These daily online studies are adapted from our Quiet Time Bible Guide. The studies go through the Old and New Testaments in just over two years. The approach taken by our quiet time Bible studies does not include answers. The goal of the study is to help you dig into Scripture for yourself. You can go deeper using a commentary, Bible background guide or Bible handbook.

Psalm 38: Rebuke and Judgment

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Psalms.

If I am willing to acknowledge that God blesses me, I must be willing to acknowledge that he disciplines me as well. As the author of Hebrews writes, "the Lord disciplines those he loves." God refuses to let me go my own way. This is good news indeed! At the same time, when I talk about the blessing or the judgment of God, I must be careful. I don't understand all that the Lord does. What appears to be a blessing may not be, while what appears to be judgment may not be either. Let's see if we can gain a little light on this difficult issue from David.

Warming Up to God

God is constantly rescuing us from tight spots. Some of those tight spots we are aware of; most we are not. Make a list of thank-yous to God for as many instances of his help as you can think of.

Read Psalm 38

Discovering the Word

  • David writes during a time of great pain. What images does he use to describe his situation (vv 2-14)?
  • What reasons can you discover for his all-encompassing pain in these verses?
  • What physical, social and spiritual afflictions is David experiencing in these verses?
  • Describe David's attitude toward God in the midst of his afflictions.
  • What specific things does David want God to do to help him with his pain (vv. 15-16, 21-22)?

Applying the Word

  • What dangers and what benefits come from thinking of our physical, emotional and spiritual states as being the result of the discipline of God?
  • Although David is experiencing rejection and persecution, he acknowledges that he has sinned and shares in the responsibility for his affliction. When have you experienced pain that was at least partly your fault? How did you handle it?
  • What can you learn from David's example?

Responding in Prayer

Pray for those whom you have offended this past year. Ask God's blessing on them.

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