2. The Symptoms of Sin Psalm 38:7-14

Text: “For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.  I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.  Lord...my groaning is not hid from Thee.  My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.  My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.”
                                                                                                               Psalm 38:7-11.

Good morning, back-sliding Christian!  You have, no doubt, been tempted by Satan, sin, or self, and lured to partake of this world’s ‘forbidden fruits’; and, now, you are experiencing the inevitable symptoms of your foolishness in venturing into sin’s dark strongholds.  Yet, fear not, there is good news today for YOU! 

“As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” (Proverbs 25:25)

Because you are a Spiritually regenerate child of God’s grace; because you have been redeemed by Christ’s own precious and sinless Blood – there most definitely IS a ‘Balm in Gilead’; a remedy for your serious complaint. If you will take and receive it!

Repent, turn away now, from your sin; turn again on your knees to the Lord Jesus – and make prompt way to God’s throne of grace in penitent prayer.  At God’s throne of ever-given grace, you shall find recleansing and restoration to full fellowship with Him and with those ‘...of like precious faith...’ in the risen Christ Jesus.  Amen.

In Psalm 38: the Psalmist, David, has clearly identified the disease of Spiritual leprosy – inherent Adamic sin, and wilful sin after Salvation.  (Psalm 51:5) (1 John 1:8;10)

Sin’s symptoms:  In this second section of the Psalm, David clearly describes sin’s symptoms, the experiencing of which causes the truly redeemed Christian to flee to his/her Lord God for Divine healing.  Sin does not affect the unsaved in this manner, thus, the unregenerate soul can wallow in sin with impunity, and without deep grief.

“But the natural man (the Spiritually dead) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him/her: neither can he/she know them, because they are Spiritually discerned.”  (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Genuine Bible-believing, ‘born again’ Christians receive ALL the symptoms of committed sin, due to the fact that God the Holy Spirit lives within us – and is sorely grieved by committed sin; and therefore, He sorely grieves the back-sliding Christian with all the symptoms of sin that David so graphically describes in this second section of Psalm 38.

“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”  (Ephesians 4:30)

God the Holy Spirit afflicts us in order to draw us back to Himself for healing.

Verses 6 & 7.  “I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly...a loathsome disease...there is no soundness in my flesh.  In many things, our estimates are extravagant; but we never overestimate the evil of sin.  It is as corrupting as it is damning.  It covers the soul with plague-spots, with leprosy (Isaiah 1:5-6).  (William S. Plumer 1802-1880)

For a few short moments/days of rebellious sin, some Christians are willing to risk and pay a sore and always grievous price.  ‘Oh, Lord God, deliver us from wilful sin!’

Verse 8. “I am feeble. The original is ‘benumbed,’ of frozen, such strange incongruities and contradictions meet in a distracted mind and a sick body – it appears to itself to be alternately parched with heat and pinched with cold.  Like souls in the popish-fabled purgatory, tossed from burning furnace into thick ice, so tormented hearts rush from one extreme to the other, with equal torture in each.  A heat of fear, a chill of horror, a flaming desire, a horrible insensibility – but by these successive miseries a convinced sinner is brought to death’s door.”  (C. H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 185)

The Holy Spirit, Himself God of very God, cannot live in the same breast as wilful sin!  The Christian that seeks to harbour sin in his/her heart – must pay the terrible cost!  Christians can either be ‘fish’ or ‘foul’!

Verse 8.  “...There is no soundness in my flesh. When true Christians sin - and we do – we find that, while we are very capable of sin, we are not so capable of enduring in it.  Like the sheep that strays into the mud – we soon bleat sincerely to get back out of it, and be cleansed from the filth of sin we have encountered.  (1 John 1:8-10)

Verse 9. “Lord...My groaning is not hid from Thee.  Indeed, our  penitent groaning over committed sins is not hidden from the Lord God – and neither are the vile sins we have wilfully committed!  Therefore, it grieves us deeply, to think that we have been disloyal and disobedient to such a Holy Lord God Almighty who has saved our souls.

Verse 9.  “My groaning is not hid from Thee. Secret tears for secret sins are an excellent sign of a holy heart and a healing balsam for broken spirits.”  (Samuel Lee 1625-1691)

Verse 11. “My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore. Oh, the loneliness of a soul passing under the convincing power of the Holy Ghost!”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 185)

Verse 12. “They that seek after my life lay snares for me.” Sin-snares are always laid if in any degree Satan may cause the true Christian to fall into sin.  Watch out!

Thought: Come, back-sliding Christian: present yourself at God’s throne of grace; plead the Blood of the risen Christ Jesus; be immediately made clean again and ready for Holy service.  Christ is the only sinless One.

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