Summary: Burdens will weigh you down! They are nothing new. King David struggled with several burdens that had catastrophic results.
My wife and I are fairly organized people. For example, when we go on vacation, we always make sure that we take EVERYTHING that we need (my wife especially makes sure of this). Getting everything into the car is sometimes a chore in itself, but when it comes to carrying everything into a motel or into the airport, and a few times THROUGH the airport, you find that you’re carrying far too much. Now the humorous part of this is when you get home and unpack and you find that you’ve carried things that you never even used! You come to the realization that you’ve subjected yourself to carrying baggage that you never had to carry.
Psalm 38: “O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. 2 For your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down upon me. 3 Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin. 4 My guilt has overwhelmed me LIKE A BURDEN TOO HEAVY to bear. 5 My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. 6 I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. 7 My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. 8 I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart. 9 All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. 10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. 11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away.”
12 “Those who seek my life set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they plot deception. 13 I am like a deaf man, who cannot hear, like a mute, who cannot open his mouth; 14 I have become like a man who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply. 15 I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God. 16 For I said, "Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my foot slips." 17 For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me. 18 I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. 19 Many are those who are my vigorous enemies; those who hate me without reason are numerous. 20 Those who repay my good with evil slander me when I pursue what is good. 21 O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. 22 Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.”
In Psalm 38, David has been under a very heavy load: He is carrying far too much luggage. Take a moment to look at David’s Baggage! The burdens that he is bearing are considerably more than carrying a few extra carry-on bags or a bulky suitcase. He is carrying burdens of extreme anguish, the kind that break hearts but not backs! The heaviest is the Hand of God’s discipline coming down on him, not lovingly, but in anger and in wrath. And could you blame God for being angry.
What were the causes of David’s cumbersome condition? Verse 3 and 5 give these reasons: Because of MY SIN and because of YOUR(God’s) WRATH (vs. 3), because of MY FOOLISHNESS or sinful FOLLY (vs. 5). David knows how extreme his condition is but yet it is JUSTIFIED.
We hate to admit it, but misery is the natural consequence of SIN, no matter what sin it might be and the consequences are seen everywhere and affects everything. Am I saying that every illness is caused by sin? Indirectly, and sometimes DIRECTLY, illness is caused by SIN!
Think about it for a minute: There would be absolutely no illness in a sin-free world; the common cold would be very UNcommon because it wouldn’t exist. There would not be a need for police nor prisons, no judges, no judgments, no trials. (A lot of job security would be INSECURE.) There would be no America’s Most Wanted, no FBI’s top 10. There would be no disease, no assisted living homes, no hospice…I HAVE YET TO HEAR OF A PERSON WHO DIED OF GOOD HEALTH.
There would be no death There would be no natural disasters, no guilt, and imagine this no emotional baggage. No suffering from abuse, neglect, no inferiority complexes, no fears or phobias, no suffering on account of rape or any other sexual deviation. No mental illness. No excessive baggage to carry, to lug around for your whole life. SIN MESSES THINGS UP!
All the emotional traumas in the book are a result of sin, some of which you may have had nothing to do with, but YOU are the “bell-ho” onto whom the emotional baggage has been heaped. We are the recipients of collateral-baggage-damage. We may try to forget, try to forgive, try to move on, but let’s face it, we are all carrying baggage-burdens caused by the actions and sins which someone else inflicted upon us AS WELL AS THE SIN WHICH IS WITHIN US.