|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
38:1-11 Nothing will disquiet the heart of a good man so much as the sense of God's anger. The way to keep the heart quiet, is to keep ourselves in the love of God. But a sense of guilt is too heavy to bear; and would sink men into despair and ruin, unless removed by the pardoning mercy of God. If there were not sin in our souls, there would be no pain in our bones, no illness in our bodies. The guilt of sin is a burden to the whole creation, which groans under it. It will be a burden to the sinners themselves, when they are heavy-laden under it, or a burden of ruin, when it sinks them to hell. When we perceive our true condition, the Good Physician will be valued, sought, and obeyed. Yet many let their wounds rankle, because they delay to go to their merciful Friend. When, at any time, we are distempered in our bodies, we ought to remember how God has been dishonoured in and by our bodies. The groanings which cannot be uttered, are not hid from Him that searches the heart, and knows the mind of the Spirit. David, in his troubles, was a type of Christ in his agonies, of Christ on his cross, suffering and deserted.
Verse 4. - For mine iniquities are gone over mine head; i.e. they overwhelm me like waves of the sea. Together with my bodily pain is mingled mental anguish - a sense of regret and remorse on account of my ill-doing, and a conviction that by my sins I have brought upon me my sufferings. As an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. They press me down, crush me to the earth, are more than I can bear.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For mine iniquities are gone over mine head,.... Like an inundation of waters, as the waves and billows of the sea; for the waters to come up to the neck or chin shows great danger; but when they go over the head the case is desperate, and a person is sinking and drowning; compare with this Psalm 69:1; the simile may denote both the number and weight of sins, and also signifies the overwhelming distress the psalmist was in, under a view of them;
as an heavy burden, they are too heavy for me; the guilt of sin upon the conscience, without a view of pardon, lies heavy indeed, and makes a man a burden to himself, as it did Job, Job 7:20; yea, sin is not only grieving and afflicting to pardoned ones, and who know they are pardoned, but it is a burden to them under which they groan; nor is it possible for any so to bear it as to satisfy and make atonement for it; none but Christ could ever do this, and he has done it; nor is there any relief for burdened souls, but by looking to a sin bearing and sin atoning Saviour, and by casting the burden upon him, who invites them to him for rest.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. iniquities—afflictions in punishment of sin (2Sa 16:12; Ps 31:10; 40:12).
gone over mine head—as a flood.
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