Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Psalms
Book: Psalms
Chapter: 38

God's displeasure at Sin. (1-11) The psalmist's sufferings and
prayers. (12-22)

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

12-22 Wicked men hate Goodness, even when they benefit By it.
David, in the complaints he makes of his enemies, seems to refer
to Christ. But our enemies do us real mischief only when they
drive us from God and our duty. The true believer's trouble will
be made useful; he will learn to wait for his God, and will not
seek relief from the world or himself. The less we notice the
unkindness and injuries that are done us, the more we consult
the quiet of our own minds. David's troubles were the
chastisement and the consequence of his transgressions, whilst
Christ suffered for our sins and ours only. What right can a
sinner have to yield to impatience or Anger, when mercifully
corrected for his sins? David was very sensible of the present
workings of corruption in him. Good men, By setting their sorrow
continually before them, have been ready to fall; but By setting
God always before them, they have kept their standing. If we are
truly penitent for Sin, that will make us patient under
affliction. Nothing goes nearer to the Heart of a believer when
in affliction, than to be under the apprehension of God's
deserting him; nor does any thing come more feelingly from his
Heart than this Prayer, "Be not far from me." The Lord will
hasten to help those who trust in him as their Salvation.