Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Psalm 32:3 - Wasted Bones

When I kept silent about my sin my body [lit. bones] wasted away through my groaning [lit. roaring] all day long.

David remembers his experience of unconfessed sin as a time of spiritual and physical deterioration, agonizing pain and intense suffering.

The concept of "bones" in Hebrew poetry can sometimes refer to the physical skeleton, but often it is used figuratively. In this sense, it is reserved for the most intense experiences of life. The Hebrews were keen on using words like "heart" and "soul" to describe their inner state, but when they said "bones" it was meant to deliberatly take things a step further. We use similar expressions in English, when we say something is "bad to the bone," or an insulting remark "cuts to the bone." It indicates something concentrated, forceful, incisive, deep-seated or severe. The word as used in the Hebrew also connects the soul to the body. To put it in modern terminology, it indicates a "psycho-somatic" experience that is so deep it affects the whole person, inside and out. Here are a few brief examples:

Job 4:14 Dread came upon me, and trembling, and made all my bones shake.
Job 30:17 My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.
Job 33:9 At night it pierces my bones within me, and my gnawing pains take no rest.
Psalm 6:2 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am pining away; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are dismayed.
Psalm 31:10 For my life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing; my strength has failed because of my iniquity, and my body [lit. bones] has wasted away.
Psalm 102:3 For my days have been consumed in smoke, and my bones have been scorched like a hearth.
Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rottenness to the bones.
Proverbs 15:30 Bright eyes gladden the heart; good news puts fat on the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say, "I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name," then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.
Jeremiah 23:9 My heart is broken within me, all my bones tremble; I have become like a drunken man, even like a man overcome with wine, because of the LORD and because of His holy words.
Habakkuk 3:16 I heard and my inward parts trembled, at the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, and in my place I tremble.

For a child of God, moments spent outside of conscious fellowship with Him are like a time warp in which the body and soul seem to age at an accelerated pace. In such a state, the decay of thoughts and desires is sharp and quick. It's excruciating. We cannot bear the enmity we feel. Sins that began with promises of pleasure, status, self-fulfillment, riches and glory end up crushing us with deep spiritual pain as our guilt intensifies. Some people have literally dropped dead over the effects of guilt.
David feels this so strongly that he can only roar, or moan, in sorrow and shame. His conscience is killing him. This is the rotting fruit of unbelief. This is the result of failing to draw near to God - in the knowledge of His mercy and grace - just as we are.
Christ carried the cross and bore our sin upon it. But even for the sinless Son of God, the act of carrying sins was one which left Him pierced and crushed. In fact, He died. What will happen to you, if you try to carry your sins?
Dear friend, do not wallow in the shame of your depravity, awaiting a favorable time to repent. The favorable time is NOW. Do not hold back, but come to the risen Christ and be healed. For He is "good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon [Him]." (Psalm 86:5)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to respond to anything written in the posts, or to the comments left by others. All comments are reviewed before they are published.

Please be charitable. If you disagree, do so with grace. Keep your words positive, focused, and on-topic. We don't expect everyone to agree, but we do expect everyone to treat everyone else with respect and grace, speaking the truth in love.