1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?
4 Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
Who praises you from the grave?
6 I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.
8 Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.
This psalm speaks deep to me. I have felt this way on many occasions. David is in a dire place inside. He is surrounded by people that have no desire to know or please the Lord. For a person who is seeking a better home, a heavenly home, this world can be a place of great mourning. David cries out to God because in Him is all the strength to carry on. 10 “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” – Hebrews 11
In verse 1 David prays as though he is in a trial. He asks that God not rebuke him. It certainly feels that way when everything around you is in a stale mate. You look for the answers, wondering what God is teaching you, and you become uncertain about all you have surrounded yourself with. Verse 2 is the correct response when all seems lost. It is only in God that we can be made whole. We do not have the power to fix ourselves, or our surroundings. David humbly comes to God, asking for help, and praying that the answer will move him out of this, not deeper into it.
In 3 & 4 we see a man broken. He is not broken because of the world, and what he desires here. He is broken because what he longs for is not of this world, and he will not partake of it until some future date. Though we could argue that David is longing to be set free from the pursuant Saul, it is included in God’s word as a model. There is nothing flippant about any passage in scripture. All of it is profitable for wisdom and reproof. David was a man of God, and is praised over and over in scripture as such. These psalms capture a glimpse of his love for our Lord, and his desire to be with him always.
Verse 5 confirms this need for God by describing what he is surrounded with. The people of David’s time were no different than the people living now. None seek the Lord. It is only by His great mercy and grace that we are able to come to Him…we are not looking for it on our own. Only Christ can save us, and only after God has drawn us near to Himself. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.” – John:6 (words of Christ)
Verses 6 through 7 are a poetic look at just how distraught David is feeling. He exaggerates his tears, though he is certainly not exaggerating the anguish. It is important for us as Christians to take the time to think upon what it will be like to be with God in Heaven. Imagine the most glorious day you have had here on earth. Imagine the excitement, the laughs, the happy tears. Our happy memories are considered a small speck of happiness compared to the glory that awaits us. Should this not give us occasion to mourn for our future with God? As Paul so eloquently states: “For me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21. Once we are saved we are left on this earth for one purpose: to glorify God.
In 8 & 9 David expresses his need for only God to satisfy him. The Lord has heard and accepted David’s prayer not because he forcefully asked for something, but because he came humbly before God. David asks for God to decide the outcome, hoping that He will have mercy, and grant him peace. Verse 10 is a warning for those opposed to seeking God’s wisdom. In the day of judgment all will turn to see Christ, and all will bow down. This is the comfort that ends David’s prayer.
- Is there a promise or principle to remember?
God will comfort those who humbly seek Him. Over and over in the Bible, when people humbled themselves, admitting that they could not do things in their own power, God heard from them. He refused to listen until they realized their places. “You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.” – Psalm 18:27
- Is there an example to follow or a command to obey?
What an example David is to remain humble before God! Though he is king over Israel, he lowers himself to servant before God. “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” – Psalm 95:6-7
- Are there attitudes that needed changing, or an error to avoid?
God is not a holy slot machine. We should not bring our wants before our Lord, thinking that if we ask with boldness that we will get what we want. The truth is, nothing in this world will satisfy our souls. Our eyes will find nothing good until they fall upon Christ.
- Is there a sin being revealed?
13 “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” – Galatians 5
- Does this make you want to pray for someone or yourself?
Oh Lord, keep my heart from the things of this world. Keep my eyes from falling to the things I desire that are of no use eternally. Lord my desire is to bend at your calling, and to lay my eyes upon you. Only in you am I comforted. Only in you am I fulfilled.