The Bible – Old Testament
1 A psalm of David. For remembrance.
LORD, punish me no more in your anger; in your wrath do not chastise me!
Your arrows have sunk deep in me; your hand has come down upon me.
My flesh is afflicted because of your anger; my frame aches because of my sin.
My iniquities overwhelm me, a burden beyond my strength.
Foul and festering are my sores because of my folly.
I am stooped and deeply bowed; all day I go about mourning.
My loins burn with fever; my flesh is afflicted.
I am numb and utterly crushed; I wail with anguish of heart.
My Lord, my deepest yearning is before you; my groaning is not hidden from you.
My heart shudders, my strength forsakes me; the very light of my eyes has failed.
Friends and companions shun my pain; my neighbors stand far off.
Those who seek my life lay snares for me; they seek my misfortune, they speak of ruin; they plot treachery all the day.
But I am like the deaf, hearing nothing, like the dumb, saying nothing,
Like someone who does not hear, who has no answer ready.
LORD, I wait for you; O Lord, my God, answer me.
For I fear they will gloat, exult over me if I stumble.
I am very near to falling; my pain is with me always.
I acknowledge my guilt and grieve over my sin.
But many are my foes without cause, a multitude of enemies without reason,
Repaying me evil for good, harassing me for pursuing good.
Forsake me not, O LORD; my God, be not far from me!
Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my salvation!
1 [Psalm 38] In this lament, one of the Penitential Psalms (cf Psalm 6), the psalmist acknowledges the sin that has brought physical and mental sickness and social ostracism. There is no one to turn to for help; only God can undo the past and restore the psalmist.