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Psalm 6

Prayer for Recovery from Grave Illness

To the leader: with stringed instruments; according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David.


O L ord, do not rebuke me in your anger,

or discipline me in your wrath.


Be gracious to me, O L ord, for I am languishing;

O L ord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.


My soul also is struck with terror,

while you, O L ord—how long?



Turn, O L ord, save my life;

deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.


For in death there is no remembrance of you;

in Sheol who can give you praise?



I am weary with my moaning;

every night I flood my bed with tears;

I drench my couch with my weeping.


My eyes waste away because of grief;

they grow weak because of all my foes.



Depart from me, all you workers of evil,

for the L ord has heard the sound of my weeping.


The L ord has heard my supplication;

the L ord accepts my prayer.


All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror;

they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.

After David has disburdened his griefs and troubles into the bosom of God, he now, as it were, assumes a new character. And, without doubt, he had been afflicted with long-continued despondency of spirit before he could recover himself, and attain to such a degree of assurance as he here displays; 9393    Avant que pouvoir se relever et venir a sentir telle asseurance qu’il monstre yci.” — Fr. for we have already seen that he had spent many nights in continual weeping. Now, the more he had been distressed and wearied by the long delay of his deliverance, with so much the more alacrity does he stir up himself to sing of victory. Directing his discourse against his adversaries, he represents it as not the least part of his temptations that ungodly men triumphed over him, and derided him as lost, and in a hopeless condition; for we know with what insolence their pride and cruelty magnify themselves against the children of God, when they see them oppressed under the cross. And to this Satan moves them, in order to drive the faithful to despair, when they see their hope made the subject of mockery. This passage teaches us, that the grace of God is the only light of life to the godly; and that, as soon as He has manifested some token of his anger, they are not only greatly afraid, but also, as it were, plunged into the darkness of death; while, on the other hand, as soon as they discover anew that God is merciful to them, they are immediately restored to life. David, it is to be noticed, repeats three times that his prayers were heard, by which he testifies that he ascribes his deliverance to God, and confirms himself in this confidence, that he had not betaken himself to God in vain. And if we would receive any fruit from our prayers, we must believe that God’s ears have not been shut against them. By the word weeping, 9494     “The voice of my weeping, my loud weeping.” says Hengstenberg, and then he adds, quoting from Roberts’ Orient. Illustr. of the Sacred Scrip., “Silent grief is not much known in the East. Hence, when the people speak of lamentation, they say, Have I not heard the voice of his mourning?” he not only indicates vehemence and earnestness, but also intimates that he had been wholly occupied in mourning and sorrowful lamentations. The confidence and security which David takes to himself from the favor of God ought also to be noticed. From this, we are taught that there is nothing in the whole world, whatever it may be, and whatever opposition it may make to us, 9595     “Qu’il n’y a rien en tout le monde qui se dresse contre nous.” — Fr. which we may not despise, if we are fully persuaded of our being beloved by God; and by this also we understand what his fatherly love can do for us. By the adverb suddenly, he signifies, that when there is apparently no means of delivering the faithful from affliction, and when all seems desperate or hopeless, then they are delivered by the power of God contrary to all expectation. When God suddenly changes men’s afflicted condition into one of joy and happiness, he thereby manifests more illustriously his power, and makes it appear the more wonderful.

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