Ps 38:1-22. To bring to remembrance, or, remind God of His mercy and himself of his sin. Appealing to God for relief from His heavy chastisement, the Psalmist avows his integrity before men, complains of the defection of friends and persecution of enemies, and in a submissive spirit, casting himself on God, with penitent confession he pleads God's covenant relation and his innocence of the charges of his enemies, and prays for divine comfort and help.
1-4. He deprecates deserved punishment, which is described (Ps 6:1), under the figure of bodily disease (Ps 38:3).
2. arrows . . . and thy hand--the sharp and heavy afflictions he suffered (De 32:23). 4. iniquities--afflictions in punishment of sin (2Sa 16:12 Ps 31:10 40:12). gone over mine head--as a flood. 5-8. The loathsomeness, corruption, and wasting torture of severe physical disease set forth his mental anguish (Ps 38:6). It is possible some bodily disease was connected. The loins are the seat of strength. His exhaustion left him only the power to groan [Ps 38:9]. 9. That God can hear (Ro 8:26).
10. My heart panteth--as if barely surviving. light . . . from me--utter exhaustion (Ps 6:7 13:3).
11, 12. Friends desert, but foes increase in malignity. 12. seek after my life--(1Sa 20:1 22:23). 13, 14. He patiently submits, uttering no reproaches or replies (Joh 19:9) to their insulting speeches; 15-17. for he is confident the Lord--literally, "Sovereign" (to whom he was a servant), would answer his prayer (Ps 3:4 4:1), and not permit their triumph in his partial halting, of which he was in danger. 18. Consciousness of sin makes suffering pungent, and suffering, rightly received, leads to confession. 19, 20. Still, while humbled before God, he is the victim of deadly enemies, full of malice and treachery. enemies are lively--literally, "of life," who would take my life, that is, deadly.
21, 22. (Compare Ps 22:19 35:3). All terms of frequent use. In this Psalm the language is generally susceptible of application to Christ as a sufferer, David, as such, typifying Him. This does not require us to apply the confessions of sin, but only the pains or penalties which He bore for us.