Individual Laments: Psalm 6

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Read Psalm 6

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
    heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
    How long, Lord, how long?

Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
    save me because of your unfailing love.
Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
    Who praises you from the grave?

I am worn out from my groaning.

All night long I flood my bed with weeping
    and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
    they fail because of all my foes.

Away from me, all you who do evil,
    for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
    the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
    they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

Go Deeper

Psalms 6 is another individual lament from David. The Psalmists in these particular psalms are expressing sorrow over sin and spiritual failure. In this instance, David is in deep affliction and uses this opportunity to poetically express his weariness to the Lord.

Based on the language that is used, we can conclude that David is feeling not only helpless, but also hopeless in his situation. In verse 2, we learn that his circumstances have left him with physical ailments (“Heal me O Lord for my bones are in agony.”) Then in verse 3, he expresses that he is also agonizing spiritually (“I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord, until you restore me?”) And in verses 6 and 7, we feel the weight of the emotional toll that this is taking on him (“I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.”)

Regardless of the details of the situation he is lamenting about, we can conclude that David is desperately appealing to God for relief. It’s important to point out, though, that David’s laments in this chapter are not complaints–he is not placing blame on God for the situation that he has found himself in. Instead, he is pouring his soul out to God and asking for mercy.

As we continue reading in verse 8, we see that David’s tone makes a sudden change from sorrow to a confident expression of joy “…for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer.” Despite his physical, spiritual, and emotional turmoil, David chose to not stay in that place. He turned his deep felt grief and weariness into a prayer to God and by the time he got to the end of his prayer, he found himself knowing with confidence that God had heard him and would answer him.

The natural human response to hopeless and helpless situations is to complain and to search for someone to blame. As Christians though, we should learn from the pattern that King David established here in Psalms 6. Express your sorrows to the Lord through prayer. Allow your honesty and vulnerability to be an appeal to God for mercy and relief. And then TRUST and know with confidence that God has heard your weeping and will answer your prayer!


  1. What are you agonizing over physically, spiritually, and emotionally right now?
  2. Have you been honest with the Lord with the feelings you expressed above?
  3. Spend time expressing those feelings to the Lord and pray until you feel confident that the Lord has heard your prayers and you. Trust that He will answer you!

Did you know?

In verse 4, the word “unfailing love” is the Hebrew word chesedh which has implications that mean the steadfast love of a covenant God who cares for us not because we are perfect, but because He is.

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5 thoughts on “Individual Laments: Psalm 6”

  1. what shall I say? “Father, save Me from this hour”? But for this purpose I came to this hour. “Father, glorify Your name.” JOHN 12:27-28.
    Sorrow is a part of our time here. You can cry out to God. Wail before His throne. Confess your sins and ask for forgivness. But do all these things with the attitude of “even if” things do not happen as I want Your will be done, I will serve You, glorify You and trust You. I want to be like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they faced the fiery furnace.
    If the God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and from your power, then he will. 18 But even if he doesn’t, Your Majesty may be sure that we will not worship your god, and we will not bow down to the gold statue that you have set up.”Daniel 3:17-18 GNB
    My God who accomplished this is more than capable of handling all of my pain and suffering as I give Him more and more of my heart. I want His joy to be my praise for what He sacrificed for me. Because I trust in Him through faith. I am a child of God and He hears my prayers. Even if….

    God I know that sorrow is a part of this world. I know You know the beginning from the end. Even when this comes my way I want to put my faith, trust, hope, joy, rejoicing, fellowship, laments, sins, confidence, crying, happiness, sickness, health, prosperity, all the things, I want to give to You with the assurance of “even if” You will be faithful loving HESED to and for me. God I come today with a thankful heart. I thank You for the growth that You are working with me on. God thank You for me being Your vessel to love on the people in my circle. Thank Your for eyes to see them through Your love goggles, ears to listen with and hear,and a voice to speak if You direct me. Thank You for all the minutes of this day, today , right now to glorify, honor and be OH so thankful in Jesus name amen.

  2. Ella Snodgrass

    The greatest challenge when we are in the throes of suffering is to cast our gaze on Jesus, the one who endured unimaginable grief, so much so that scripture records that his sweet was like drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane. He experienced the deepest anguish known to man. Jesus, according to Isaiah 53, “was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief” (v3). Jesus bore our sins, but He also carried our sorrows. Whatever grieves our hearts, grieves his. What a comfort! Whatever we face presently, we can cast our gaze to Calvary and abide in the redeeming work of the cross.

  3. 4 “because of your unfailing love.”

    Reading a lot recently of God’s “unfailing love” and “steadfast love”. which “endures forever”. There’s a message there for us!

  4. Diane Frances Rogers

    4 Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
    save me because of your unfailing love.
    Oh, how many times have You, Lord delivered me? I cannot count. Thank you.

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