MAR 5Whatever Became of Sin?

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me, my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. (Ps. 32:3 NIV)

In his book, The Whole Person in a Broken World (1964), Dr. Paul Tournier says that many people have come to his office complaining of all kinds of problems, some of them physical. Time after time, these symptoms would turn out to be nothing more than the expression of some repressed guilt from years ago that had never been dealt with.

But 3,000 years before Tournier discovered the physical impact of guilt, David described it eloquently in Psalm 32. Evidently, during that year David experienced some sort of illness related to his sin. His strength was sapped, he was feverish, and he lost weight. Physically, he was feeling guilt's awful side effects.

David goes on to describe the psychological effects of his sin. He said, "My conscience roared all day long. My mind was like a ravenous roar of a leaping lion and I heard it all along." That lion image goes all the way back to David's boyhood. As a shepherd boy, he had lived out in the fields of Bethlehem in absolute quietness. All day long he heard only the low moan of the sheep. But sometimes, altogether unexpectedly, he would hear the roar of a leaping lion. At that moment, he had to leap into action to protect the sheep with his own life. And then, older and guilt-ridden, he could hear his conscience roar all day long. When he awoke in the morning, there it was—leering and growling. At high noon it roared; and at night as he tried to sleep, it still rumbled. His mind was in absolute turmoil. This is one of the most vivid mental images David could use.

Lord God, our guilt is literally eating us up, both on the inside and outside. Our stubborn pride has kept us from confessing and repenting from our sins until now. We can no longer be silent, O God! Cleanse us from our sins and make us whole again. Amen.