Psalms 31-45…Prayers of repentance.
Confessing our sins before God is another type of prayer we should practice often. Psalm 38 is traditionally considered one of the seven “penitential psalms,” with the others being Psalms 6, 32, 51, 102, 130, and 143. The main point is found in verse 18: “I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.” Thus, when the psalmist asked the Lord to help him, we understand that he was talking primarily about forgiveness.
David’s soul was sick, and he described these feelings in intense bodily terms. He had no health, his bones were unsound, his back ached, his wounds festered, he was mute and deaf, he felt crushed and helpless. All these symptoms afflicted him because he knew he had offended God. God was disciplining His child, exercising holy wrath to bring him to the painful point of repentance. The physical imagery is so vivid here that some commentators actually think the psalmist had a life-threatening illness! Have you ever confessed your sins with this kind of spiritual intensity? In addition, because David was Israel’s king, God had made his sin and its consequences public. As a result, his friends had dropped away and his enemies were waiting to pounce.
As we see in Psalm 38, there’s nothing heavier than the burden of sin, and nothing sweeter than God’s forgiving love. 1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Ask the Spirit to search your heart and bring you into unhindered fellowship with the Lord. If there is unconfessed sin, as well, repent before the Lord. Renew your commitment to righteousness and enjoy even closer fellowship with Him!