Life-Study of Psalms, by Witness Lee

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A. David’s Concept in This Psalm
Contradicting His Logic in Psalm 37

The concept in Psalm 37 is on one pole, and the concept in Psalm 38 is on the other pole. David’s concept in Psalm 38 contradicts his logic in Psalm 37.

B. God’s Chastening Forcing Him to Confess
His Sins and Iniquities

In Psalm 38:1-8 we see that God’s chastening forced David to confess his sins and iniquities. David said that in his flesh there was no soundness because of God’s indignation, and there was no wholeness in his bones due to his sin (v. 3). There was indignation on God’s side, and sin on David’s side.

Verse 4 says, "For my iniquities have passed over my head; /Like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me." If we do not like this verse, we are wrong. We have to love this verse to the uttermost.

Verses 5-8 say, "My wounds are odious and festering/Due to my foolishness./I am bent down and bowed utterly;/I go about all day long mourning./For my loins are filled with burning,/And there is no soundness in my flesh./I am benumbed and crushed utterly;/I cry out due to the groaning of my heart." Groaning indicates that you have a burden to pray, yet you do not know what to say. In Psalm 37 it seems that David was so clear about everything and had the utterance to pray for everything. But in Psalm 38 all he could do was cry out due to the groaning of his heart. At times we may have some burden and some feeling, but we do not know how to utter them. We have no knowledge about how to utter our prayer. Thus, all we can do is groan and say, "O Lord Jesus. O Lord Jesus."

In Romans 8:26 Paul said, "Moreover, in like manner the Spirit also joins in to help us in our weakness, for we do not know for what we should pray as is fitting, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." The weakness here is our ignorance of how we should pray. We do not know the kind of prayer God desires, and we are not clear how to pray, according to the burden we feel, for our being conformed to the image of God’s Son; hence, we groan (v. 23). In our groaning the Spirit groans also, interceding for us. His interceding is mainly that we may experience the transformation in life for growth into the maturity of sonship that we may be fully conformed to the image of God’s Son (v. 29).

(Life-Study of Psalms, Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)