Verse 6. I am troubled. I am wearied with distress, writhing with pain, in sore travail on account of sin revealed within me. I am bowed down greatly. I am brought very low, grievously weakened and frightfully depressed. Nothing so pulls a man down from all loftiness as a sense of sin and of divine wrath concerning it. I go mourning all the day long. The mourner's soul sorrow knew no intermission, even when he went about such business as he was able to attend, he went forth like a mourner who goes to the tomb, and his words and manners were like the lamentations of those who follow the corpse. The whole verse may be the more clearly understood if we picture the Oriental mourner, covered with sackcloth and ashes, bowed as in a heap, siting amid squalor and dirt, performing contortions and writhings expressive of his grief; such is the awakened sinner, not in outward guise, but in very deed.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 5-6. See Psalms on "Psalms 38:6" for further information.
Verse 6. I am troubled. I writhe with pain. This is the proper sense of the original, which means to "turn out of its proper situation, or course;" thence to be "distorted, writhed," as a person in pain. Our Bible translation, which says in the text, I am troubled, adds in the margin, "wried," an obsolete word, correctly expressing the Hebrew. Richard Mant.
Verse 6. I go mourning all the day long. And now was I both a burden and a terror to myself, nor did I ever so know, as now, what it was to be weary of my life, and yet afraid to die. Oh, how gladly now would I have been anybody but myself! Anything but a man! and in any condition but mine own! for there was nothing did pass more frequently over my mind than that it was impossible for me to be forgiven my transgression, and to be saved from wrath to come. John Bunyan, in "Grace Abounding."
Verse 6. Let a man see and feel himself under the bonds of guilt, in danger of hell, under the power of his lusts, enmity against God, and God a stranger to him; let but the sense of this condition lie upon his heart, and let him go on in his jollity if he can. What a woeful creature doth a man see himself now to be! He envies the happiness of the beasts that are filled, and play in their pastures. We have heard of him who when he saw a toad, stood weeping, because God had made him a man, so excellent a creature, and not a toad, so abominable: the goodness of God, then, it seems, as he apprehended it, made him weep; but this man meets a toad, and he weeps also, but why? because he is a man who thinks his estate infinitely worse than the condition of a toad, and if it were possible to attain it, would change states with the toad, that hath no guilt of sin, fears no wrath of God, is not under power of lusts or creatures; God is not enemy to it, which is his miserable state. Giles Firmin, 1617-1697.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 6. Conviction of sin. Its grief, its depth, its continuance.
Verse 6. I go mourning.
- Unlawful reasons for mourning.
- Legitimate themes for sorrow.
- Valuable alleviations of grief.