Today’s reading is Psalm 38.
Psalm 38 is intense. It almost seems like everything negative that could happen to a person is happening to David in this psalm.
He’s having spiritual problems, health problems, relationship problems. He is sick with an intensity that is overwhelming. He mentions pain, infection, weakness. He has a relational isolation that is almost insurmountable. His enemies are after him like vultures who sense a near death. His friends and companions have started distancing themselves. Even his family is standing far off. To top all of this off, his sin and guilt stands in the way of fixing any of these other things.
We can argue all day long about whether or not to take the intensity of this psalm literally. Is David using poetic license to simply tell us how he feels in some moment? Or is he literally this sick, this isolated, this spiritually destitute?
The answers to those questions don’t matter nearly as much as the recognition that we’ve all been in those situations. Maybe we’ve never had all of them at the same time. Maybe never to that intensity. But then again, maybe we have been in all those situations, to that degree, and all at the same time. Whatever the case, there is no escaping this psalm. We can’t say, “Well, David doesn’t understand what it’s like to be me. He hasn’t experienced the kind of struggles and problems I’ve faced.”
This is a psalm we can relate to. Whatever problem we are facing, this psalm includes it. And here’s the key. What did David do with it? He took it to God in prayer. Even that sin problem in his relationship with God, he took it to God in prayer. Even though he was certain all his other problems were caused by his sin problem, he went to God in prayer anyway.
I can relate. You can too!
Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 38.
Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family
- What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
- Can you think of any kinds of problems folks might face that aren’t included in this psalm? If so, what do you think we should do with those problems?
- What do you think keeps Christians from praying in the face of these kinds of problems?
- Look at Psalm 38:9, 15, what faith prompted David to go ahead and take all these problems to the Lord?
- What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?