Psalm 38:8

ESV I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
NIV I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.
NASB I feel faint and badly crushed; I groan because of the agitation of my heart.
CSB I am faint and severely crushed; I groan because of the anguish of my heart.
NLT I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart.
KJV I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

What does Psalm 38:8 mean?

Psalm 38 expresses David's misery resulting from sin (Psalm 38:1, 18). Sin can often have direct physical consequences, including disease. God can also use such things to rebuke a person who resists Him. However, David's imagery in this psalm appears to be symbolic, and not literal (Psalm 38:2). What's very real, for David, is the crushing effect of God's corrective discipline. He is fully aware of his sin and feels the brutal impact of conviction and guilt. Here, he makes that connection explicit, saying his prior symptoms (Psalm 38:3–7) are a response to the "tumult of my heart."

The word "feeble" may be translated "deadly cold." His energy was spent, and he was worn out. His heart was so unstable and his experience so agonizing that he "groaned." The English word "groan" often implies something subtle or weak. However, the Hebrew root word sha'ag refers to a roar, or a shout of anguish. David is not "moaning" in misery, he is shouting in pain. This behavior indicates that his mind was tortured. Whereas David was once a robust warrior-king, a man among men, and someone who was revered; now sin had transformed him into a feeble, ill, and distraught man.

The price of sin is extremely high, and for the unbeliever its wages are death (Romans 6:23). However, the Lord Jesus "is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). Even as David mourns over his sin, he doesn't abandon hope. Instead, he looks to the Lord who sees his condition (Psalm 38:9) and asks for salvation (Psalm 38:22).
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