Have Compassion On Me

Psalm 6

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by an eight-stringed instrument.[a]

O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your rage.

Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak.
    Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.

I am sick at heart.
    How long, O Lord, until you restore me?

Return, O Lord, and rescue me.
    Save me because of your unfailing love.

For the dead do not remember you.
    Who can praise you from the grave?[b]

I am worn out from sobbing.
    All night I flood my bed with weeping,
    drenching it with my tears.

My vision is blurred by grief;
    my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.

Go away, all you who do evil,
    for the Lord has heard my weeping.

The Lord has heard my plea;
    the Lord will answer my prayer.


May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified.
    May they suddenly turn back in shame.

O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your rage. Don’t show aggression against me

Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak.
    Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony they are brittle.

I am sick at heart.
    How long, O Lord, until you restore me?

Return, O Lord, and rescue me.
    Save me because of your unfailing love. I have fallen and can not get up.

For the dead do not remember you.
    Who can praise you from the grave?[b]

I am worn out from sobbing.
    All night I flood my bed with weeping,
    drenching it with my tears. My eyes overflow.

My vision is blurred by grief;
    my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.

Go away, all you who do evil,
    for the Lord has heard my weeping and seen my sorrows.

The Lord has heard my plea;
    the Lord will answer my prayer. The lord has heard my cry.

May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified.
    May they suddenly turn back in shame.

Hiding their face.

David Guzik

On December 19, 2015, 10:45 pm

Psalm 6

Psalm 6 – A Confident Answer to an Agonized Plea

Psalm 6 is known as the first of the seven penitential psalms – songs of confession and humility before God. It was a custom among some in the early church to sing these psalms on Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Resurrection Sunday. The title of this psalm is To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. On an eight-stringed harp. A Psalm of David. The title tells us the recipient of the psalm – the Chief Musician, whom some suppose to be the Lord GOD Himself, and others suppose to be a leader of choirs or musicians in David’s time, such as Heman the singer or Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:33, 16:5-7, and 25:6). Not only was it written for stringed instruments, but specifically for the eight-stringed harp.

A. The agonized plea.

1. (1) A plea to lighten the chastening hand.

O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.

a. Do not rebuke me in Your anger: We don’t know what the occasion of this song was, but because of his sin David sensed he was under the rebuke of God. Therefore, he called out to God to lighten the chastisement.

i. There may be times when we believe we are chastened by God’s hand when really, we suffer trouble brought upon ourselves. Nevertheless, there are certainly times when the LORD does chasten His children.

b. Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure: We know that God’s chastening hand is not primarily a mark of His displeasure, but rather it is a mark of adoption. Hebrews 12:7 makes it clear that chastening is evidence of our adoption: If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? When God corrects us it doesn’t feel pleasant, but it is good and it is for our good.

i. Anger…hot displeasure: Living before the finished work of Jesus, David had less certainty about his standing with God. On this side of the cross, we know that all the anger God has toward the believer was poured out on Jesus at the cross. God chastens the believer out of correcting love and not out of anger.

2. (2-3) Two kinds of trouble.

Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak;
O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled;
But You, O LORD–how long?

a. I am weak…my bones are troubled: David knew the trial of physical weakness and pain. In the midst of this kind of chastisement, he cried out to God for mercy.

i. “So we may pray that the chastisements of our gracious God, if they may not be entirely removed, may at least be sweetened by the consciousness that they are ‘not in anger, but in his dear covenant love.’” (Spurgeon)

b. My soul also is greatly troubled: David knew the trials of spiritual weakness and pain. The difficulty of these trials drove David to seek mercy from God.

i. These trials of body and soul were amplified by David’s sense of God’s anger against him. When we are not confident in God’s love and assistance, even small trials feel unbearable.

c. How long? David sensed he was under the chastisement of God, but he still knew he should ask God to shorten the trial. There is a place for humble resignation to chastisement, but God wants us to yearn for higher ground and to use that yearning as a motivation to seek Him and get things right with Him.

i. David seems to smart under the result of his sin, more than the sin itself. Ideally, we are all terribly grieved by sin itself, but there is something to be said for confession and humility for the sake of the result of our sins.

3. (4-5) The urgency of David’s plea.

