Psalm 38:18

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 18. For I will declare mine iniquity. The slander of his enemies he repudiates, but the accusations of his conscience he admits. Open confession is good for the soul. When sorrow leads to hearty and penitent acknowledgment of sin it is blessed sorrow, a thing to thank God for most devoutly. I will be sorry for my sin. My confession will be salted with briny tears. It is well not so much to bewail our sorrows as to denounce the sins which lie at the root of them. To be sorry for sin is no atonement for it, but it is the right spirit in which to repair to Jesus, who is the reconciliation and the Saviour. A man is near to the end of his trouble when he comes to an end with his sins.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 18. Pliny writeth of some families that had private marks on their bodies peculiar to those of that line, and every man hath, as it were, a private sin, which is most justly called his; but if we will confess our sins aright, we must not leave out that sin; nay, our chiefest spite must be against it, according to David's resolve: I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. ... David doth not only say, I will declare, but, I will be sorry for my sin. The people of God 1 Samuel 7:6 in the day of their confession not only say, "We have sinned," but draw water, and pour it out before the Lord in token of contrition. We should, in confessing sin, have our hearts so affected, that our eyes, with Job, may "pour tears before God" Job 16:20 ; that, with David, "rivers of tears may run down our eyes" Psalms 119:136 ; yea, we should wish with Jeremiah, that "our head were waters, and our eyes a fountain of tears." Jeremiah 9:1 . But, however, nonne stillabit oculus noster? if we cannot pour out, shall we not drop a tear? or at least, if we cannot shed a tear, let us breathe forth a sigh for our sins. It is only the heart broken with godly sorrow that sends forth a true confession. Nathanael Hardy.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 18. The excellence of penitent confession.

Verse 18. The twin children of grace -- confession and contrition: their mutual revelation and reaction.

Verse 18. (last clause). There is good reason for such sorrow, God is well pleased with it. It benefits the mourner.