Psalm 38 really popped out at me. It’s like a divine irony. I invested much time meditating on psalms 37-40. All these Psalms focus on God’s deliverance, with a unique twist. In Psalm 38, the twist is a double whammy: sin & enemies.
The Psalmist realizes his depravity and grieves over his sin. While one should work under grace, patients, and meekness when dealing with their depravity, there is still a real and sickening element to sin. Sin should grieve us. Grace does not remove the sting of sin.
Pop-factor #1: In trials, we must remember we’re also fallen.
Avoid: Self-righteousness, it’s everyone else’s fault.
Save me from…
The Psalmist realized he’s lost and in grave need of grace. He still asks for deliverance. God can use enemies, hard situations and trials independently or because of our sin. In either case, we see the pattern of asking for God’s deliverance. While trails are hard and grievous, its ok to ask for them to be over.
Pop-factor #2: In trials, its ok to ask for God to end it.
Avoid: Self-pity, making it all about yourself.
The real issue for anything good or bad in our lives is to show God to be God. Trials may deal with our sin, or be completely independent of it. They may be to strengthen us, or they may not. The big thing the Psalmist realizes both in his sin and in his trial is the greatness of God. God is the biggest concern. God’s justice must be satisfied as well as His compassion. God upholds the righteous, but only He can make one righteous. This deals with our sin. God delivers His own, and only He can do such. This deals with our situations.
Pop-factor #3: Trials regardless of reason are about God showing Himself as God.
Avoid: Self-focus, forgetting the big picture.
The bottom line:
God delivers bad people from bad situations because He wants to show Himself as good. It’s a hard listen. But, in bad situations don’t think you’re all perfect. Deal with the sin God reveals, even if its unrelated to the difficulty challenge you’re facing. Remember, God is God, you’re not. So, God save me from…because I’m bad!