Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 38:17

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

For I am ready to halt - Literally, I am prepared to halt. So completely infirm is my soul, that it is impossible for me to take one right step in the way of righteousness, unless strengthened by thee.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For I am ready to halt - Margin, as in Hebrew, “for halting.” The word from which the word used here is derived means properly to lean on one side, and then to halt or limp. The meaning here is, that he was like one who was limping along, and who was ready to fall; that is, in the case here referred to, he felt that his strength was almost gone, and that he was in continual danger of falling into sin, or sinking under his accumulated burdens, and of thus giving occasion for all that his enemies said of him, or occasion for their triumphing over him. Men often have this feeling - that their sorrows are so great that they cannot hope to hold out much longer, and that if God does not interpose they must fall.

And my sorrow is continually before me - That is, my grief or suffering is unintermitted. Probably the reference here is particularly to that which “caused” his grief, or which was the source of his trouble - his sin. The fact that he was a sinner was never absent from his mind; that was the source of all his trouble; that was what so pressed upon him that it was likely to crush him to the dust.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Wicked men hate goodness, even when they benefit by it. David, in the complaints he makes of his enemies, seems to refer to Christ. But our enemies do us real mischief only when they drive us from God and our duty. The true believer's trouble will be made useful; he will learn to wait for his God, and will not seek relief from the world or himself. The less we notice the unkindness and injuries that are done us, the more we consult the quiet of our own minds. David's troubles were the chastisement and the consequence of his transgressions, whilst Christ suffered for our sins and ours only. What right can a sinner have to yield to impatience or anger, when mercifully corrected for his sins? David was very sensible of the present workings of corruption in him. Good men, by setting their sorrow continually before them, have been ready to fall; but by setting God always before them, they have kept their standing. If we are truly penitent for sin, that will make us patient under affliction. Nothing goes nearer to the heart of a believer when in affliction, than to be under the apprehension of God's deserting him; nor does any thing come more feelingly from his heart than this prayer, "Be not far from me." The Lord will hasten to help those who trust in him as their salvation.