“O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long? Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes. Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.” Psalm 6:1-10
Before sharing my favorite verse, I was making my way through the Psalms and had made it to the 5th of these beautiful heartfelt songs. Psalm 6 could not come at a better time. This Psalm is for me in this trying moment. This song is for the weary of heart. Sister, this is for you and me to be encouraged by God’s steadfast love. Personally, I have been comforted by His sweet love while battling a storm. My body aches and my soul is troubled by it. Yet, God has been my strength in my weakness, and this shows all the more that is it Him and not of myself. Even in this trial that my good Father has allowed, I can rejoice knowing He means it for good (Romans 8:28). While my body screams fear, the Spirit hushes a tender song.
This song is a penitential psalm meaning that is was sung when the psalmist’s heart was penitent which means to be contrite or repentant over sin. The pervasiveness of sin is so great because of the fall of the human race, that it is hardly inescapable. Sin is wired into our DNA. Our only hope is in daily yielding our lives by faith to Christ who exchanges our sin for His perfect righteousness. R.S. Sproul shares an empathic thought, “We have to have the doctrine of justification by faith in our bloodstream, because there is enough continuing sin in our lives to remind us that without the righteousness of Christ, we have no hope whatsoever.”
A Christian lives in the flesh until called home to glory in heaven. In fact, the more we grow to love God’s holy character, the more we hate our sin. Paul expresses his frustration over sin in Romans 7, “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” (22-25). Praise the Lord that we have a high priest that hears our penitent cries, and that Christ delivers us even when there seems to be no way of escape!
David is the writer of this Psalm and at this time believes that he will die. He is surrounded on all sides by people literally wanting to end his life. The worst part about it was that one of those men among his enemies was his own kin—his dear son, Absalom. This not only consumed David with anxiety and fear for his life but also with sorrow and grief. Additionally, the psalmist may even be mourning over the way his grief itself seems to overtake him. David says, “My eye wastes away because of grief.” The amazingly encouraging thing about this Psalm is to see the complete 180 change in David. He goes from wasting away and being utterly troubled, to complete confidence in God’s faithfulness. It is only in light of the steadfast love of the Lord, that we too can have strong faith even when everything in the physical realm gives way. “Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea” (Psalm 46:2). Why? Our boast is that the Lord who hears our weeping. God will never forsake us because Christ was forsaken. He is longing to answer us (in His ways, which are above our own) as a loving Father desires to give good things to His children. As God’s children, we are to cling to Him and be so dependent on Christ that nothing on this earth would shake us.
Loving Lord, you lavish your grace upon us through the finished work of Christ on the cross. We praise you that your steadfast love is not dependent on our own work that is as filthy rags. Thank you for the precious gift of salvation through faith alone in Christ alone, and how that filters every aspect of our lives even as sin temporarily engulfs everything in this world. We confess little faith at times and cry out to you for mercy and grace to increase our faith. With confidence we ask that you be glorified with our lives–please deliver us from evil and the cruel intruder of sin, that we would see Your goodness in the land of the living. In Jesus’ name.
 Varner, William. Awake O Harp. (San Bernardino: Kindle Direct Publishing, 2017), 21-22.