Our sin brings consequences. David makes that very clear in Psalm 38– illness, humiliation, shame, anxiety, weakness, pain, disunity. The result of his one action has brought immeasurable pain upon himself as well as separation from God and those around him. Such is the price of sin; it is a big deal! Cornelius Plantinga Jr. in his book Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin shares these biblical images about sin:
“Sin is the missing of a target, a wandering from the path, a straying from the fold. Sin is a hard heart and a stiff neck. Sin is blindness and deafness. It is both the overstepping of a line and the failure to reach it — both transgression and shortcoming. Sin is a beast crouching at the door…Sin is disruption of created harmony and then resistance to divine restoration of that harmony” (pg 5).
However, even in view of sin, we are not hopeless. David has not resolved to let his enemies overtake him and discourage him. His ‘woe is me’ is interlaced with waiting and hope. Does hope not require waiting?
Verses 21-22 say, “Do not abandon me, O Lord! My God, do not remain far away from me! Hurry and help me, O Lord, my deliverer!” (NET Bible)
David knows that the Lord is not absent, that the Lord has delivered him, and that the Lord protects him. Because of these promises and experiences he has hope that does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).
Note: Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin is a deep look at sin. It is convicting, but it brings you to a place to see how awesome and perfect our God is. It is more on the academic side, so it is certainly not light reading.