How long, O Lord?

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, when I am in great need, I look to You and know that You are my hope.

 

Read: PSALM 6:1-10

[1] For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith. A psalm of David. 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. 

 

Reflect: WHAT WAS DAVID FEELING?

The psalmist, David, is not a well man. He is physically so ill that even his bones hurt. He fears that he might die, and sleep, that “soft embalmer of the still midnight” (Keats), evades him (6). His soul is in distress, and tears are his constant companion. We might allow him a little dramatic and poetic exaggeration, but even so, he is desperate! His sorrows might be derived from enemies (8), illness and mental distress, but he recognizes that, in his case, they might also derive from his own shortcomings (1). He longs for God’s forgiveness and mercy which heals his soul (9). Sin, sickness, opponents, sorrow: every one of David’s enemies will be overcome by God’s mercy, and so this psalm concludes on a triumphant note. Whatever our condition of body, spirit or circumstance, the Lord hears our cry for mercy: “How long, O Lord?” and he will accept our prayer. This psalm reminds us that sin is to be taken seriously, but God’s mercy is beyond doubt.

 

APPLY

Confess your sins to God, and trust that he is your deliverer.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, heal me, and all those who suffer in body, mind, soul or spirit; and be merciful to me.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
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