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 his 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,Ps. 6:1-10 (NIV)
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.
This Psalm is one of the seven penitential Psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143). Guilt drives me into the presence of God. I try to describe the perplexity my sin makes me feel. I feel totally exposed to God’s rebuke because he is angry with me, I deserve to be disciplined by God in his wrath. I have no other option but to cry out for mercy from the covenant LORD. My behaviour has made me feel weak and faint, I have no strength to improve my position. I appeal to the covenant Lord to heal me. I have no cause of my own to plead, I can only plead the cause of the covenant. My failure makes my very bones ache seeking relief. Body and soul are disturbed, my soul is in deep agony, all washed out. This is like death in my soul, like the depths of the grave. How can I praise you with this weight of sin burdening my body and soul? I have wept a flood of tears for half the night and my pillow is drenched, I am drowning in grief. There is no more crying left to cry, I was reduced to sobs and groaning but even that has exhausted me. My eyes have nothing left to offer; I slump in deep sorrow. How long covenant Lord will this go on? Turn from Your rebuke and discipline, Your anger and wrath and deliver me, save me because of Your Hesed, (Hebrew word), your unfailing love, your covenant love.
At last the covenant LORD has heard my cry for mercy. Covenant love lifted me when nothing else could help. There were those who made my failure a greater agony. Well things have changed! So get away from me because the Lord has been faithful to his covenant and has accepted my prayer and restored me in His mercy. Now they will be ashamed for mocking me and dismayed that I am no longer under God’s rebuke and discipline.
Christ is the divine Psalm singing and He sings the Psalms. The agony that the Psalmist experienced is ultimately experienced by Christ as he became sin for us and fulfilled these Psalms. Our victory comes not by looking to the experience of the Psalmist, but our victory is ultimately in the victory that our covenant LORD Jesus Christ achieved for us on the cross. His strength is made perfect in my weakness.
Lord we experience a lot of pain and sorrow because we stay away from you. We are sorry for our sin and we come back to you. Thank you that you are a covenant keeping God, showing us mercy and deliverance in your covenant love. We thank you that all these promises of deliverance that You have made have become ‘yes’ for us in Jesus Christ. Receive our thanks and hear our prayers in the name of our faithful Saviour we pray. Amen