!

You will answer!

I pray!

‘Only do not let them rejoice over me!

Those who boast against me

When my foot slips!’”

David is waiting for Yahweh. Only he could answer him. Yahweh was his God. He just prayed that they would not rejoice over him in case his foot slipped. They were just waiting for him to fail. David had hope and trust in waiting for Yahweh.

David is like a deaf mute (Ps 38:13-38:14)

“I am like the deaf ones.

I do not hear.

Like a mute

I cannot speak.


I am like one

Who does not hear.

I am like one

In whose mouth are no rebukes.”

David has become like a deaf mute that can neither hear nor speak. Thus he does not hear anything and he cannot respond with rebukes.

The enemies plot against David (Ps 38:12-38:12)

“Those who seek my life

Lay their snares.

Those who seek to hurt me

Speak of ruin.

Those who seek to hurt me

Meditate treachery all day long.”

The enemies of David who wanted to hurt and destroy him were laying their snares all around. They spoke of his ruin. They spent their whole day meditating on various treacherous deeds against him.

The plea to God (Ps 38:9-38:11)


All my longing is known to you.

My sighing is not hidden from you.

My heart throbs.

My strength fails me.

The light of my eyes has gone from me.

My friends and companions

Stand aloof from my affliction.

My neighbors stand far off.”

David made a plea to the Lord, God, who knew his situation. He was aware of his longing and sighing that was not hidden from him. His heart throbbed. His strength failed. His eyesight was growing dim. His friends, companions, and neighbors were standing aloof from him and his afflictions. Only God could help him.

David is in a terrible state (Ps 38:5-38:8)

“My wounds grow foul.

My wounds fester.

Because of my foolishness,

I am utterly bowed down.

I am utterly prostrate.

All day long I go around mourning.

My loins are filled with burning.

There is no soundness in my flesh.

I am utterly spent.

I am utterly crushed.

I groan

Because of the tumult of my heart.”

David or the psalmist was in bad shape. His wounds were growing more rank. They festered in his body because he had been foolish. He was knocked down and prostrate. Every day, all day long, he was in mourning. He had burning loins. As stated above, his body was not sound. In fact, he was utterly spent and crushed because of his sorrowful heart.

David is sick (Ps 38:3-38:4)

“There is no soundness in my flesh

Because of your indignation.

There is no health in my bones

Because of my sin.

My iniquities have gone over my head.

They weigh like a burden too heavy for me.”

David or the psalmist was sick. There was no health in his flesh or body. There was no health in his bones. He was sick to the bone. The reason for this was the indignation of Yahweh because David had sinned. He admitted his own sinfulness as his iniquities had gone over his head. They were a heavy burden on him that he could not bear.

Memorial offering (Ps 38:1-38:2)

A psalm of David, for the memorial offering


Do not rebuke me in your anger!

Do not discipline me in your wrath!

Your arrows have sunk into me,

Your hand has come down on me.”

This Psalm 38 is once again a psalm of David, but it had the unique title of a memorial offering. It is the prayer of an individual in distress. He was either sick or under personal attack, much like Job. The resemblance between Job and some of these psalms is remarkable. This is a direct prayer to Yahweh. The psalmist wanted Yahweh not to be angry with him. He wanted Yahweh not to discipline him. Yahweh’s arrows had hit him. Yahweh’s hand had come down on him.