The burden of hidden sin King David carried for an entire year cost him dearly. It broke his health, plagued his mind and wounded his spirit. It created havoc in his home, disillusionment in God's people, mockery among the godless. Finally, he cried out, "I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me" (Psalm 38:17). The Hebrew word for halt here means "fall." He was saying, "I am about to fall from this heavy load of sorrow."
Some Christians might look at David in his time of turmoil and think, "What a tragedy Satan was able to bring upon David. How could this once-tender psalmist come to the brink of a fall? God must have been terribly angry with him."
No! It was not the devil who made David's sin so heavy, it was God. In His great mercy, God allowed this man to sink to the depths, because He wanted him to see the magnitude of his sin. He made David's unconfessed sin so heavy, he could no longer bear it and he was driven to repentance.
The truth is, only a righteous man like David could be so powerfully affected by his sin. You see, his conscience was still tender and he felt the sharp pains of every arrow of conviction God thrust into his heart. That's why David could say, "My sorrow is continually before me."
That is the secret of this whole story: David had a godly sorrow, a deep and precious fear of God. He could admit, "I see the Lord's disciplining hand in this, pressing me down to my knees, and I acknowledge that my sin deserves His wrath.”
The writer of Lamentations says, "I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light. . . . He hath broken my bones. He hath builded against me. . . . He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old. He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy. . . . He hath enclosed my ways with hewn stone" (Lamentations 3:1-9).
The writer's point is clear: When we live with hidden sin, God Himself makes our chains so heavy, chaotic and terrifying, we are driven to open confession and deep repentance.