To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. On an eight-stringed harp. A Psalm of David.
1. O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. 2. Have mercy, on me O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. 3. My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O LORD—how long? 4. Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! 5. For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave, who will give You thanks? 6. I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. 7. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows old because of all my enemies. 8. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; for the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping. 9. The LORD has heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. 10. Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled; let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.
Commentary from Warren Wiersbe’s book, BE Worshipful
Psalm 6 is the first of seven “penitential psalms” in which the writers are being disciplined by God and experiencing suffering. The other psalms are 32; 38; 51; 102; 130; and 143 and all of these psalms are helpful to us when we need to confess our sins and draw closer to the Lord. In this psalm, David records the stages in his difficult experience of moving by faith from trial to triumph.
The Pain of Discipline (vv. 1-3)……When God deals with His children, usually He first rebukes and then chastens, just as parents first warn disobedient children and then discipline them (Heb. 12:5-6; Prov. 3:11-12). According to Hebrews 12:1-13, chastening is not punishment meted out by an irate judge but discipline given by a loving Father to help His children mature (See Rev. 3:19) Sometimes God chastens us in order to deal with our disobedience, but at other times, He chastens us to prepare us for what lies ahead……Knowing that he deserved far more than what he was enduring, David begged for mercy….and asked God to send help speedily. The painful question, “How long?” is asked at least sixteen times in the Psalms……The answer to the question is, “ I will discipline you till you learn the lesson I want you to learn and are equipped for the work I want you to do.” According to Hebrews 12, when God disciplines us, we can despise it, resist it, collapse under it, and quit or accept and submit. What God is seeking is submission.
The Futility of Death (vv. 4-5). David felt that God had turned His back on him and deserted him, so he asked Him to return; and then he began to reason with Him. Every Jew knew that the Lord was “ merciful and gracious” (Ex. 34:6-7), so David asked God to manifest that mercy to him and spare his life……The word grave in verse 5 is ‘sheol’, a word that can mean “the grave” or “the realm of the dead.” Here it means the latter. In Old Testament times, people didn’t have the clear revelation of the afterlife that was brought through Jesus (2 Tim. 1:10), although there were glimpses of what God had in store for His people (Ps 16:9-11…..)……
The Strain of Despair (vv. 5-7). We have gone from a morning psalm (3:5) to an evening psalm (4:8) and back to a morning psalm (5:3). Now we have another evening psalm (6:6). But whereas in the previous psalms, the Lord gave sleep and peace to David, here we find the king sleepless because of fear and pain……Sleeping had been replaced by suffering…… I’ve learned that sickness and pain either make us better or bitter, and the difference is faith. If we turn to God, pray, remember His promises, and trust Him, we will find His grace sufficient for our needs (2 Cor. 12:9). The Lord may not do what we ask, when we want it, but He will do what needs to be done and help us glorify His name. The question we should ask isn’t “When will I get out of this?” but “What will I get out of this?”
The Joy of Deliverance (vv. 8-10). At this point, there’s a sudden and surprising change from suffering to joy, an experience recorded in other psalms (22:22; 56:10; 69:30). It doesn’t matter whether this change occurred later or immediately after David prayed, but he felt healing in his body and peace in his heart and mind……He used this experience to glorify the Lord as he witnessed to his enemies. How this message was conveyed to them, we don’t know; but David was quick to honor the Lord for what had occurred……His enemies said that David was done for, but the failure of their prediction would leave them ashamed and defeated. The phrase “Depart from me” is quoted in Matt. 7:23 and Luke 13:27 and seems quite final.
When you are in situations where you are full of fear, anger, sadness, and you are crying out to God and you feel He doesn’t hear you or that He is abandoning you, try to remember that he will never leave you and always hears you. It is in times like these that He finds out if we are listening to Him and sticking close by Him or if we are going to choose to abandon Him.
I wish everyone a very blessed day.