The leprosy of sin abhorred by the righteous

David acknowledges his sin and declares his iniquity. Whatever his transgression, it had brought great spiritual and physical chastening upon him. Like Christ, his lovers, friends and kinsmen stood aloof from his condition, though Christ was Himself a sin-bearer, and not a sinner. But even in such an awful experience, hope in God did not desert him. And where there is hope, there is faith, for faith is the substance of things hoped for. Does not Paul teach that “tribulation worketh patience, patience experience, and experience hope”?

In our deepest distress and trials, we are brought by grace to encourage our souls to hope in God. He is the God of hope, not in the sense of, perhaps, or a maybe, but a lively hope that will receive an answer.

Psalm 38

 1  In thy great indignation,
       O Lord, rebuke me not;
    Nor on me lay thy chast'ning hand,
       in thy displeasure hot.

 2  For in me fast thine arrows stick,
       thine hand doth press me sore:
 3  And in my flesh there is no health,
       nor soundness any more.

    This grief I have, because thy wrath
       is forth against me gone;
    And in my bones there is no rest,
       for sin that I have done.

 4  Because gone up above mine head
       my great transgressions be;
    And, as a weighty burden, they
       too heavy are for me.

 5  My wounds do stink, and are corrupt;
       my folly makes it so.
 6  I troubled am, and much bowed down;
       all day I mourning go.

 7  For a disease that loathsome is
       so fills my loins with pain,
    That in my weak and weary flesh
       no soundness doth remain.

 8  So feeble and infirm am I,
       and broken am so sore,
    That, through disquiet of my heart,
       I have been made to roar.

 9  O Lord, all that I do desire
       is still before thine eye;
    And of my heart the secret groans
       not hidden are from thee.

10  My heart doth pant incessantly,
       my strength doth quite decay;
    As for mine eyes, their wonted light
       is from me gone away.

11  My lovers and my friends do stand
       at distance from my sore;
    And those do stand aloof that were
       kinsmen and kind before.

12  Yea, they that seek my life lay snares:
       who seek to do me wrong
    Speak things mischievous, and deceits
       imagine all day long.

13  But, as one deaf, that heareth not,
       I suffered all to pass;
    I as a dumb man did become,
       whose mouth not opened was:

14  As one that hears not, in whose mouth
       are no reproofs at all.
15  For, Lord, I hope in thee; my God,
       thou'lt hear me when I call.

16  For I said, Hear me, lest they should
       rejoice o'er me with pride;
    And o'er me magnify themselves,
       when as my foot doth slide.

17  For I am near to halt, my grief
       is still before mine eye:
18  For I'll declare my sin, and grieve
       for mine iniquity.

19  But yet mine en'mies lively are,
       and strong are they beside;
    And they that hate me wrongfully
       are greatly multiplied.

20  And they for good that render ill,
       as en'mies me withstood;
    Yea, ev'n for this, because that I
       do follow what is good.

21  Forsake me not, O Lord; my God,
       far from me never be.
22  O Lord, thou my salvation art,
       haste to give help to me.

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