Read Psalm 6
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.
1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?
4 Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
Who praises you from the grave?
6 I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.
8 Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
9 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.
Psalms 6 is categorized as the first of the Penitential Psalms–which is a big word that means an expression of repentance. The Psalmists in these particular psalms are expressing sorrow over sin and spiritual failure. King David is the writer of Psalms 6. He 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!
- What are you agonizing over physically, spiritually, and emotionally right now?
- Have you been honest with the Lord with the feelings you expressed above?
- 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.