Psalm 6:1-7 –Suffering, Sorrows and Setbacks: Been there, Done that

prayerThe focus of today’s verses from Psalm 6 carry a wealth of meaning for saints who are mature in years and experienced enough to say, “been there, done that”.  David reminds the saints what the writer of Hebrews would observe, For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (Hebrews 12:6).  Consider David’s prayer for God’s grace and mercy in the midst of chastening.

Psalm 6:1-3 – “O LORD, rebuke [reprove; correct; chasten; judge] me not in thine anger [wrath], neither chasten [correct; discipline; admonish] me in thy hot displeasure [fury; wrath; indignation]. 2  Have mercy [Be gracious; show favor] upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal [cure; make whole] me; for my bones [i.e. body; substance] are vexed [troubled; tremble; alarmed; disturbed]. 3  My soul [life; person; heart; mind] is also sore [greatly; exceedingly] vexed [troubled; tremble; alarmed; disturbed]: but thou, O LORD, how long?”

Christians often focus on David’s sins and take comfort in the fact even a man after God’s own heart was beset with sins and failures.  It is true that David was a man who loved the Lord, but he was also a man who bore the consequences of sin, some of which followed him to his grave.  David’s response to God’s chastening should inspire us.  Rather than anger, we read the cry of a saint pleading for God’s mercy.  Rather than bitterness, we see humility.  His is not the plea that protests injustice; instead, it is the confession of a sinner with a humble, burdened soul.

chasteningMy friend, if you find yourself in the midst of trials and your soul is burdened and weary of life…take heart; the saints of God are stronger in their faith when they, in the midst of the extremity of their weakness, turn to the Lord.

David reasoned, if I go down to my grave how can I praise the Lord when my tongue is silenced by death (6:4-5).

Psalm 6:4-5 – “Return [return again; turn back], O LORD, deliver [loose; i.e. equip for war; fortify] my soul [life; person; heart; mind]: oh save [deliver; help; avenge; take vengeance] me for thy mercies’ [kindness; loving-kindness; grace and mercy] sake. 5  For in death there is no remembrance [memory; memorial] of thee: in the grave [hell; the pit; Sheol] who shall give thee thanks [praise; revere]?

In Psalm 4:6-7, David confesses the weariness of sorrows that have kept him awake day and night.

Psalm 6:6-7 – I am weary [faint; exhausted; grown weary] with my groaning [sighing; mourning]; all the night make I my bed to swim [inundate; i,e, swimming with tears]; I water [melt; dissolve] my couch i.e. bed with a canopy] with my tears [weeping]. 7  Mine eye [sight; appearance] is consumed [dimmed; waste away] because of grief [sorrow; anger]; it waxeth old [grows old; fails] because of all mine enemies [distress; pains].”prayer1

Mature saints who have known the sorrow of trials and grief of troubles will readily identify with David’s sleepless nights. Many spouses have cried themselves to sleep at night because of the sinful choices of one they loved.  Many Christian parents have wearied themselves with the burden of sorrows and trials heaped upon them by children who have chosen a path of sin.  Take heart…God hears your cry in the night.

Allow me to close today’s devotion with an observation for young adults:  I am convinced there are many young adults growing up in our churches and in the midst of American affluence that have no concept of want, suffering or the chastening of the Lord.

selfieThe Millennials (born between the early 1980’s to the early 2000s) have been insulated from the consequences of sinful choices by parents who dote upon their every demand.  Full of pride, self-sufficient and having an over-inflated opinion of their minimal accomplishments, they lack the character of those who have known the humility of failure and chastening.

There are some reading today’s devotional who cannot identify with David’s plea for mercy in the midst of chastening.  You have never felt the sorrow and shame of your sins.  You have no fear of God and His judgment.  You have never known the chastening of God because you are not His child!  To you who are without chastening, the writer to Hebrews observes, But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Hebrews 12:8).

Finally, to those in the midst of a season of trials and sorrows, take heart:

Hebrews 12:11-12 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;”

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith