Thoughts in Affliction
Psalm 38:1-22
O lord, rebuke me not in your wrath: neither chasten me in your hot displeasure.…

The preacher saith, "In the day of adversity consider" (Ecclesiastes 7:14). We should "call to remembrance" -

I. THE HAND OF GOD IN AFFLICTION. Our afflictions may be various, and have various causes. But we should look higher than mere human instrumentality, or the action of natural laws. We should acknowledge the hand of God (ver. 2). What a change this makes l It soothes our resentments. It calms our fears. God sees all. He knows how we suffer. He who has stricken us can heal our wounds. He who has "pressed us sore" is able to pour joy into our hearts.

II. THE CONNECTION OF SIN WITH AFFLICTION. If there is suffering, there must have been sin. We may not be able to trace the connection; and we may greatly err and wound others cruelly if we say that certain sufferings are the result of certain sins. But, while we are not to judge others, we should judge ourselves. Our sufferings ought to bring our sins to remembrance. And the more strictly we scan our lives, and the more severely we search our hearts, the more will our sins increase, till their pressure and weight become intolerable, and we cry out, "They are too heavy for me" (ver. 4).

III. THE INADEQUACY OF ALL HUMAN AID IN AFFLICTION. Affliction is a great revealer. It not only shows us much as to ourselves, but also as to others. It proves who are true and who are false; who are worthy and who are unworthy; who may be trusted to stand by us, and who will wax cold and forsake us, "having loved this present world." Job bitterly complained of his friends: "Miserable comforters are ye all." The psalmist was still more sorely tried: "My lovers and friends stand aloof from my sore" (ver. 11). Even when true and willing, our friends can do but little for us in our greatest straits. Counsel is good. Sympathy is better. Generous aid is better still. But the best of all, the only help that goes to the root of the matter, is when some true friend, like Jonathan, "strengthens our hands in God."

IV. THE DIVINE RESOURCES OF THE GODLY IN AFFLICTION. There is prayer. The disciples in trouble came to Jesus and told him all. So we may pour out all our heart to God (ver. 9). There is compression. It is a marvellous relief to bring our sins to God (ver. 18). The burden that is too heavy for us will fall off when we cast ourselves as humble penitents at the foot of the cross. There is renewed consecration. Whatever comes, we must hold fast to our hope. Every danger and strait, every great fear that pales the face and makes the heart grow faint, should lead us to the renewal of our vows, and the reinvigoration of our purpose to "follow only what is good" (ver. 20). Above all, there is refuge in God. From the beginning, and all through, the psalmist is with God, confessing, pleading, appealing; and in the end he gathers up all the desire of his heart in the earnest cry, "Forsake me not, O Lord! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord my Salvation!" (vers. 21, 22). Thus he found comfort; and so may we also. Jerome said, "If any sickness happen to the body, we are to seek for the medicine of the soul;" and the true and only Physician of the soul is Christ. - W.F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: {A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.} O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

WEB: Yahweh, don't rebuke me in your wrath, neither chasten me in your hot displeasure.

Things to be Remembered
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