[CF Devotionals] 2005-06-18 - Prayer for Deliverance

Psalm 6, Part 3

Verses 5-8: And so out of the psalmist's pain comes the PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE. "O Lord, enough already!" He has reached the point where he desires God's mercy, demonstrated by relief from his suffering. He feels as if God has moved away from Him. It feels like his prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. All night, his thoughts run rampant. He can find no comfort. His hours are taken up with weeping and a sense of the futility of life. We might rightfully say that he is looking at the waves, not at the Lord!

What isn't clear in verse 5 is what exactly is meant by the statement that men in the grave don't praise God. There is no doubt that in the Old Testament, the concept of the afterlife is not as clearly delineated as it is in the New, although it does appear that David looked forward to it with anticipation. This following account is given at the death of his child from the illicit relationship with Bathsheba.

"He answered, `While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, `Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me'" (2 Samuel 12:22-23).

Many accept this as David's testimony to faith in the afterlife. Well then, how should we understand the passage? I don't think we can be sure, but one way of understanding it might as Spurgeon explains:

"If I die, then must my mortal praise at least be suspended; and if I perish in hell, then thou wilt never have any thanksgiving from me." 2

In other words, the author is offering up his praise and testimony as the product of his relief from the mercy of God. In addition, his very state of depression may be creating doubt in his faith, and concern over his salvation, which he expresses in this form.

Who the author's foes are is not clear from the context. It may be those who relish his suffering, or who, as with the "friends" of Job, may be telling him that all his suffering is a direct result of the judgment of God. Through their mediation, he becomes even more overwhelmed by his condition. But that is soon to change.

2 Spurgeon, C. H., The Treasury of David, Vol. 1, MacDonald Publishing Company, p. 58.

To be continued.

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com