Return, O LORD, deliver me!
Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!
For in death there is no remembrance of You;
In the grave who will give You thanks?

a. Return, O LORD, deliver me: In his agony David pleads for deliverance – but on the ground of God’s mercy, not his own righteousness. David knew that the LORD’s chastisement was righteous, but he also knew that God is rich in mercy.

i. The plea “return” also shows that David felt distant from God. This was part of the agony of the trial. When we sense that God is near us, we feel that we can face anything. But when we sense that He is distant from us, we feel weak before the smallest trial.

b. Save me for Your mercies’ sake: The note of confession of sin is not strong in this psalm of penitence, but it is not absent. The fact that David appealed to the mercy of God for deliverance was evidence that he was aware that he did not deserve it.

i. “David’s conscience is uneasy, and he must appeal to grace to temper the discipline he deserves.” (Kidner)

c. In death there is no remembrance of You: It would be wrong to take these agonized words of David as evidence that there is no life beyond this life. The Old Testament has a shadowy understanding of the world beyond. Sometimes it shows a clear confidence (Job 19:25), and sometimes it has the uncertainty David shows here.

i. “Churchyards are silent places; the vaults of the sepulcher echo not with songs. Damp earth covers silent mouths.” (Spurgeon)

ii. 2 Timothy 1:10 says that Jesus brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. The understanding of the afterlife was murky at best in the Old Testament, but Jesus let us know more about heaven and hell than anyone else could. Jesus could do this, because He had first-hand knowledge of the world beyond.

iii. David’s point wasn’t to present a comprehensive theology of the world beyond. He was in agony, fearing for his life, and he knew he could remember God and give Him thanks now. He didn’t have the same certainty about the world beyond, so he asked God to act according to His certainty.

iv. “At rare moments the Psalms have glimpses of rescue from Sheol, in terms that suggest resurrection, or a translation like that of Enoch or Elijah (c.f. Psalm 16:10, 17:15, 49:15, 73:24).” (Kidner)

B. The determined resolution.

1. (6-7) A vivid description of David’s agony.

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.

a. I am weary with groaning: God’s chastising hand was heavy upon David. His life seemed to be nothing but tears and misery. David’s trial had at least three components.

·David felt God was angry with him.

·David lacked a sense of God’s presence.

·David couldn’t sleep.

b. All night I make my bed swim: This is a good example of poetic exaggeration. David didn’t want us to believe that his bed actually floated on a pool of tears in his room. Because this is poetic literature, we understand it according to its literary context. This is how we understand the Bible literally – according to its literary context.

c. My eye wastes away: David’s eyes were red and sore from all the tears and lack of sleep.

i. “As an old man’s eye grows dim with years, so says David, my eye is grown red and feeble through weeping.” (Spurgeon)

d. Because of all my enemies: David was brought so low that the presence of his enemies no longer prompted him to seize the victory. At this point, David seemed depressed and discouraged.

2. (8-10) David’s confident declaration.

Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity;
For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping.
The LORD has heard my supplication;
The LORD will receive my prayer.
Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled;
Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.

a. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity: It may be that the sin that led David into this chastisement was association with the ungodly. Here we see David acting consistently with his change of heart and telling all ungodly associates to depart.

i. It is important to separate from ungodly associations. J. Edwin Orr describes some of the work among new converts in Halifax during the Second Great Awakening in Britain: “Among them was a boxer who had just won a money-prize and a belt. A crowd of his erstwhile companions stood outside the hall in order to ridicule him, and they hailed the converted boxer with a shout: ‘He’s getting converted! What about the belt? He’ll either have to fight for it or give it up!’ The boxer retorted, ‘I’ll both give it up and you up! If you won’t go with me to heaven, I won’t go with you to hell!’ He gave them the belt but persuaded some of them to accompany him to the services, where another was converted and set busily working.”

b. The LORD has heard the voice of my weeping: David ended the psalm on a note of confidence. He made his agonized cry to God, and God heard him.

i. Weeping has a voice before God. It isn’t that God is impressed by emotional displays, but a passionate heart impresses Him. David wasn’t afraid to cry before the LORD, and God honored the voice of his weeping.

ii. “Is it not sweet to believe that our tears are understood even when words fail! Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers.” (Spurgeon)

iii. Once Luther wrestled hard with God in prayer and came jumping out of his prayer closet crying out, “Vicimus, vicimus” – that is, “Victory, victory!” David had the same sense of prevailing with God at the end of this prayer.

c. Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled: David knew that when God heard and answered his prayer, it would be trouble for his enemy. David now saw that his temporary agony and trouble gave way to a permanent agony and trouble for his enemies.

