Psalm 6 – Personal Travail

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.

My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long? (vv 2-3)

Waiting on God for relief, for an answer, for direction, for anything is difficult because we measure time in the finite scope of minutes and hours and days. With each turn of the calendar or tick of the clock we see our patience tested as our agony continues. The psalmist give us the most personal psalm we have encountered yet in the collection. He is expressing the pain of his condition personally rather than as the voice of all people. His words express the personal relationship with his Lord in which he views himself. He knows that Yahweh will hear his personal plea amidst the voices of all of the people. This confidence encourages him to pray,

Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.

The psalmist expresses his assurance that his condition will be addressed based on God’s love, his unfailing, unbreakable, unceasing love. Modern theology diminishes this aspect of God’s character but without the omnibenevolence, the other parts of His character can become lifeless. Knowing and expressing confidence in His unfailing love can lead us also to a new experience, becoming a psalmist ourselves. The love of God and His love for us is not fossilized in the pages of the psalms. You too can create psalms of your own, whether it be from deep personal agony as in this example or from the heights of praise that we see elsewhere. God is interested in hearing your prayer no matter what the source.

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