Vs. 1-10 describe David’s price for his sin;
Vs. 11-16 show the failure of “friends”;
Vs. 17-20 speak of David’s frailty;
Vs. 21-22 make David’s final appeal to God.
The natural sense is that David is describing physical affliction as a direct result of, possibly, a sexual sin (“no soundness in my flesh”); emotional affliction also (“turmoil of my heart”); and spiritual agony that God could reject him (“no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger”). David realized that he was in over his head (“my iniquities have gone over my head”), and only God could help (“Lord, all my desire is before You”). Would that all sinners shared this feeling.
In verses 11-16 we see that “friends” forsake us when we need them most, and only real friends stick around (“My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague, And my relatives stand afar off”). At the same time, loneliness is facing adversaries with no close support (“Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction, And plan deception all the day long”). The Apostle Paul came to the same realization as David when he said: “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” (2 Timothy 4:16-18) No one who serves God while facing the world is ever alone.
As stated in verses 17-18, sometimes it takes paying a price for our sin, losing both God and friends, for us to realize the true love of God who waits for our return with open arms and forgiveness in the new covenant of Christ (“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” Hebrews 8:12). Confession of sin is acknowledgement of the sinner’s responsibility and God’s grace. In the New Testament, John wrote: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). In Psalm 38:19-20 we learn that true friends do not have a problem with our spiritual attempts to advance toward God (“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity” Proverbs 17:17). “Fair weather friends” are not friends at all, but mere temporary acquaintances with whom we share a small part of our lives (“Wealth makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend” (Proverbs 19:4). Friendship should not be a one-way donation, for “every man is a friend to one who gives gifts” (Proverbs 19:6).
In verses 21-22, David shows our appeal should be to our Best Friend Forever (bff).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.