So many of the trees at this beach on the island of Sardinia were bent over as a result of the strong winds. It was almost impossible to walk through a grove of them and avoid running into their lowered branches. Some of them were practically horizontal. Only a few provided the shade we needed at the right height for our picnic. Even so, they managed to keep growing, in spite of the buffeting from those strong gusts of wind.
Today’s verse talks about being bent over and bowed down as an image for guilt over sin. David feels the seriousness of his failures so keenly that he mourns all throughout the day. He describes the guilt he feels as a burden too heavy to bear (verse 4). He feels that the guilt is even affecting his health when he says there is no soundness in his bones because of his sin (verse 3). He calls his sin, “folly” (verse 5).
This is exactly what guilt feels like. But this description is before David confesses (verse 18). David ends the psalm with confidence in God’s help and forgiveness. Those strong winds of guilt have him bowed down but he is still standing. Perhaps David was a “man after God’s own heart” because he recognized the seriousness of his sin and was willing to completely humble himself.
I do not often have this kind of guilt. It is not that I do not sin as much or as seriously as David. But I think I am sometimes desensitized to it. Or my pride just does not allow me to think that I am quite that bad, or that what I have done is so serious.
Lord, examine my heart today.