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Psalm 6


The psalmist deprecates God's wrath, and begs for the return of his favour. (1-7) He assures himself of an answer of peace. (8-10)1-7 These verses speak the language of a heart truly humbled, of a broken and contrite spirit under great afflictions, sent to awaken conscience and mortify corruption. Sickness brought sin to his remembrance, and he looked upon it as a token of God's displeasure against him. The affliction of his body will be tolerable, if he has comfort in his soul. Christ's sorest complaint, in his sufferings, was of the trouble of his soul, and the want of his Father's smiles. Every page of Scripture proclaims the fact, that salvation is only of the Lord. Man is a sinner, his case can only be reached by mercy; and never is mercy more illustrious than in restoring backsliders. With good reason we may pray, that if it be the will of God, and he has any further work for us or our friends to do in this world, he will yet spare us or them to serve him. To depart and be with Christ is happiest for the saints; but for them to abide in the flesh is more profitable for the church.8-10 What a sudden change is here! Having made his request known to God, the psalmist is confident that his sorrow will be turned into joy. By the workings of God's grace upon his heart, he knew his prayer was accepted, and did not doubt but it would, in due time, be answered. His prayers will be accepted, coming up out of the hands of Christ the Mediator. The word signifies prayer made to God, the righteous Judge, as the God of his righteousness, who would plead his cause, and right his wrongs. A believer, through the blood and righteousness of Christ, can go to God as a righteous God, and plead with him for pardon and cleansing, who is just and faithful to grant both. He prays for the conversion of his enemies, or foretells their ruin.Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.




Psalm 6



Unto the end, in verses, a psalm for David, for the octave.O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation, nor chastise me in thy wrath.Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak: heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.And my soul is troubled exceedingly: but thou, O Lord, how long?Turn to me, O Lord, and deliver my soul: O save me for thy mercy' s sake.For there is no one in death, that is mindful of thee: and who shall confess to thee in hell?I have laboured in my groanings, every night I will wash my bed: I will water my couch with my tears.My eye is troubled through indignation: I have grown old amongst all my enemies.Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity: for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.The Lord hath heard my supplication: the Lord hath received my prayer.Let all my enemies be ashamed, and be very much troubled: let them be turned back, and be ashamed very speedily.


To the end, in song, a psalm of David, for the octave.1 O Lord, rebuke me not in thine indignation: neither chasten me in thy displeasure.2 Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak: O Lord, heal me,for my bones are vexed.3 My soul also is sore troubled: but, Lord, how long wilt thou punish me?4 Turn thee, O Lord, and deliver my soul: O save me for thy mercy's sake.5 For in death no man remembereth thee: and who will give thee thanks in the pit?6 I am weary of my groaning; every night wash I my bed:and water my couch with my tears.7 My beauty is gone for very trouble: and worn away because of all mine enemies.8 Away from me, all ye that work vanity: for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.9 The Lord hath heard my petition: the Lord will receive my prayer.10 All mine enemies shall be confounded, and sore vexed: they shall be turned back, and put to shame suddenly.


This is a penitential psalm, as are Psalm 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143. The Jewish Study Bible (p. 1289) says that this Psalm of supplication has become the liturgical weekday morning prayer of Jewish people.


The verb "heal" does not necessarily relate to a physical illness (cf. NIDOTTE, vol. 3, p. 1166, c, cf. Isa. 1:5-6), but to the attack of adversaries (cf. Ps. 6:7b, 10). However, verse 2 leaves open the possibility of an illness. If an illness, why are adversaries mentioned? Some would say the enemies made fun of the psalmist (cf. Psalm 102:8) in his illness. The ancient Israelites believed sin and sickness were related.


Numbers 2-5 are all imperfects used in a jussive sense. The psalmist seeks the presence of YHWH but the absence of his foes! What they tried to do to him is now done to them! This literary structure (i.e., reversal) is typical of the OT. What humans expect is often opposite of what YHWH brings about.


Mercy from Angry Rebuke (6.1a). David needed mercy from God's angry rebuke. The word for "anger" here is the same word for anger used in Psalm 2:5, "He speaks to them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath." God's anger in Psalm 2:5 is not the parental anger of a parent but the righteous anger of a judge who justly punishes sin. David seems to be suffering due to his sin. So he prays for mercy. This prayer response to apparent sin is why many classify this Psalm of lament as one of the seven penitential psalms (along with 32; 38, 51; 102; 130; 143). We should pray for mercy from God's righteously-judgmental anger toward us for our sin.


