Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday - Psalm 38 - Restless

'm a sinner.  You're a sinner.  So, what's the difference?  David was a sinner.  In fact, he was guilty of adultery, polygamy, murder, deception, abuse of power and position, and... he was a man who could stand toe to toe with the most violent men in history as a wielder of the sword.  Yet, as you read Psalm 38 you will find David describing himself as a sinner (38:3, 4 & 18) while simultaneously asking God to deliver him from other sinners (Psalm 38:12, 19 & 20)... worse sinners than he was?  By whose definition?

It's a serious and important question... what differentiates one sinner from the next?  If we are all sinners, if we are all lawbreakers, if we are all worthy of death and hellfire - then why would God or should God hear the prayers of one sinner against another sinner?  What is the criterion which defines and segregates lost sheep from wild goats?  The answer is much simpler than one might imagine.  We could go to Isaiah 57:15 or to places where God said, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy" (Romans 9:15-18).  Whatever good God was willing to do was not and is not a reflection of our goodness, but of God’s.  But, let's just look at this Psalm.

It was David praying this prayer... not his enemies.  It was David admitting his own guilt and offering a humble apology... not his enemies.  It was David who was restless because of his sin (Psalm 38:3 & 8)... not his enemies.  They were not contrite.  They were not repentant.  They were not sorry.  David was the one whose restless heart demonstrated that he was one of God's righteous children.  As I've heard Dr. Fred Moritz say a number of times, "Sinners leap into sin, and love it; saints lapse into sin, and loathe it."  David loathed his sin (Psalm 51).  Is sin a guilty pleasure for you, or a hated temptation?

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