(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

Categories: Old Testament Psalms

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Psalm 6

Psalm 6

What Does Psalm 6:9 Mean? ►

The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.

Psalm 6:9(KJV)

Verse Thoughts

David was seriously ill in body, deeply distressed in mind and spiritually sapped.. by the mounting pressures and numerous enemies that surrounded him on every side, which caused him to pen his distressing lament: “have mercy on me O Lord and heal my bones.. my soul is greatly troubled.’ But David had not yet come to a full understanding that God is an ever present help in time of trouble, that the mercies God are new every morning, and that He is faithful to hear and respond to the cries of all His children – but He does it in His own time and in His own way.

David’s first thought was that his sickness had been sent as a punishment from God, but although bitter circumstances can result from the consequences of our own our ungodly choices..difficulties and distresses in life must by no means be attributed to God’s displeasure – on the contrary, God often permits sickness and suffering to display His glory in our lives, which frequently results in our spiritual growth and godly fruit.

David felt that heaven was deaf to his cries.. so that in the morning and at night, his pillow was drenched with his tears of self-pity.. Nevertheless the threats from his enemies were intense, real and menacing, and he bemoaned the serious effect that their influence was having on his health and well-being.

While-ever David had his eye on the enemy and the gravity of his situation he discovered that his strength was sapped; his sleep was disturbed; his fear mounted; self-pity increased and the peace of God, which passes understanding had fled far from him. But as soon as he refocused his heart on the Lord and remembered the many precious promises of God, which are ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ in Christ, he was able to pray effectively – with thanksgiving and praise and confidence. David came to an understanding that God was right with him in the midst of all his trials and tribulations.. and that God had heard and received his prayer. And so David rejoiced with thanksgiving and praise.. and prayed: The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.

When like David we are encompassed by our enemies.. ill in body; distressed in mind and spiritually sapped, we should remember that the many precious promises of God, to all His children.. are ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ in Christ. And let us never forget that IN HIM we have access to the heavenly throne of grace, for mercy to find help in time of need. But we need to approach Him reverently, prayerfully and confident that He hears and answers prayer – but our prayers and supplications should be done with a heart of praise and thanksgiving – a heart that not only trusts Him to keep His WORD, but a heart ready to say, Thy will not mine be done.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-6-9

What does Psalm chapter 6 mean?

Seven psalms are labelled as “penitential” for their intense focus on repentance from sin. These are Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143. This example does not give details, so we’re not sure exactly what David is repenting for. What’s clear is that he connects this specific instance of physical suffering—possibly some illness—to God’s discipline (Psalm 6:1–3).

The situation is dire enough that David fears for his life. At least some of his concern is related to his enemies. This might refer to Philistines (1 Samuel 21:10–13), king Saul (1 Samuel 19:2), or his rebellious son, Absalom (Psalm 3). David pleads with God to spare him, pointing out that a dead body does not worship or praise (Psalm 6:4–5).

Despite a period of fear and despair (Psalm 6:6–7), David resolves that God will rescue him. He warns his enemies to flee, knowing that the Lord has heard him and will respond (Psalm 6:8–10).

Book Summary

The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ”Psalm” in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.

Chapter Context

This psalm is ascribed to David. No exact incident in David’s life is identified in this passage. There seems to be a connection to a disease or other health issue. He may have written it during his old age, when his son Absalom rebelled against him (2 Samuel 15:12–14). Another possible inspiration is David’s sorrow over his sin with Bathsheba (Psalm 51; 2 Samuel 12:9). Psalm 6 is one of seven penitential psalms: songs expressing confession and repentance. The other six are Psalms 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143.

Author: J. Palmer

Living under the wings of God and the angels around me keeping me going and safe. Sharing the love of Christ.

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