David’s Psalm of Affliction
I have been drawn repeatedly the past week to Psalm 38. I am not sure why. It is not really a happy Psalm. David is in a difficult place and says some difficult things. I get the picture of a guy at the bottom of a well with no visible way out. He is in pain both physically and emotionally. These kinds of places often raise questions about God as we try to fit the pain into our picture of how life is supposed to go and how God is supposed to make our lives more pleasant. It is a very lonely place.
In the middle of his Psalm of affliction, David writes “all my longings lie open before You, O Lord, my sighing is not hidden from You” vs 9.
Does David mean that God looks into his heart and already knows all of his longings or does David mean that he has shared all his longings with God? I’m not sure.
David knows that God is aware of his heaviness, and in light of what we know about David, I am guessing that David has shared his deepest longings with God. If this were David’s only Psalm we would question his concept of God, but in the context of all of his writings we instead sit impressed with David’s honesty.
David, a Jew, who for fear of blasphemy could not even speak the great name of God “Yahweh -YHVH”, seems very comfortable crying out to God, sharing his pain and trouble with God and in his darkest hour cleaving and waiting for his God- “I wait for You, O Lord” v 15.
In David we see a man in deep relationship with his God. A David prayer “Lord, today I am a mess. Who I am right now is all I have to offer to You. Beneath all of my pain, struggle, longing and trouble, You O God are with me. You are my God and I wait for You.” … and God said of David “here is a man after my own heart” 1 Sam. 13:14.