Thoughts on Psalm 6


Lord, I have been horribly misunderstood, maligned, treated badly through no fault of my own. How could you let this happen? Give my accusers, my enemies, no satisfaction. Rescue me!

King David had enemies who wanted to kill him. He poured out his heart in this song, the first of seven penitential psalms, and though I am not a warrior with adversaries in pursuit, I know what it is like to be grievously misunderstood. At night, while trying in vain to sleep, the unfairness of it all brings copious tears, prompts twisting of the sheets and grappling with pillows. True rest comes fitfully, if at all. I love how David describes his woes:

I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
It grows old because of all my enemies (vv.6-7).

This Psalm vividly describes David turning to God for rescue—but also pleading for mercy.

O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure (v.1).

David’s words “Your hot displeasure” are the words that might describe a father displeased with a son or daughter who knows His will but defies it. David had sinned greatly and longed to be reconciled with the God he loved, to know where he stood with God.

Because of Jesus Christ, we know nothing can separate us from his love and redemption. But on some sleepless nights, the Holy Spirit has spoken to me, revealing the cause of my spiritual tumult is my own fault. He gently probes, revealing this hidden sin, that bit of rebellion I have carefully hidden away from myself. I repent and cry tears of relief instead of grief.

In his great mercy, God chastens those he loves and reveals those attitudes of our hearts where repentance is necessary. During this season of Lent, ask the Lord to search your heart, and if necessary, to gently chasten.

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