MORE WHINING …? ( Psalm 6)

‘My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long?’

Whilst journaling their way through the book of Psalms, someone once
noted, ‘What is it with these psalmists, anyway? They’re such a bunch
of whiners!’

Reading the early chapters of the Book of Psalms, it can feel like that at
times (oh boy—am I allowed to say that?)! These early passages can
sound just like that person who you try to avoid sitting with during your
lunch break, because by the time you’ve finished your slightly soggy
sandwich, your heart will feel just as wilted by their latest tale of woe
(again, am I allow to say that?)!
However, before we start avoiding these early chapters and go off
mining for more positive psalms in the later chapters, let’s just stop for
one moment and see something deeply provoking about this psalm.
How often do we bury our heads when life crashes around us? How
often do we stop attending Dinner Table Discipleship Group, Sunday
mornings and most certainly, the prayer meetings? How often has our
Bible gathered dust and prayer become the thing that there just isn’t
time for? Here in Psalm 6, we see a man who has learnt to walk close
to God through life’s twists and turns. That doesn’t mean having a
blind, unquestioning faith. Just listen to some of the pleas of this
psalmist’s heart:
‘O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my
bones are troubled… ‘ (v 1-2)

This psalm is filled with the earthy reality of life. David models for us
how our hearts and mouths should be filled with God-ward communi-
cation—prayer—in those seasons when we face grave uncertainties
and painful experiences. The result may not be pretty or eloquent but,
as we choose to walk through these seasons of life close to God,
something beautiful and powerful happens as we lean into our rela-
tionship with Him. Listen to the contrast of the last few verses of this
psalm:
‘Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the
sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts
my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.’ (v 8-10)

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