“There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; neither is there any health or rest in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head like waves of a flood; as a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.”
Psalm 38, 3, 4
“No Rest In My Bones”
“God’s wounds cure, sin’s kisses kill.”
From David’s words above in Psalm 38: 3, 4, what have I learned about the result of permitting sin to have a home in my life?
Do you think David found his behavior toward Bathsheba to be worth the “weight” of the burden he carried?
How do you think Bathsheba felt after seeing the consequences of her relationship with David?
“In weighing our sins let us not use a deceitful balance, weighing at our own discretion what we will, and how we will, calling this heavy and that light; but let us use the divine balance of the holy Scriptures, as taken from the treasury of the Lord, and by it weigh every offence, nay, not weigh, but rather recognize what has been already weighed by the Lord.”
“The deceitfulness of sin is seen in that it is modest in its first proposals but when it prevails it hardens men’s hearts, and brings them to ruin.”
Over the last few months, as we have studied the lives of David and the women who became intertwined with him, especially Michal, Abigail and Bathsheba, it has become very clear that a man who began his life in his father’s pastures, out in an open sky in communion with God, at some point, let the toxin of sin so penetrate his life that he ended up becoming one of the Bible’s most notable adulterers and murderers. One small sin along the way, left to do its dirty work, eventually brought David down, until the place where as our text for today, a Psalm written by David states, “There is not rest in my bones.”
For a moment let’s put aside all the consequences that were reflected in the lives of David’s family and nation when the totality of his sin became evident.
Instead, let’s think about the personal toll that David, in his own words, expressed that sin took upon his life. Psalm 38 paints a vivid picture of how David felt.
First, David says that there is no “soundness” in my flesh, or as the Hebrew states, “there is not wholeness in my body.” David’s sin fragmented his life and it does the same to you and me. Sin breaks us apart and leaves us in bits. But this wasn’t all, David also said that because of sin he had “no rest in my bones.” I wanted to see what this particular word, “rest,” meant in the Hebrew. And I found it meaningful to see that the word “rest” in Psalm 38: 3 is translated, “Shalom,” which is a greeting or salute which means happiness, health, prosperity and peace. Sin took all of these qualities away from David.
What a tragedy and how miserable he must have felt.
But David wasn’t finished. He continued by saying that sin was like a flood, a tsunami that knocked him off his feet and nearly drowned him. And if that wasn’t enough, David admitted that sin was, “a heavy burden that weighed too much for me.” Can’t you picture in your mind some person bent over by a load they are carrying on their back – nearly falling down because the weight they were carrying was too great. As author John Trapp penned, “No place can be so pleasant but sin will lay it waste.” In the case of David, no sin could be so pleasurable that the beautiful palace and the gorgeous Bathsheba could make the results of David’s defiance of God turn out “all pretty” in the end. As someone noted, “sin has two great powers; it reigns and it ruins.” If we don’t believe this, then we need to go back and read Psalm 38, again.
Not only do the words of David give us a glimpse into the destruction and heartache sin brings into our lives, but as we have studied this past week, our sins have a great affect on God. II Samuel 12: 9 begins with Nathan conveying God’s pain and displeasure with the fact that David had, “despised the commandments of the Lord.” However, if we read a little further, in II Samuel 12: 10, the situation between David and God becomes very, very personal when our heavenly Father said, “You (David) have not only despised My command, but you have despised Me.” You can’t get more personal than that! As I reread these words, I began to understand better why sin is so toxic.
You see, my heavenly Father and your heavenly Father wants more than anything else to have a personal relationship with each of us – individually. This isn’t some group love-fest. It is our Father reaching out to have a one-on-one friendship with each of His children. This is what God had with David when He called him a man after God’s heart. Their hearts beat in unison – they were whole in their relationship with each other.
But when David decided he could do things on his own and he, by the choice of his own free-will concluded he didn’t need God’s advice, he turned his back on God’s
commands and “despised” or disdained not only God’s commands but God, Himself. “You despised Me,” God said to David. God wanted personal wholeness, a complete relationship, and David by his behavior, told God he didn’t need His help.
I don’t mean to sound harsh toward David. I say these words to myself as well as to anyone else. Sadly, I’ve “despised, distained and held in contempt,” my Father’s love for me more often than I’d like to admit, only to find out that when I drive my life into a ditch, my “Dad” is always there to give me a helping hand. For as long as any of us return to Him, our Father will bring us wholeness, rest, peace, happiness and a light load. “Come unto Me…and I will give you rest” saith the Lord. In the words of Josif Ton, “When you put your life on the altar, when you make ready and accept to die, you are invincible. You have nothing any more to lose.”
“As soon as the soul dies to itself and becomes aware of how much it is loved, the life of grace is given to it and it lives in Christ.”
Angela of Foligno
“O Jesus, full of truth and grace,
More full of grace than I of sin,
Yet once again I seek Thy face;
Open thine arms, and take me in,
And freely my back slidings heal,
And love the faithless sinner still.”
Dorothy Valcấrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. Just to let you know, Transformation Garden is now on FACEBOOK. Please come and see us and share the garden with your friends. Beginning January 31, 2011, next Monday, the Daily Devotional will be posted everyday, on Monday to Friday on Facebook, too.
My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, and www.Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You may also call Transformation Garden at 602-368-1245.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.