268 – Psalm 6 – Like David

If we were to take the time to consider who wrote the Bible we would discover that human authors wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. In simpler terms, God in essence said, “pick up your pen, here’s what I want you to write….”.

Especially when we consider the very personal sounding Psalms David wrote, it can be easy to forget that God was the divine author of the Psalms. Maybe it seems counterintuitive to think God inspired David to write a “song” (complete with instruments), when the content is David pouring out his heart before God. Psalm six is of course no exception.

Let me mention again that I’ve substituted [Yahweh] for the publisher’s “LORD” because it is His name, LORD is not. David was crying out to God on a very personal level, he used God’s proper name.

Psalm 6:1-2 (NKJV)

1 O [Yahweh], do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. 

2 Have mercy on me, O [Yahweh], for I am weak; O [Yahweh], heal me, for my bones are troubled.

Bracketing God’s name Yahweh makes it easier to see that David addresses Him three times in the first two verses. 

Before we consider verse one, let’s peek into a New Testament verse. 

Hebrews 4:13 (NKJV)

13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Even though this verse in Hebrews wouldn’t be written for another thousand plus years, somehow David was aware of the truth it proclaims. You can’t hide from God! You will give account to Him! Look again at verse one. “Don’t rebuke me in Your anger”? Wait, what David? Why would Yahweh be angry? “Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure”? Oh, I get it, David, you sinned against Yahweh! Well, at least you know you deserve His wrath. You knew that He would justifiably be in “hot displeasure”. This reminds me of a small child pleading with an angry father, “don’t spank me, Daddy!” 

But this is so much worse. An angry father is no comparison to an angry God! But then David makes a most wonderful appeal in verse two, “Have mercy on me, O Yahweh!”. Was David calling on Yahweh’s mercy because he had experienced it in the past, or was it a shot in the Dark as a last-ditch effort to save his own skin?

David was an Israelite from the tribe of Judah. He knew full well the history of the nation of Israel. He knew that by His mercy Yahweh delivered them from the heavy-handed and abusive Egyptians. Keep in mind David is writing this Psalm as king, but he had known God way back when he was a boy tending sheep. No, David was no stranger to the Mercy of God. Conversely, it would take much searching the scriptures to discover David also knew the discipline of Yahweh.

As I read this Psalm I am struck by how honest David is with Yahweh. He never attempts to justify whatever sin it was he was guilty of, nor did he try to blame someone else. 

Could we benefit from a similar posture before Yahweh when we sin provoking Yahweh to wrath? What if instead of trying to hide our sin we confessed it to the one with whom “there is no creature hidden from His sight”?

Psalm 6:3-4 (NKJV)

3 My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O Lord—how long? 

4 Return, O Lord, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!

Verse four seems to indicate that Yahweh did not deliver David right away. Could He have? Of course. Why wouldn’t He? First of all, we need to recognize that Yahweh is sovereign. He is under no obligation to answer David at all, let alone respond within any certain time frame. We can only suppose. Maybe Yahweh allowed David to be in need long enough to build something in David’s life? Maybe Yahweh waited until David’s heart was fully lined up with His own? I am merely speculating. Whatever the reason, David seems to not experience God’s intervention until verse eight.

Psalm 6:8-9 (NKJV)

8 Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; For [Yahweh] has heard the voice of my weeping. 

9 [Yahweh] has heard my supplication; [Yahweh] will receive my prayer. 

Just like the opening two verses, in two of the last three verses, David uses God’s personal name Yahweh three times. However, this time David isn’t addressing Yahweh, he’s declaring His relationship with Yahweh to his enemies.

I should point out that David was not attempting to employ a legal loophole to get out of something when he called on Yahweh’s mercy. It was a sincere plea to be spared.

He still suffered the consequences of his sin. He calls out in verse four save (rescue) me! David summarizes his prolonged grief and the physical toll it took on his body in verses six through seven.

The modern-day believer often operates under the mistaken notion that, “I know I shouldn’t commit this sin, but God will forgive me.”

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) 

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The scriptures declare plainly that God is faithful and will forgive and cleanse us when we sin. But we must understand sin always, always, always does damage to our relationship with God. Sin is an affront against a Holy God.

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