February 23, 2021 – Tuesday
Psalm 6:1-2 NKJV
1 O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.
2 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
This is from the Monday evening Bible study. We (6 of us) looked at Psalm 6, all ten verses, for over an hour where we use a NKJV – So That’s Why Bible – for a chronological look at 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Chronicles, and Psalms as appropriate. Sometimes we really like how the authors did their chronology, other times not so much as we cannot make sense of it. However, putting these in chronological sequence is no easy task and we do not know of any better effort at doing so, thus mercy for the authors. By the way, if you buy this Bible – So That’s Why – it comes with a CD meant to be used with some online material that is no longer available.
Now, about this Psalm, the NKJV provides the title ‘A Prayer of Faith in Times of Distress’ which is not provided with the Psalm originally. However, if you look at the first few verses the title given surely seems appropriate. The comments that follow are mine, but I used Charles Spurgeon’s ‘Treasury of David’ volume 1 (and I use a few quotes from there) to look at these verses and his commentary has clearly influenced my comments as well.
Looking at verse one, notice David does believe he should be rebuked or chastened. But he desires neither to come his way in the Lord’s anger or hot displeasure, O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. For me this brought to mind how a child might approach a parent knowing he or she deserves a punishment but hopes it will not be in anger or hot displeasure which is also translated as wrath in many Bible versions. If you are a parent and have children or have raised children, you would know how you did your best to not punish in anger or hot displeasure or wrath. Even as adults we may have made some major error on a job, then reluctantly made our boss or supervisors aware of the error in the hope of fixing the error with as little or no punishment at all.
There is a strong sense of repentance in these verses and Spurgeon notes, He does not ask that the rebuke be totally withheld for he might thus lose a blessing in disguise. Next Spurgeon adds, So may we pray that the chastisements of our gracious God, if they may not be entirely removed, may at least be sweetened by the consciousness that they are not in anger, but in covenant love. What blessing in disguise we might ask? How about a punishment/rebuke lovingly given, but strong enough to know we have been corrected and then never want to repeat that which we have been punished?
Looking at verse two, the same thought certainly jumps out, Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. Again, David is clearly aware he has done wrong and only pleads for mercy while stating he is weak wanting not to be destroyed but made strong or stronger. Once again this reminds me of what we as parents want when ‘correcting’ our children. We do not want them destroyed, their wills broken, but in some way, somehow, made stronger and able to make better choices in the future. David actually asks for healing here to be made stronger! When David says his bones are troubled (vexed, troubled, trembling in some versions). Of course, we all know this feeling if we have ever been caught doing something for which we feared the consequences. The phrase ‘shaking in our boots’ might be a modern version of this.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – I know Your mercy and Your love through the cross. I know the forgiveness of my sins is real and an act of love beyond my understanding as You have reconciled us through Your Son. Let me remember always that You have saved me from eternal punishment. – In Jesus name. Amen.