Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Marrow In Your Bones - Spiritually

This was something I had posted on a message board in March 2005, when my Mom was undergoing cancer treatments and the complications that resulted from that:

What happens when the marrow in your bones is depleted and how does that effect you physically? This is what my Mom is experiencing due to her health problems this past year. When she mentioned the fact of her marrow being depleted last week, it caused me to think of several passages in the Scriptures. I was wondering how the physical effects could picture spiritual effects.

Psalms 32:3-5 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 is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

Job 21:24 His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow.

Psalms 63:5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips:

Proverbs 3:8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

I have read some commentaries where they state the moisture and the marrow is referring to spiritual vitality. Is your physical vitality or strength lost when your bone marrow is being depleted or the moisture is diminishing - and vice-versa? How does that relate to the spiritual picture?

I remember reading Spurgeon's comments a while ago on Psalm 32, from his Treasury of David, so I will also post those here:

Verses 3-5. David now gives us his own experience: no instructor is so efficient as one who testifies to what he has personally known and felt. He writes well who like the spider spins his matter out of his own bowels.

Verse 3. When I kept silence. When through neglect I failed to confess, or through despair dared not do so, my bones, those solid pillars of my frame, the stronger portions of my bodily constitution, waxed old, began to decay with weakness, for my grief was so intense as to sap my health and destroy my vital energy. What a killing thing is sin! It is a pestilent disease! A fire in the bones! While we smother our sin it rages within, and like a gathering wound swells horribly and torments terribly. Through my roaring all the day long. He was silent as to confession, but not as to sorrow. Horror at his great guilt, drove David to incessant laments, until his voice was no longer like the articulate speech of man, but so full of sighing and groaning, that it resembled to hoarse roaring of a wounded beast. None knows the pangs of conviction but those who have endured them. The rack, the wheel, the flaming fagot are ease compared with the Tophet which a guilty conscience kindles within the breast: better suffer all the diseases which flesh is heir to, than lie under the crushing sense of the wrath of almighty God. The Spanish inquisition with all its tortures was nothing to the inquest which conscience holds within the heart.

Verse 4. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me. God's finger can crush us — what must his hand be, and that pressing heavily and continuously! Under terrors of conscience, men have little rest by night, for the grim thoughts of the day dog them to their chambers and haunt their dreams, or else they lie awake in a cold sweat of dread. God's hand is very helpful when it uplifts, but it is awful when it presses down: better a world on the shoulder, like Atlas, than God's hand on the heart, like David. My moisture is turned into the drought of summer. The sap of his soul was dried, and the body through sympathy appeared to be bereft of its needful fluids. The oil was almost gone from the lamp of life, and the flame flickered as though it would soon expire. Unconfessed transgression, like a fierce poison, dried up the fountain of the man's strength and made him like a tree blasted by the lightning, or a plant withered by the scorching heat of a tropical sun. Alas! for a poor soul when it has learned its sin but forgets its Saviour, it goes hard with it indeed. Selah. It was time to change the tune, for the notes are very low in the scale, and with such hard usage, the strings of the harp are out of order: the next verse will surely be set to another key, or will rehearse a more joyful subject.

Verse 5. I acknowledged my sin unto thee. After long lingering, the broken heart bethought itself of what it ought to have done at the first, and laid bare its bosom before the Lord. The lancet must be let into the gathering ulcer before relief can be afforded. The least thing we can do, if we would be pardoned, is to acknowledge our fault; if we are too proud for this we double deserve punishment. And mine iniquity have I not hid. We must confess the guilt as well as the fact of sin. It is useless to conceal it, for it is well known to God; it is beneficial to us to own it, for a full confession softens and humbles the heart. We must as far as possible unveil the secrets of the soul, dig up the hidden treasure of Achan, and by weight and measure bring out our sins. I said. This was his fixed resolution. I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord. Not to my fellow men or to the high priest, but unto Jehovah; even in those days of symbol the faithful looked to God alone for deliverance from sin's intolerable load, much more now, when types and shadows have vanished at the appearance of the dawn. When the soul determines to lay low and plead guilty, absolution is near at hand; hence we read, And thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Not only was the sin itself pardoned, but the iniquity of it; the virus of its guilt was put away, and that at once, so soon as the acknowledgment was made. God's pardons are deep and thorough: the knife of mercy cuts at the roots of the ill weed of sin. Selah. Another pause is needed, for the matter is not such as may be hurried over.

"Pause, my soul, adore and wonder,
Ask, O why such love to me?
Grace has put me in the number
Of the Saviour's family.
Thanks, eternal thanks, to thee."

A couple more quotations from the same book:

Verse 4. My moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Another meaning may be attributed to these words. We may suppose the psalmist to be referring to spiritual drought.

Verse 4. My moisture is turned into the drought of summer. The summer is from the middle of August to the middle of November. The intensity of the heat is great, and almost intolerable...

For more studies that use passages in the Psalms as the springboard:

Psalms Series


Sis. Courtney said...

Bro. Jerry,
I got your link off of Happymama's blog and I thought your name sounded familier. Do you belong to any KJV e-mail groups? My daddy belongs to several and I was thinking maybe I've seen your name off one of those.

Jerry Bouey said...

Yes, I am on one that has the initials KJBD - King James Bible Discussion group, I think - with Will Kinney and some others.

Thanks for coming over and visiting my blog. God bless.

Bro Tim said...

Bro Jerry thanks for the bible study on John 13. I appreciate coming by to my blog. How do you join one of these discussion groups. Look forward to seeing more posts on your site.

Bro Tim

Jerry Bouey said...

It depends what you are looking for. They are Yahoo Groups, so you can go to and join them. The ones I am on are:

kingjamesbibledefense - which is pretty good. Great for defending the King James Bible, asking questions, getting input on various passages or issues dealing with inpiration, preservation, manuscripts, differences between the KJV and modern versions, etc. Not everyone in this group is Baptist (or saved), but it is a good group (as long as you are aware that its primary purpose is defense of the KJV, and not necessarily other Baptist doctrines or issues).

The other one I am on is pretty good and is IFB and KJVonly:
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of activity from this group - but if more join there will certainly be more studies and issues to interact with.

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