Fear, foe, and frailty…these words sum up all that David was facing when he wrote Psalm 6. He was being assaulted at every point possible – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. How overwhelmed he must have felt!
It appears as if he experienced issues related to personal health when he said, “I am weak, heal me, Lord for my bones are shaking” (v. 2). He also endured attacks from his enemies again (vv. 7-10) as well as internal anxiety even seemingly towards death (v. 5) as he said, “My whole being is shaken with terror” (v. 3).
When you are being attacked on all sides and even internally you can start to lose hope and be overtaken. You feel like quitting!
What is interesting is instead of giving up, David pressed in! He didn’t lay down, he rose up! While it may have felt like the Lord had abandoned him with all that was against him, David showed great faith and trust in the Lord through this short Psalm.
He began the psalm and wrote the word “Lord” at least seven times in 10 verses! What a great reminder of God’s sovereignty and covenant towards David! We must call on the Lord during difficulty! David saw what was going on in his life as loving correction from God.
He calls it “rebuke” and “discipline,” and asks the lord “how long” (v. 3) will it continue? Some of this discipline may have stemmed from David’s sin and some of it may have been to draw him nearer to the Lord. Proverbs 3:12 says, “For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”
David asked this same question of “how long” in Psalm 6:3 many other times in the Psalms (e.g. 35:17; 79:5, 94:3) almost as a reminder that the loving Lord disciplines His children. While David accepted the chastening of the Lord, he prayed for grace, healing, and rescue (v. 2, 4) from a faithful Lord (v. 4).
David’s circumstances had him so upset he had become weary from all his groaning, crying, and grief, so much that his eyes were swollen from “drenching his couch and bed every night” with his tears (v. 6).
Have you ever been this burdened and overwhelmed? While these compounded troubles may have caused others to consider ending their life, David desired to be rescued and to live so he could continue to praise the Lord (v. 4-5).
No matter how crushing your circumstances may be, God is stronger! Jesus came to give abundant life and the devil wants to do whatever he can to steal, kill, and destroy life (John 10:10). God could restore the sleepless nights David had from worry and grief (v. 6) to the ones of sleep and rest he previously wrote about (Psalm 3:5; 4:8). How often and soon we forget the promises and provision of the Lord! In typical David fashion, he reported his problems and then, almost like the light came on, he rejoiced with praise!
Isn’t that what praying to the Lord does for us? When we meet with Him, He settles our fears, worries, and anxieties. Twice, David said the Lord “heard” him and accepted his prayer (v. 8-9). He began the Psalm with fear, overwhelmed by his enemies, and ended it with assurance his enemies would be the ones overwhelmed by the Lord.
Stephen Harrison is the lead pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
Editor’s note: Pastors or associate pastors interested in writing for this section may submit articles to email@example.com. Please include your phone number and the name and location of your church or ministry.