|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
38:12-22 Wicked men hate goodness, even when they benefit by it. David, in the complaints he makes of his enemies, seems to refer to Christ. But our enemies do us real mischief only when they drive us from God and our duty. The true believer's trouble will be made useful; he will learn to wait for his God, and will not seek relief from the world or himself. The less we notice the unkindness and injuries that are done us, the more we consult the quiet of our own minds. David's troubles were the chastisement and the consequence of his transgressions, whilst Christ suffered for our sins and ours only. What right can a sinner have to yield to impatience or anger, when mercifully corrected for his sins? David was very sensible of the present workings of corruption in him. Good men, by setting their sorrow continually before them, have been ready to fall; but by setting God always before them, they have kept their standing. If we are truly penitent for sin, that will make us patient under affliction. Nothing goes nearer to the heart of a believer when in affliction, than to be under the apprehension of God's deserting him; nor does any thing come more feelingly from his heart than this prayer, Be not far from me. The Lord will hasten to help those who trust in him as their salvation.
Verse 18. - For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. The four "fors," beginning four consecutive verses, are somewhat puzzling. Canon Cook suggests that they introduce four reasons for the psalmist's silence (vers. 13, 14) and abstinence front self-justification:
(1) because God hears him, and will make answer for him (ver. 15);
(2) because, if he spoke, he might give further occasion to his enemies (ver. 16);
(3) because he feels in danger, and is conscious of sin (ver. 17); and
(4) because he has no course open to him but confession and contrition. If we are justified in attributing the psalm to David, and in assigning its composition to the period immediately preceding Absalom's rebellion, we must look upon it as opening to us a view of David's condition of mind at that time which is of great interest.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For I will declare mine iniquity,.... Either to men, to ease his mind, justify God in his proceedings with him, and for their caution and admonition: or rather to God, against whom he had sinned, and who only could pardon him; with a view to which he was determined to make a free and open confession of it before him:
I will be sorry for my sin, or "careful" (p) about it; that is, how he committed it for the future: true repentance for sin produces a carefulness to abstain from all appearance of it; see 2 Corinthians 7:10.
(p) "solicitus ero", Montanus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis, Ainsworth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. Consciousness of sin makes suffering pungent, and suffering, rightly received, leads to confession.
Psalm 38:18 Parallel Commentaries
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