David feels his guilt. David is convicted and senses his guilt. What sin was in David's mind in Psalm 6? Certainty alludes us unlike in Psalm 51 where the situation is given in the prescript. Since there is no situation given we should not force onto the text one specific episode from David's life. The anonymity of the situation makes this Psalm feel applicable to many kinds of situations in which we feel guilt and conviction. Still, if the Psalter is meant to be read from beginning to end, it seems reasonable to imagine this Psalm in light of the Absalom story, just like the prescript says in Psalm 3: "A psalm of David when he fled from his son Absalom." If we recall the Absalom story (2 Sam 15.13-17) then we can see why David is distraught over his sin and his enemies. David's sin cannot be the excuse for Absalom's sin. Yet David's sin in some sense caused this rebellion. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and was likely guilty of sexual coercion as the king. He proceeded to lie and try to cover up the pregnancy by murdering Uriah. Part of God's discipline included the sword never leaving David's house and David's wives being adulterated in public (2 Sam 12.10-12). Then, when David's son Amnon raped his half-sister, David's daughter Tamar, David passively parented. He failed to lead his family toward justice in that situation which frustrated Absalom and tempted him to unjustly take matters into his own hands. Then when Absalom is welcomed back in Jerusalem, David's foolish indecision to fully embrace Absalom further tempted Absalom to rebel. Whether this is the particular set of sins burdening David, or another sin, Psalm 6:1 helpfully instructs us to pray to God for mercy.


Mercy from Angry Rebuke (6.1a). David needed mercy from God's angry rebuke. The word for \"anger\" here is the same word for anger used in Psalm 2:5, \"He speaks to them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath.\" God's anger in Psalm 2:5 is not the parental anger of a parent but the righteous anger of a judge who justly punishes sin. David seems to be suffering due to his sin. So he prays for mercy. This prayer response to apparent sin is why many classify this Psalm of lament as one of the seven penitential psalms (along with 32; 38, 51; 102; 130; 143). We should pray for mercy from God's righteously-judgmental anger toward us for our sin.


David feels his guilt. David is convicted and senses his guilt. What sin was in David's mind in Psalm 6? Certainty alludes us unlike in Psalm 51 where the situation is given in the prescript. Since there is no situation given we should not force onto the text one specific episode from David's life. The anonymity of the situation makes this Psalm feel applicable to many kinds of situations in which we feel guilt and conviction. Still, if the Psalter is meant to be read from beginning to end, it seems reasonable to imagine this Psalm in light of the Absalom story, just like the prescript says in Psalm 3: \"A psalm of David when he fled from his son Absalom.\" If we recall the Absalom story (2 Sam 15.13-17) then we can see why David is distraught over his sin and his enemies. David's sin cannot be the excuse for Absalom's sin. Yet David's sin in some sense caused this rebellion. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and was likely guilty of sexual coercion as the king. He proceeded to lie and try to cover up the pregnancy by murdering Uriah. Part of God's discipline included the sword never leaving David's house and David's wives being adulterated in public (2 Sam 12.10-12). Then, when David's son Amnon raped his half-sister, David's daughter Tamar, David passively parented. He failed to lead his family toward justice in that situation which frustrated Absalom and tempted him to unjustly take matters into his own hands. Then when Absalom is welcomed back in Jerusalem, David's foolish indecision to fully embrace Absalom further tempted Absalom to rebel. Whether this is the particular set of sins burdening David, or another sin, Psalm 6:1 helpfully instructs us to pray to God for mercy.


[4]\"Compositionally, the reader moves from an orderly world, represented by Psalms 1 and 2, to a world full of disorientation in Psalms 3-7. The Psalter opens with the expectations of the vindication and protection of the righteous (1:6; 2:12), the judgment of the wicked (1:5-6), and the success of the messianic agent (2:9-12a). But in Psalms 3-7 the messianic agent is beset by problems and surrounded by enemies, encounters ferocious opposition, and experiences God\u2019s distance. In the midst of the conflict the response of the psalmist changes. The psalmist of Psalms 3-5 is quiet and confident, is not overcome by the reality of evil, and is confident of Yahweh\u2019s protection. Psalm 6 finds the psalmist overcome by his circumstances. He is weak, but he renews himself in the vision of God\u2019s victory. In Psalm 7 David comes home. He finds refuge with Yahweh and reorients himself by seeing Yahweh as the righteous King who will deal with the wicked. The psalm closes on a note of thanksgiving. Psalms 3-7 move from mild lament to lament, from orientation to disorientation, and from disorientation to thanksgiving (reorientation),\" Willem A. VanGemeren, Psalms (The Expositor's Bible Commentary), Zondervan, Kindle Edition, (Kindle Locations 4854-4862). 041b061a72


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