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Agonizing over our sins

April 8, 2008

I am reading through Psalms right now in my morning devotions.  It has been a fabulous journey as the words of David have spoken so deeply into my soul. It seems that each morning he expresses a feeling to to the Lord that I had just had or recognized.  He was really good at crying out.  He had a lot of practice.  After all, he was chased down by an insane king for 10 years. 

This  morning I read Psalm 38.  When you get a chance, go and read it.  It isn’t long, only 22 verses.  As I read this morning I just didn’t feel the same gripping, “I have been there” kind of feeling I have had while reading his other Psalms.  This one was different.  It is a petition.  He is praying for himself and asking forgiveness.  But he sounded so desperate.  He sounded like he feared that the Lord would take his life or forget him. 

 He said things like, “do not rebuke me in your anger…”

“Your arrows have pierced me”

“Because of your wrath, there is no health in my body.”

He was desparate for God’s forgiveness.  He was truly repentent.  Then he called his sin and guilt “like a burden to heavy to bear.” 

I looked and searched, but could not find out what was happening in David’s life for him to be so physically and emotionally broken.  There were no commentaries on this chapter, but it is obvious that David is agonizing over his sin.  The weight of his sin against his God, the one whom he truly loves, is ripping at his heart. 

He says, “I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.” (vs 18) 

Are we troubled by our sin?  When my children disobey me, they become very troubled by their sin once the consequence is happening, but until they are caught, they are not troubled.  They think they have escaped. 

Because God does not walk among us as a physical being, I think that many times we don’t understand the affect our sin has on God.  He is not standing in front of us for us to see how deeply our sins hurts him.

I can’t help but to think about Hosea in the Old Testament.  God told him marry Gomer, she was believed to be a prostitute.  Hoesa obeyed God and married her.  She was not faithful to him.  She would run off and have relations with another man and Hosea would go after her.  I think God used Hosea’s wife’s unfaithfulness to show Hosea how deeply Israel’s sin hurt God.  Hosea was never unfaithful to Gomer.  In fact he bought her back, knowing that she would be unfaithful again. 

This love story gone bad caused me to understand how deeply my sin hurts the LORD.  My sin is like spiritually adultery.  Have you ever thought about your sin like that? I think David did.  I think he understood how far from God his sin took him.  He said that he was “like a deaf man, who cannot hear, like a mute who cannot speak.”  Our sin keeps us from communicating with God.  He can’t speak to us and he can’t hear our prayers.

Just like Hosea longed for Gomer to be faithful and give him her whole heart, the Lord longs for our hearts. He wants to “speak tenderly to us“…to our hearts. He longs to redeem us.  He wants us to return to him, to agonize over our sin and to understand that it is only he, GOD, the GREAT I AM, who can redeem us and make us whole again.

Israel did come back to the Lord in the book of Hosea.  They came back to God knowing their sin had destroyed them.  He restored them as he promised.

David was restored.  His sins were forgivenand he praised his God with all that he had within him.  He loved the LORD with all his heart, soul and mind. That is why he agonized over his sin. 

 He desired the mind of Christ, he wanted a heart like Christ. 



Show me my sin.  I agonize because my flesh has won over my spirit again.  Forgive me, O God for following my own selfish desires and looking to myself for guidance.  There is freedom and joy in obeying your commands, not in seeking my own desires.

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