Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Psalm 38 (NIV)
A psalm of David. A petition.
1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.2 Your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down on me.3 Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.4 My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.5 My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.6 I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning.7 My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.8 I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.9 All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away.12 Those who want to kill me set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they scheme and lie.13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear, like the mute, who cannot speak;14 I have become like one who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply.15 Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”17 For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me.18 I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.19 Many have become my enemies without cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous.20 Those who repay my good with evil lodge accusations against me, though I seek only to do what is good. 21 Lord, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. 22 Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.
This Psalm is long and intense – not one you will want to use frequently. But it speaks eloquently of how, when we sin, we “feel God’s arrows”, and how challenging it is to be faithful when other people are harming us. Notice how the poet, in spite of his pain, is always turning toward God, and trusting that God will be merciful.