Psalm 6

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.
All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

Interpretation

Here David cries out to the Lord because he is in anguish. We do not know exactly what the trouble was. But some calamity has fallen upon him. David acknowledges the sovereignty of God. He admits that God is in control. He acknowledges God could end the suffering at any time with statements like “Turn, Lord, and deliver me.” And, “How long, Lord, How long?” In this Psalm it is clear that the trouble comes through men. But, David recognized the true source is from God.

It appears that David is suffering as a result of God’s correction to David when he says, “Do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.” We all are deserving of God’s wrath. We all need God’s correction. But God has shown us mercy by withholding his wrath. He shows us mercy rather than justice. Not only mercy, but God gives us grace.

There are those who claim that God only sends good to us and never bad. I agree. But they usually have a faulty definition of good. Good is not what is pleasant or makes us feel happy. All God does is good. Even what we think of as evil in the world God uses for good. As Joseph told his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” Genesis (50:20)

To the redeemed, God sends trouble and anguish to correct and strengthen, that is a good thing. To those who are not redeemed He sends trouble and anguish to punish and for justice, that is a good thing. The problem is we do not think the sinner ought to be punished, nor the redeemed corrected.

Whenever we are suffering our thoughts ought to instantly go to God and acknowledge Him as Judge. We are all guilty of sin and deserving of punishment. That is why David cries out for mercy. God is angry with sin. David says, “Do not rebuke me in Your anger or discipline me in Your wrath.”

Instead of God’s justice, David cries for mercy. He knows he does not want God’s justice. David appeals to God to save him because of God’s “unfailing love.”

David ends the Psalm with the assurance of God’s mercy. David, repeats that his prayers were heard by God, “the Lord has heard my weeping,” “the Lord has heard my cry for mercy,” “the Lord accepts my prayer.” By repeatedly stating his prayers had been heard he is stating the assurance of God’s deliverance and his prayers were not in vain.

An Application

No matter how our troubles come we must learn to turn our thoughts instantly to God and acknowledge Him as the Judge who declares our guilt. We are all sinners are deserving of God’s wrath. Only by His mercy do we draw our next breath.

Therefore, we need to confess we deserve to be destroyed and brought to nothing and we pray for mercy that we do not receive justice; we pray we do not receive our just deserts. Rather we pray for pardon of our sins.

The good news is there is an assurance of salvation, because God is merciful. God will pardon all who trust in the name of the Lord. “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

Praise God! His mercy is great and lasts forever. (Psalm 100:5, 103:17)

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