Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. Psalm 6:8
A Prayer for Mercy in Time of Trouble
Every faithful believer is at times disciplined by God. The penitential psalm expresses the anguish David feels, records his plea and ends with the glad assurance that God has accepted David’s prayer.
6:1-3 in Your anger: The psalmist suffers from a grave physical illness, one from which he fears he might not recover. His principal concern is not only that his suffering might be more than he could stand, but that it comes as a result of God’s severe anger. In his mourning, David cries out to God. My bones is a poetic way of describing a deeply troubling illness; David’s entire being is in torment. Mercy not justice. He asks God not to consider what he deserves. Appeal is made to God’s compassion in the confidence that the Lord does care.
To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. On an eight-stringed harp. A Psalm of David. O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. 2 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. 3 My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O Lord–how long?
6:4, 5 Return: This is a typical part of a petition in the psalms of lament. The call for God to act is based on faith, even during a period of great stress. Your mercies’ sale: Perhaps the most significant single term in the Hebrew text regarding the character of God is the word rendered mercies here. The Hebrew word describes what some prefer to call the loyal love of God. The translations vary because the word has much depth. Aside from the personal name of God (Yahweh), it may be the single most important terms describing Him as the object of praise in the Book of Psalms.
Return, O Lord, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! 5 For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks?