[CF Devotionals] 2005-06-12 - A Cry of Pain

Psalm 6, Part 2

Introduction: Once again we are going to enter the world of the poet, the psalmist. Our approach, as in previous messages, will be to look at the background of the specific psalm, its text and finally, how we can apply it to our own walk.

Some scholars feel this psalm represents a plea to God in the midst of some physical illness. This understanding comes from a literal interpretation of verse three.

In contrast, others believe the best reading focuses on an awareness of sin in the life of the author. Here the focus shifts to verse four.

Looking at the overall context, I follow the view that the content deals with sin, which is why the psalm is often called The Penitential Psalm. While there is some physical suffering, it seems to be a product of spiritual pain.

Whichever view we take, one point is clear: the psalm relates the difficulties and sufferings of the individual himself. This is in contrast to many psalms where the focus, although expressed in the first person, is representative of the cry of the nation Israel as a whole.

Now let's move on to the text proper. The psalm can be broken down into three parts:

  1. The first (2-4), deals with the CRY OF PAIN expressed by the poet.
  2. The second section (5-8), focuses on a PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE.
  3. The third part (9-11), expresses a response of CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD.

Verses 2-4: The psalmist expresses a CRY OF PAIN. The pain does seem to have a physical aspect. He has been tossing and turning all night long, unable to sleep, with every bone in his body aching. He may be feeling that the physical suffering is a result of God's anger with him, but more likely, his agony is in response to his sense of some type of sin, for which he feels that he deserves God's wrath.

Out of his misery, he cries to God for mercy. His problem has arisen, not out of fear of God, as much as the realization of his own failings. It is important to realize that God can be angry with our sin, even when loving us, and can deal with us out of that righteous anger. It is this anger that is feared, and it is the Lord's mercy that is desired. There is also the realization that the suffering and weaknesses of His children can move God to extend His mercy.

To be continued.

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com