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Our Christian Psalms ~ 6 PDF Print E-mail
Psalm six is a Christ mystical Psalm. It is also the first of the penitential Psalms.[1]

Jesus has been this way before us and prepared the way. “In the days of his flesh [he] offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard” (Hebrews 5:7). Safe in Jesus Christ by faith, we experience God's chastening, sometimes very severely, (see Hebrews 12:5-13); but we will not, cannot, be utterly forsaken. For Christ's sake, God will hear our prayer at such a time, (see Romans 8:34-39). He is Jehovah (LORD) our God of eternal, unchanging, faithful covenant love.

In Psalm 6, our Saviour leads us through the greatest distress experienced by a child of God (v:1-7).

“Return, O LORD...” in verse 4 is the key. Because of my sin, for which I am now so full of regret, the LORD has withdrawn! That is the main cause of distress. Even so, the prayer is not “don't chasten”- but “rebuke me not in thine anger... chasten me not in thy hot displeasure.” We know chastisement is a golden hand that wounds in order to heal (Job 5:17-18, Psalm 147:3). And we know that, as God's absence is the main cause of our misery, so his return will be our deliverance.

But the present experience is deep. When I reach out to God, I receive rebuke and chastening (v:1). I live under his frown, and I am becoming physically ill (v:2), for “my soul is sore vexed (v:3). I fear that my life is so ruined that I am going to die, never having been able to show God how sorry I am, and how much I love Him (v:5)? My nights are spent in groans of shame and regret - I weep alone, watering my bed with tears (v:6). Grief has consumed my eyes (v:7) - I see in shades of grey, for all vitality and joy is gone (v:7). And in my distress, the workers of iniquity whose sins I had shared are merciless - they delight to see me in such as wretched and broken state (v:8). None but the children of God know the depth of this distress.

O LORD, how long? What a deep way God has with his children. Having been brought to my senses, turning to the LORD in full sincerity of heart - crying out to him - He makes me wait - long - under his chastening hand - in the distress of my sins. How long? I taste the bitterness of sin. Lord, I am beginning to understand what it means to fear You with a childlike awe. Lord, I do appreciate just how good is your mercy and favour - it is life to my soul - assurance of his love is becoming dearer than life to me now!

Faith is growing stronger and brighter in the darkness (v:8-10). Faith is purest when it trusts in distress. The cry is “O LORD - my God!” Surely, that is faith! I come believing that God is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). That's faith. I know you will return and deliver my soul - “How long, Lord?” Faith!

And that exercised faith, while it is waiting on God, is answered. When the time is right and I have learned in my own experience what I had only heard about before - faith begins to receive its answer. “The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping” (v:8). His compassions fail not (Lam.3:22-27). I sense, as I wait on God that there is a change. “The Lord has heard my supplications...” He allows me to embrace Him and his mercy held forth to me in His promises (Isaiah 55:6-7). “...the Lord WILL receive my prayer! God has returned - He is healing me from the inside out! In the incredible peace and comfort that assurance of sins forgiven gives me, and with His love ministering strength and confidence to my soul - I can begin again in His friendship! And, I can face the spiritual enemies again, and get on with what he calls me to do (v:10).

If you are one of the LORD'S, you must pass this way, perhaps more than once, on your way to heaven.

May this Psalm be a light to your path and a lamp to your feet when you do.

Remember, Christ has provided it for just such a time.

Pastor Connors


[1] A penitential psalm gives expression to the godly sorrow, humbling, hatred of sin and longing for a restored relationship with God that is produced by the Holy Spirit when he brings us to repentance. Other penitential Psalms are 32, 38, 51, 102, 80, 143.

Psalm 6 (King James Version)
1O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
3My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?
4Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.
5For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
6I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
7Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
8Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.
9The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.
10Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.


Hebrews 12:5-13 (KJV)
5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

Romans 8:34-39 (KJV)
34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Job 5:17-18(KJV)
17Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
18For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.

Psalm 147:3 (KJV)
3He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)
6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Lamentations 3:22-27 (KJV)
22It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
27It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

Isaiah 55:6-7 (KJV)
6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

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