Psalm 38:9
Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) All my desire.—Notice the clutch at the thought of divine justice, as the clutch of a drowning man amid that sea of trouble.

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.Lord, all my desire is before thee - That is, Thou knowest all that I would ask or that I need. This is the expression of one who felt that his only hope was in God, and that He fully understood the case. There was no need of repeating the request. He was willing to leave the whole case with God.

And my groaning is not hid from thee - My sighing; the expression of my sorrow and anguish. As God certainly heard these sighs, and as He wholly understood the case, David hoped that He would mercifully interpose in his behalf.

9. That God can hear (Ro 8:26).9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

"Lord, all my desire is before thee." If unuttered, yet perceived. Blessed be God, he reads the longings of our hearts; nothing can be hidden from him; what we cannot tell to him he perfectly understands. The Psalmist is conscious that he has not exaggerated, and therefore appeals to heaven for a confirmation of his words. The good Physician understands the symptoms of our disease and sees the hidden evil which they reveal, hence our case is safe in his hands. "And my groaning is not hid from thee."

"He takes the meaning of our tears,

The language of our groans."

Sorrow and anguish hide themselves from the observation of man, but God spieth them out. None more lonely than the broken-hearted sinner, yet hath he the Lord for his companion.

I do not utter all these complaints, nor roar out, that thou mayst hear and know them, for thou hearest and knowest even my lowest groans; yea, mine inward desires, and all my necessities. And therefore, I pray thee, pity and deliver me, as I trust thou wilt do.

Lord, all my desire is before thee,.... To be delivered from his afflictions, to have a discovery and application of pardoning grace, and to have communion with his God: the desire of his soul was unto these things; and it was some satisfaction to him that it was before the Lord, and known unto him, before whom all things are naked and open;

and my groaning is not hid from thee; under the weight of his affliction, the burden of his sin, and which he expressed in prayer to the Lord, and which is often done with groanings which cannot be uttered: but even these are known and understood by the Lord.

Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. God knows what he needs (Psalm 10:17; Matthew 6:8).

9–14. The neglect of friends and the scorn of enemies augment his sufferings.

Verses 9-14. - In this second strophe the physical are subordinated to the moral sufferings; the former being touched on in one verse only (ver. 10), the latter occupying the rest of the section. Of these the most tangible are the pain caused by the desertion of his "lovers," "friends," and "kinsmen" (ver. 11), and the alarm arising from the action taken, simultaneously, by his ill wishers and adversaries (ver. 12). These afflictions have reduced him to a condition of silence - almost of apathy, such as is described in vers. 13, 14. Verse 9. - Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. This has been called "the first indication of hope in this psalm;" but there is a gleam of hope in the prayer of ver. 1. Hope, however, does here show itself more plainly than before. The psalmist has laid "all his desire" before God, and feels that God is weighing and considering it. He has also opened to him "all his groanings" - uttered freely all his complaint. This he could have been led to do only from a conviction that God was not irrevocably offended with him, but might, by repentance, confession, and earnest striving after amendment (ver. 20), be reconciled, and induced to become his Defence (ver. 15) and his Salvation (ver. 22). Psalm 38:9(Heb.: 38:10-15) Having thus bewailed his suffering before God, he goes on in a somewhat calmer tone: it is the calm of weariness, but also of the rescue which shows itself from afar. He has complained, but not as if it were necessary for him first of all to make God acquainted with his suffering; the Omniscient One is directly cognisant of (has directly before Him, נגד, like לנגד in Psalm 18:25) every wish that his suffering extorts from him, and even his softer sighing does not escape His knowledge. The sufferer does not say this so much with the view of comforting himself with this thought, as of exciting God's compassion. Hence he even goes on to draw the piteous picture of his condition: his heart is in a state of violent rotary motion, or only of violent, quickly repeated contraction and expansion (Psychol. S. 252; tr. p. 297), that is to say, a state of violent palpitation (סחרחר, Pealal according to Ges. 55, 3). Strength of which the heart is the centre (Psalm 40:13) has left him, and the light of his eyes, even of these (by attraction for גּם־הוּא, since the light of the eyes is not contrasted with anything else), is not with him, but has become lost to him by weeping, watching, and fever. Those who love him and are friendly towards him have placed themselves far from his stroke (nega`, the touch of God's hand of wrath), merely looking on (Obadiah 1:11), therefore, in a position hostile (2 Samuel 18:13) rather than friendly. מנּגד, far away, but within the range of vision, within sight, Genesis 21:16; Deuteronomy 32:52. The words וּקרובי מרחק עמדוּ, which introduce a pentastich into a Psalm that is tetrastichic throughout, have the appearance of being a gloss or various reading: מנּגד equals מרחק, 2 Kings 2:7. His enemies, however, endeavour to take advantage of his fall and helplessness, in order to give him his final death-blow. וינקּשׁוּ (with the ק dageshed)

(Note: The various reading וינקּשׁוּ in Norzi rests upon a misapprehended passage of Abulwald (Rikma, p. 166).)

describes what they have planned in consequence of the position he is in. The substance of their words is הוּות, utter destruction (vid., Psalm 5:10); to this end it is מרמות, deceit upon deceit, malice upon malice, that they unceasingly hatch with heart and mouth. In the consciousness of his sin he is obliged to be silent, and, renouncing all self-help, to abandon his cause to God. Consciousness of guilt and resignation close his lips, so that he is not able, nor does he wish, to refute the false charges of his enemies; he has no תּוכחות, counter-evidence wherewith to vindicate himself. It is not to be rendered: "just as one dumb opens not his mouth;" כ is only a preposition, not a conjunction, and it is just here, in Psalm 38:14, Psalm 38:15, that the manifest proofs in support of this are found.

(Note: The passages brought forward by Hupfeld in support of the use of כ as a conjunction, viz., Psalm 90:5; Psalm 125:1; Isaiah 53:7; Isaiah 61:11, are invalid; the passage that seems most to favour it is Obadiah 1:16, but in this instance the expression is elliptical, כּלא being equivalent to כאשׁר לא, like ללא, Isaiah 65:1, equals לאשׁר לא. It is only כּמו (Arab. kmâ) that can be used as a conjunction; but כ (Arab. k) is always a preposition in ancient Hebrew just as in Syriac and Arabic (vid., Fleischer in the Hallische Allgem. Lit. Zeitschr. 1843, Bd. iv. S. 117ff.). It is not until the mediaeval synagogal poetry (vid., Zunz, Synagogal-poesie des Mittelalters, S. 121, 381f.) that it is admissible to use it as a conjunction (e.g., כּמצא, when he had found), just as it also occurs in Himjaritic, according to Osiander's deciphering of the inscriptions. The verbal clause appended to the word to which this כ, instar, is prefixed is for the most part an attributive clause as above, but sometimes even a circumstantial clause (Arab. ḥâl), as in Psalm 38:14; cf. Sur. lxii. 5: "as the likeness of an ass carrying books.")

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