Day 22 | Troi Buchanan
When we pick up in Psalm 38, we find David fighting against a heavy sickness. He seems to think that the
sickness is punishment from God because of his “sin” and “guilt.”
1 O Eternal One, please do not scold me in Your anger; though Your wrath is just, do not correct me in Your fury. 2 The arrows from Your bow have penetrated my flesh; Your hand has come down hard on me. 3 Because Your anger has infected the depths of my being and stolen my health, my flesh is ill. My bones are no longer sound because of all the sins I have committed. 4 My guilt has covered me; it’s more than I can handle; this burden is too heavy for me to carry.
While I don’t think that The Lord uses physical health to punish us, I do believe that God uses this moment in David’s life to teach him a lesson. The brevity of life.
4 “Eternal One, let me understand my end and how brief my earthly existence is; help me realize my life is fleeting. 5 You have determined the length of my days, and my life is nothing compared to You. Even the longest life is only a breath.” 6 In truth, each of us journeys through life like a shadow. We busy ourselves accomplishing nothing, piling up assets we can never keep; We can’t even know who will end up with those things.
David is on his death bed, staring down the end of his life, and he’s starting to question what he has to show for his life. His position as King, his riches, his wives, all of his armies, none of it has brought him satisfaction and fulfillment. He sees how small and futile it all is. But then David has a realization.
7 In light of all this, Lord, what am I really waiting for? You are my hope. 8 Keep me from all the wrong I would do; don’t let the foolish laugh at me. 9 I am quiet; I keep my mouth closed because this has come from You. 10 Take Your curse from me; I can’t endure Your punishment. 11 You discipline us for our sins. Like a moth, You consume everything we treasure; it’s evident we are merely a breath.
David says like a moth, God consumes everything we treasure. Why? Not as punishment. But as liberation.
Freedom from the never-ending pursuit of fulfillment in temporary and trivial things, status and social class, even our own dreams and desires. David accepts that his life is a vapor. Just a breath of the wind. And so are we. Here today, gone tomorrow. Let’s live into that freedom today, let’s let go of the struggle and strife and be freedom people. Free to be children of God in all it’s manifest glory.