Psalm 6

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith [term may refer to an eight-stringed instrument; on the eighth string of an instrument].
A psalm of David.

: This Psalm is the first of the seven Penitential Psalms (see also Ps. 32; 38; 51; 102;130; 142).

A. Prayer for God’s Favor

6:1 [David was aware that he needed to be rebuked but asked that it not be done in anger or at the hand of one incensed against him] Lord, do not rebuke [a form of judgment; we can and should learn the lessons God would have us to learn in such times] me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.

6:2 Have mercy [we deserve justice but need mercy] on me, Lord, for I am faint [a sign that strength and vigor is lacking]; heal me, Lord, for my bones [implies strength and fortitude; a metaphor for the psalmist’s deep depression] are in agony [Spurgeon noted: “not only did his flesh quiver, but the bones, the solid pillars of the house of manhood, were made to tremble.”].

6:3 My soul is in deep anguish [“Soul trouble is the very soul of trouble.” (Spurgeon)]. How long, Lord, how long [the Psalmist did not know how long his suffering would last; it is easy for us to feel forsaken in times of suffering; “God knoweth the convenient times both of our humiliation and exaltation.” (A. Symson)]?

B. Prayer for God’s Love

6:4 Turn [David now urgently asked God to do something for him], Lord, and deliver me [God alone can deliver us from deep depression and troubles]; save me because of your unfailing love [Heb. heseḏ].

6:5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave [cf. David’s complaint in Ps. 30:9]?

C. Need of God’s Love

6:6 I am worn out from my groaning [“God’s people may groan but they may not grumble.” (Spurgeon)]. [note the sincerity of David’s repentance…] All night long [the psalmist could not sleep; his troubles resulted in insomnia] I flood [hyperbolic expression; the psalmist was drowning in grief] my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.

6:7 [cf. the impact of sin on David’s body in Ps. 32:3-4] My eyes grow weak [this expression used three times in OT (Ps. 6:7; 31:9-10); failing eyesight was result of deep sorrow] with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.

D. Prayer for God’s Favor

6:8 Away from me, all you who do evil [“A pardoned sinner will hate the sins which cost the Savior His blood.” (Spurgeon)], for the Lord has heard my weeping [weeping speaks; “Weeping is the eloquence of sorrow. Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers…” (Spurgeon)].

6:9 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.

6:10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with [the psalmist’s enemies would be overwhelmed with the same fate they had brought on him…] shame and anguish; they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

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