God Disciplines And Delivers The Ones He Loves (Psalm 38)


1 A Psalm of David. To bring to remembrance. O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! 2 For Your arrows pierce me deeply, And Your hand presses me down. 3 [There is] no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor [any] health in my bones Because of my sin. 4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. 5 My wounds are foul [and] festering Because of my foolishness.

PSALM 38:1-4


David has two problems that he shares in this psalm. 

The first is that he has sinned against God. He knows it because he is experiencing the discipline of God. The chief aim of discipline is for our good! Discipline may hurt temporarily, but the aim is to protect and shape us. A toddler might receive a sharp, “No” or a small slap on the hand for trying to touch something like a hot stove. The word, “No” and the sting on their skin may hurt for a little while, but that isn’t the end purpose of discipline. It is ultimately to save such a small one from hurting themselves in a much greater way.  

The second problem that David faces is that his enemies have multiplied and are ready to attack. They are ready to kick him while he is down.  He needs deliverance.

The Lord, like a good shepherd provides both discipline and deliverance in the life of David. I still can’t help but think of sheep and the patience of a good shepherd from back in Psalms 23. Sometimes we get in trouble because it’s our own fault. We sin, we stray, and at the end of the day when we wonder why we are in such a mess the only one we have to look it is ourselves. How kind is a good shepherd to pursue and find a lost sheep, to bind his wounds so they will heal, to correct his error, to discipline so that he’ll know not to go that way again.

But then there are the binds we find ourselves in that are not of our own making. We are in a bind because someone has set their heart against us. They have laid a trap that we walked into. The seek to destroy us. And how kind is a good shepherd in that instance. He comes running to the rescue. He steps between the predator and the sheep.

Then there are the moments where both seem to be at play. We do something stupid and the enemy sees a chance to kick us when we are down. It’s comforting to know that in such moments that the shepherd doesn’t abandon the sheep and say, “Well you brought it on yourself. You deserve it.” But to think that He still steps in, maybe even with more haste (if that were possible) because he knows the direness of the situation.

Today I am marveling and praising God all the more for the times he has disciplined and delivered me. I am grateful for how he moves in my life despite my failures and mistakes. I repent of the times I believed lies about his character. The times that I thought he would abandon me because I deserve it. I am confronted now with the truth that he loves us enough not only to discipline us, but to deliver us.


Father, Thank you for your discipline and deliverance. I am grateful that even in my sinfulness, my mess-ups, my mistakes, that you love me enough to deal with my self caused pain. Thank you for the grace that is poured out in how you love me and take care of me. I humbly ask that I’d have that same grace to show others and pour out in their lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

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