As I have been reading in the Psalms, I’ve noticed an interesting theme: The sorrow of sinners (and those suffering from the sins of others) affects their bodies. More specifically it afflicts their “bones.” Take a listen to some of the laments offered by David and others.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. (Psalm 6:2)
Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away. (Psalm 31:9-10 ESV)
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah (Psalm 32:3-4 ESV)
All my bones shall say, “O LORD, who is like you, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?” (Psalm 35:10 ESV)
There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me. (Psalm 38:3-4 ESV)
As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:10)
The bodily effect of sin traces it origins to Genesis 2:17, when God said to Adam, “On the day that you eat of this tree you shall surely die.” And for most Christians the connection between sin and death is well-understood: “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). But what is so striking about these Psalms is the way it speaks of “bones.”