“There is no soundness in my flesh because of your anger, nor peace in my bones because of my sin.” Psalm 38:3
Sin – Food poisoning. Just the thought of it might make you feel uncomfortable. When you get it, it’s not very pleasant. But here’s an interesting question. When you went to the restaurant and ordered the meal, would you have eaten the food if you knew it would give you food poisoning? Not unless you like sitting on the floor in the bathroom in a cold sweat.
That’s the same question we need to ask when it comes to sin? Would you go ahead with the action if you knew that it would destroy your life? You would probably say, “Of course not.” But we do anyway, don’t we? That’s what makes sin insane. We march right up to the table and consume poisoned food. If we’re going to prevent the inevitable results, then we better know what ingredients to avoid. And that means we need to answer the question “What is sin?”
Is it breaking the rules? Living for yourself? Not being “holy” enough? Can you sin without knowing it? Is it like drinking water that you thought was pure only to find out later that it was contaminated?
David uses a word here that tells us a great deal about sin. The basis of the word is found in Judges 20:16. It’s about 700 left-handed men who knew how to throw stones. Khatta’a is the Old Testament’s choice word for sin. It means, “to miss the mark”. These 700 men could hit the target. They didn’t miss. Sin is just the opposite. When we sin, we miss the target. We fall short of the mark. We might try to reach the standard, but we don’t make it. Thousands of years later, James gave us a simple little indicator. Whenever we know what is the right thing to do and we don’t do it, we sin (James 4:17).
When we don’t do what we know we should have done, we get sick.
David is in turmoil because he knew what was right but he thought he could get away with it. Now he is suffering from sin poisoning. He is throwing up the sickness in his soul. As long as it stayed inside, he couldn’t function at all. The cure is painful and retching. But it is the only way.
Have you missed the mark of what you knew was the right thing to do? Do you think you can just “gut it out” when that sick feeling takes hold? Go ahead and throw up! Get rid of the poison. The process is terrible, as David clearly describes, but the end is soul peace and body harmony.