Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Psalm 6- An exposition

This Psalm is a penitential psalm, a plea for mercy over deserved judgement. David rightly acknowledges his guilt and his soul is deeply troubled and seeks deliverance from the hands of the LORD.

Vs 1. O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger. David is very conscious that he deserves a rebuke from the LORD and therefore he pleads to the LORD that He may not rebuke him in His anger. David recognizes the just recompense of his sins and pleads to the LORD like a Son to his father not to rebuke him in anger but rather in mercy. When we sin, this should also be our cry, we should not delay coming to God but rather ask Him not to rebuke us in His anger for a rebuke is good for the man who knows his faults. Nor discipline me in your wrath. God is angry at sin and if He should discipline you in His wrath how unbearable will that discipline be; but if He should discipline you in His gentleness, how sweet will that discipline be to your guilty soul.

Vs 2. Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing. After fearing the anger and wrath of God’s discipline, David ask of God to be very gracious to him because he his suffering from his guilt. David is in turmoil and what he seeks now is the graciousness of God, his sin has diminished his strength and he has become weak through sorrow. Whereas the discipline of God through anger produces further pain in the soul of a man, the grace of God heals the soul. Are you languishing because of your sins? Are you in terror day and night? Fear no longer but ask for the grace of God because it heals the stains left by sin. Heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. David’s whole body is afflicted and he seeks healing directly from the hands of God. Only God can heal the soul, only God can heal the destruction of sin upon the faculties of man, therefore turn to nothing else but turn and always turn to God Almighty. David feels the trouble greatly in his soul and although such troubles are bearable, the lack of the presence of God is not. Vs.3 My soul is greatly troubled, but you, O Lord- how long. True lovers of God will know that sin separates their intimacy with God and although if all afflictions may be upon their souls, there is one affliction which is terrible above all, and that is, the withdrawal of the presence of God. That is unbearable and more cruel to the soul than all the tortures of Rome.

Vs. 4 Turn, O LORD, Deliver my life; David pleads for the LORD to return to him and in God retuning to him to also deliver his life. David seeks the mercy of God and seeks for his salvation. Save me for the sake of your steadfast love. The love of God is sweet to the soul and it is to the love of God that David pleas. David relies not on his own merits but ask of God to deliver him for the sake of his steadfast love, he takes himself towards the free mercy of God. David ask for God to deliver his life because vs. 5, for in death, there is no remembrance of you. Indeed the graveyard is silent, there is not a murmur from it, all of its inhabitants are still and covered. But across the street where the temple is, where the church is, one can hear the joyful sounds of instrument and people dancing and singing praises to God but it is a contrast to Sheol for in Sheol who will give God praise? David wants to be delivered, wants his life to be spared so that he may declare the praises of God in the land of the living.

David had been consistent with his plea of deliverance that he is now brought to the place where he may say, vs.6. I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears. Here we see that David’s need for God is not a mere fa├žade but a real and genuine desire for the LORD to come to him and save his life. His throat has become dry with his moaning and here is not just excessive expressions but real and true sorrow has befalling him. David feels the weight of his guilt and perhaps feel that hell is opened to him and thus he floods his bed with his tears and hence he pleads that God should not discipline him in his wrath. Saints here below can relate to David for when the Spirit convicts of sin, how miserable is the condition of the saint till grace sets him free. Tears and misery are his portion for a while and some will drench their couch with weeping. The sorrow is too much and such is the heaviness of the sorrow that Vs. 7 their eye wastes away because of grief; this grief is a grief that leads unto death unless the LORD comes and deliver. This grief is the kind that allows no praises to flow from the mouth of the saints until it is lifted and if the Lord shows no mercy then David would have died in his grief and how bitter the remainder of his years would have proof.  To add upon the grief he feels because of his sins is the constant presence of the taunting of his enemies and because of his enemies he grows weaker.

But we see in vs. 8 a new confidence beginning to arise for David after being in a much helpless state that now he has the strength to declare ‘depart from me, all you workers of evil’. God hears the cries of his saints and as he is our father, He will deliver us. For the devil is a liar and like David we should bid him to depart from us for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. David’s effort have not been in vain and his tears have not been wasted for God saw the genuiness of his repentance, his broken and contrite heart, and God heard him and answered him. Should this not console our hearts; if indeed your soul is troubled, rest assured that God hears you and will come and rescue you. Take courage and bid all the devils to depart from you. David Goes on to say with deeper assurance that vs. 9 the LORD as heard my plea; the LORD has heard my prayer. 

Because God has heard David’s prayers and heard his plea, David declares triumphantly that vs. 10 all of my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment. Was not the devil put to shame in a moment by the cross? Was not the devil crushed by the resurrection of the messiah? With all certainty the devil was and with great confidence the saints ought to rejoice exceedingly and fear nought but their creator.


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