Life is short. The world does not like to think deeply, especially about such things as life, death and eternity. The flesh is unable to think. The devil does not want us to think, certainly not about spiritual things. Instead, the world, the flesh and the devil conspire to keep us amused or entertained.

The last section of this psalm (vv. 16-20), before the final prayer, concerns David's unjust treatment by his enemies, picking up on a theme he introduced earlier in verse 12. In this respect the psalm moves from: 1) his wretched physical condition; to 2) his abandonment by his friends; to 3) his treatment by his enemies. But this is only part of what we find in this last section. Actually, everything found here has been mentioned or suggested earlier and is brought in again, in my judgment, as an argument why God should hear his prayer. In two cases the reasons are actually introduced by the word "for," meaning "for this reason."

Psychiatrists tell us that people do not like to be around those who are suffering because they imagine themselves being in the same condition and do not like to think along those lines. So they stay away. This is probably true and undoubtedly also explains why people make cruel jokes about retarded people, the handicapped and others who have suffered physical misfortunes. But even if people don’t go to that extreme, they usually prefer the company of those who are prospering and having a good time. This is what David experienced. This section of the psalm describes his sense of isolation (vv. 10-14).

Yesterday we saw that in the case of Job, his suffering was not because he had sinned, but, rather, it was a demonstration before Satan that a human being will love God for who he is and not just for what the person can receive from him.

One thing immediately strikes us about the opening prayer: it is identical (in the Hebrew, almost identical) to the first verse of Psalm 6, which is the first of the penitential psalms. In fact, the two psalms bear very close resemblances. True, Psalm 6 is shorter, only ten verses as opposed to twenty-two. Psalm 38 describes the illness at greater length as well as elaborating upon the desertion by the psalmist's friends and the scheming of his enemies.