Day 6: Psalm 6

Psalm 6: a voice in our tears
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.

Lord, may these words touch our hearts today. 
Wow. Here we go...

History assigns this psalm to David, and Jewish tradition tells us this particular psalm is the first of seven Penitential Psalms; meaning songs of confession and humility before God. The early church used these during the season of Lent (40 days of reflection and personal preparation before the celebration of Easter).

Well, today is the FIRST Monday of Lent, a good time to read this particular psalm and try to discern it’s meaning to our hearts and lives.

The “sheminith” meaning is lost in antiquity. But isn’t that cool, too? Some things we just aren’t sure of, and that is okay.

I have read different interpretations of this psalm. Some believe David was physically sick or someone he loved was sick, and he was calling upon the Lord for healing and also forgiveness of sins. David maybe felt that the illness was a result of his sin, that God had allowed an illness to afflict him as a natural consequence. Or maybe he believed that God actually rained down punishment upon those he was mad at.

Another Bible scholar believed that it was David’s soul that was in torment for some reason. Whatever the reason, if you read this psalm, David’s heart was filled with pain and fear, physical pain or emotional pain.

To the point of not having any more words.

Have you felt that way before? That you cannot even put your feelings or your thoughts into words to cry out to God? May this psalm reassure you...God knows.

Charles Spurgeon says, “is it not sweet to believe that our tears are understood even when words fail! Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers.”

Liquid prayers!!!
How long, LORD, how long? (V3)

I believe in God's goodness and faithfulness. I believe that He hears and ALWAYS answers my prayers. But I have said this,
How long, LORD, how long? When will you answer me? 
When will you help me? Are you even listening?

Wow, it's reassuring to find the same uncertainty in the Bible. And from the great king David, "a man after God's own heart."

One thousand years after David, Paul and Barnabas were preaching the Good News about Jesus in the synagogue; 
"...he made David their king. God testified concerning him: 
'I have found David, son of Jesse, 
a man after my own heart; he will do everything
I want him to do.'"
Acts 13:22

You guys, David was a sinner. We will get to THAT in further psalms...poor guy has had his dirty laundry read by generations! And sometimes he couldn't sleep because he worried too much; his anxiety could cripple him. He worried and he feared and he felt like he couldn't make it. Sometimes he could not even get up off the floor!

And sometimes he could NOT even put his prayers into words. 

Does any of that sound familiar? Can anyone relate?

The very center of this psalm is:
I am worn out from my groaning…

Whatever was vexing David was powerful. And he felt the weight of the world on his shoulders. You can feel it in his words. He felt God had turned his back, that God was rebuking him.

Pastor and editor of the website “Enduring Word,” David Guzik says this about Psalm 6, “Living before the finished work of Jesus, David had less certainty about his standing with God. On this side of the cross, we know that all the anger God has towards us was poured out on Jesus at the cross. God chastens the believer out of correcting love and not out of anger.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.
For what children are not disciplined by their father? (Hebrew 12:7)

I personally don’t believe God curses us as punishment for our sins, but I certainly do believe that He allows consequences of our actions to fall upon us. Right?

David is so bold with his words. He says it. He names it, and he calls upon God’s goodness and faithfulness to see him through.

David shares his weakness and then claims God’s goodness. The sun comes up in the morning, and he gets up, dries his face, and takes a deep breath…

(8)Away from me, all who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. (NIV)

Please hear the difference in the words of this translation of the same verse:
(8)Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard
the voice of my weeping. (KJV)

Our Heavenly Father hears a VOICE IN OUR WEEPING!

When you don’t know what to say, lay your requests upon the morning altar and look up. In your fear or pain or sickness or joy, the Lord hears words when you cannot speak at all.

One last thought from Charles Spurgeon, “Ah! My brothers and sisters, sometimes we cannot put our prayers into words: they are nothing but a cry: but the Lord can comprehend the meaning, for he has heard a voice in our cry. To a loving father his children’s cries are music, and they have a magical influence which his heart cannot resist.”

Heavenly Father, we call upon you today. Hear our cries, the voice of our weeping. When we cannot find the words, hear our hearts. Let us be bold and claim your goodness and faithfulness, like David. In the midst of illness or grief, joy and prosperity, let Your blessings fall upon us. Give us strength to face the day and to love and care for those around us. Your Will be done on this earth, Father. You are faithful and good. Help us to cling to that today. Amen.

HExoxo

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