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.

7 Leadership Lessons from the Life of Alfred the Great

Okay So I read this amazing book about the life of Alfred the Great this weekend an wrote a short review that you can find here.  Then it came time for me to find a spot on my shelf and I started trying to figure out which section of my shelves it needed to be stored under and three categories came to mind.  Obviously historical biography because that is the genera in which it is written, but Alfred also demonstrated unwavering Christian Character and sought to evangelize viking leaders who were tearing into his territory and then there are the amazing leadership principles I gleaned from reading the book.  In the end I put it in the leadership category due to the amazing leadership characteristics that I saw displayed in Alfred throughout the book.

7 Leadership Lessons from the Life of Alfred the Great


1. Never give up on what really matters.

Even when he was betrayed by some of his countrymen and forced to flee to the swamp with his family, Alfred sought out ways to demonstrate that he was still the king and would defend his homeland.  He never completely abandoned hope, gave up, or ran away.  He stood his ground despite dismal circumstances.  He rallied troops to come to his aid and eventually fought back the viking hoards and won victory. Yet even in fighting back the vikings, he demonstrated a noble and Christian character in dealing mercifully with a savage enemy.

2. Don’t Ask People to do What you are Not Willing to do.

Alfred lead his troops to battle time and time again.  This was normal practice for an Anglo-Saxon king.  He demonstrated valor in the midst of battle.  He asked his men only to go so far as he was willing to go himself.  This was true both on and off the battle field.  Even in the sweeping reforms he would make concerning literacy in his nation, he first modeled by taking it upon himself to learn Latin as an Adult.  Furthermore when it came time for his scholars to translate Latin works into Anglo-Saxon, Alfred was the final translator.

3. Learn from your Mistakes.

Alfred made a few mistakes early on.  One was not pursuing the vikings once his men had them on the run.  The vikings soon learned that they were not being pursued, regrouped, came back and attacked Alfred’s celebrating troops and won the victory.  Never again did Alfred allow his troops to celebrate before they had definitively routed the enemy troops.

4. Raise the Level of Leadership around You.

One of the main concerns for Alfred was the enforcing of the law.  He was discouraged to know that many of the men in positions of power under him were illiterate and unable to read the laws of the land.  Alfred insisted that every leader learn to read.  Those who learned well were honored and given gifts.  Those who were not able to learn surrendered their posts.  Alfred also revised the laws and did his best to ensure justice was done.  He placed a great deal of importance on keeping an oath.

5. Pass on Leadership  Lessons to the Next Generation.

Alfred’s sweeping reforms also provided that children would learn to read.  He also provided ample opportunities for his sons and daughter to see his leadership in action.  His son assumed the throne and carry his father’s initiatives forward.  Alfred’s grandson would eventually route the vikings completely and send them all home saving his motherland from their onslaught.  Alfred’s daughter would outlive her husband and benefit the people of her subkingdom by leading them out to battle against the Danes.

6. Seek Expert Help on New Projects, (even if it means going outside the organization).

Alfred sought the help of naval experts outside of his Anglo-Saxon kingdom to build a navy that would eventually patrol his shoreline.  He also sought scholars from beyond the border of his kingdom when he set his heart to learn Latin and to prepare Latin works to be translated into the Anglo-Saxon tongue.  Alfred got the help he needed from the experts rather than trying to start something from the ground up.

7. Meet Challenging Goals with innovation and Invention.

Alfred created a system that allowed a standing army to be ready year-round.  He developed fortified cities with in a days travel of one another.  He developed larger boats for his navy to combat the viking forces before they ever landed on Anglo-Saxon soil.  When he set his heart to trying to raise the piety of the people in his kingdom he realized that Latin would be forgotten within a generation and set out to translate the Latin works into English.

Alfred the great was truly an amazing man and an amazing leader.  I encourage you to get the book.  You can read my brief review here.

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