Psalm 38:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 38:4, NIV: My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.

Psalm 38:4, ESV: For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

Psalm 38:4, KJV: For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

Psalm 38:4, NASB: For my guilty deeds have gone over my head; Like a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.

Psalm 38:4, NLT: My guilt overwhelms me--it is a burden too heavy to bear.

Psalm 38:4, CSB: For my iniquities have flooded over my head; they are a burden too heavy for me to bear.

What does Psalm 38:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Sinless perfection is not something we can attain in this life. A true believer may still sin, but when they do so, that experience will come with conviction and God's correction. In that spirit, David laments his sinning (Psalm 38:18). He feels the shame and guilt of his sin such that it seems overwhelming.

When a believer sins, the Holy Spirit convicts, and the sinner should feel a certain burden as a result. As David did, the repentant believer can long to have the Lord lift that weight. Fortunately, Jesus lifts the crushing pressure of shame and guilt and gives peace to anyone who comes to Him in faith. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Writing prophetically about Jesus' crucifixion for our sin, Isaiah portrays iniquity being laid on the Messiah, Jesus. He writes "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).