When I kept silence - Before I humbled myself, and confessed my sin, my soul was under the deepest horror. "I roared all the day long;" and felt the hand of God heavy upon my soul.
When I kept silence - The psalmist now proceeds to state his condition of mind before he himself found this peace, or before he had this evidence of pardon; the state in which he felt deeply that he was a sinner, yet was unwilling to confess his sin, and attempted to conceal it in his own heart. This he refers to by the expression, “When I kept silence;” that is, before I confessed my sin, or before I made mention of it to God. The condition of mind was evidently this: he had committed sin, but he endeavored to hide it in his own mind; he was unwilling to make confession of it, and to implore pardon. He hoped, probably, that the conviction of sin would die away; or that his trouble would cease of itself; or that time would relieve him; or that employment - occupying himself in the affairs of the world - would soothe the anguish of his spirit, and render it unnecessary for him to make a humiliating confession of his guilt. He thus describes a state of mind which is very common in the case of sinners. They know that they are sinners, but they are unwilling to make confession of their guilt. They attempt to conceal it. They put off, or try to remove far away, the whole subject. They endeavor to divert their minds, and to turn their thoughts from a subject so painful as the idea of guilt - by occupation, or by amusement, or even by plunging into scenes of dissipation. Sometimes, often in fact, they are successful in this; but, sometimes, as in the case of the psalmist, the trouble at the remembrance of sins becomes deeper and deeper, destroying their rest, and wasting their strength, until they make humble confession, and “then” the mind finds rest.
My bones waxed old - My strength failed; my strength was exhausted; it seemed as if the decrepitude of age was coming upon me. The word here used, and rendered “waxed old,” would properly denote “decay,” or the wearing out of the strength by slow decay. All have witnessed the prostrating effect of excessive grief.
Through my roaring - My cries of anguish and distress. See the notes at Psalm 22:1. The meaning here is, that his sorrow was so great as to lead to loud and passionate cries; and this well describes the condition of a mind under deep trouble at the remembrance of sin and the apprehension of the wrath of God.
All the day long - Continually; without intermission.
God intended the history of David's fall to serve as a warning that even those whom He has greatly blessed and favored are not to feel secure and neglect watchfulness and prayer. And thus it has proved to those who in humility have sought to learn the lesson that God designed to teach. From generation to generation thousands have thus been led to realize their own danger from the tempter's power. The fall of David, one so greatly honored by the Lord, has awakened in them distrust of self. They have felt that God alone could keep them by His power through faith. Knowing that in Him was their strength and safety, they have feared to take the first step on Satan's ground. PP 724.1
Even before the divine sentence was pronounced against David he had begun to reap the fruit of transgression. His conscience was not at rest. The agony of spirit which he then endured is brought to view in the thirty-second psalm. He says: PP 724.2
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is
Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no guile.
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old
Through my roaring all the day long.
For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me:
My moisture was changed as with the drought of summer.” PP 724.3