Sin’s Side Effects
Lord God, open my heart and my mind to hear Your voice and, once hearing it, to willingly obey it.
Read PSALM 6:1-10
 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith. A psalm of David. O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.  Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony.  My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?  Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.  No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?  I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.  My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.  Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping.  The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.  All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; they will turn back in sudden disgrace. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow does the psalmist express his faith in God’s mercy?
This psalm describes how sin weighs us down in this life. David’s sleeplessness, anxiety, ill-health (2,6,7) could be attributed to his flight from his enemy (7,10). Verse 1 implies, however, that his own sinfulness is part of the picture. Quite possibly David’s enemy was his own son, Absalom. The family’s troubles were rooted in David’s lack of sexual morality (see 2 Sam. 11-18). The repercussions of David’s adultery lasted decades.
Sin affects everyone and it takes its toll. The trauma of sin (whether we are the victim or the perpetrator) can cause physical (2,7), mental, emotional (6) and spiritual suffering (3). Rebellion against God takes many forms—theft, assault, adultery, deception, injustice, to name but a few—and these may be the triggers for sleeplessness, ill-health, anxiety or depression.
We may have ways to alleviate suffering, but only God can deal with the root cause. We need to be honest about our sin and humble in asking God to deal with it (1-4). David knew God’s character. He knew that God responds to repentant people with forgiveness and love (9).
Pray for those who are suffering because of wrong they have done or who have suffered at the hands of others.
Lord, when I am “down,” whether it’s my fault or not, help me to look to You for the mercy and help I need.
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