A CRY FROM THE DEPTHS
Lord, thank You for being there when I need You.
Read PSALM 6
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.
1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?
4 Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
Who praises you from the grave?
6 I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.
8 Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
David had many enemies. You can know a lot about a person by who his or her enemies are. Who counts you as their enemy?
I think most of us have times when what this psalmist is feeling exactly represents our own situation and feelings! I am very grateful that for me it doesn’t happen very often, although twice in my life I have felt like this for a more extended period. Many probably suffer from this kind of depression and anguish on and off throughout their lives. I am so grateful that psalms like this exist and that there are so many of them. At times when everything feels upside down, some might prefer lovely verses of praise and encouragement, but I have always found this kind of lament to be most helpful. Not only has someone else felt like I feel, but God recognizes such a feeling and includes its expression as part of his own living Word. It is OK for believers to feel awful; it is OK for believers to express those feelings; it is OK for believers to complain to God of what is happening to them. I like to think that Jeremiah read this psalm and found it helpful during his prolonged struggle with those who hated him.
However, it is worth noting that this particular lament is not without hope. There is a recognition that things can and will change eventually. There is a sense that it is worth praying, because God does hear and does care. There is no indication that the psalmist’s regrettable circumstances change. His underlying faith in God and his embrace of God’s love and God’s justice still remains, even if he doesn’t actually feel that love at the moment. Reminding ourselves that truth and feelings are not always the same thing can be quite profitable for us when we are down.
Take time this week to pray for people you know who are currently experiencing the kind of feelings expressed in this psalm.
Lord, in all truth You stated that in the world we will have tribulation. Help me to cope with my adverse circumstances as I keep my eyes fixed on You.