Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Our Common Prayerbook: Psalm 6 – 2

There is progress in Psalm 6 but the psalmist doesn’t spell out each step in the progress. Perhaps the psalmist has sinned; he doesn’t say so. He is opposed by enemies and they have driven David to his limit. He pleads with God to rescue him because, so the psalmist believes, God is faithful. 

He then makes another plea on his behalf: “For no one remembers you in the realm of death, In Sheol who gives you thanks?” That is, because this psalmist is a celebrator or thanker or praiser of God, he contends he should be spared. If he goes down into Sheol, well there’s no one who sings praises there. So, deliver me!

He returns to his pain in vv. 6-7 but this time he speaks from his pain and not from his fear of YHWH (as in v. 1).  All night long he weeps over his condition.

And again, he begins talking to his enemies: “Turn back from me, all you who behave wickedly, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping 6:9 The Lord has heard my appeal for mercy; the Lord has accepted my prayer.” He tells them to leave and he warns them that God is listening to him … he goes further… he says in fact that God has heard and accepted his pleas. Their wishes are over; God is with the psalmist.

Then he meditates to himself, pondering what God’s listening to him means: 

May all my enemies be humiliated and absolutely terrified!


May they turn back and be suddenly humiliated!

Our guide in the Psalms is John Goldingay (Psalms, Vol. 1: Psalms 1-41

For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments, according to the sheminith style; a psalm of David.


6:1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger!

Do not discipline me in your raging fury!

6:2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am frail!

Heal me, Lord, for my bones are shaking!

6:3 I am absolutely terrified,

and you, Lord – how long will this continue?


6:4 Relent, Lord, rescue me!

Deliver me because of your faithfulness!

6:5 For no one remembers you in the realm of death,

In Sheol who gives you thanks?

6:6 I am exhausted as I groan;

all night long I drench my bed in tears;

my tears saturate the cushion beneath me.

6:7 My eyes grow dim from suffering;


they grow weak because of all my enemies.

6:8 Turn back from me, all you who behave wickedly,

for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping!

6:9 The Lord has heard my appeal for mercy;

the Lord has accepted my prayer.

6:10 May all my enemies be humiliated and absolutely terrified!

May they turn back and be suddenly humiliated!

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Dennis Edwards

posted April 15, 2010 at 3:44 pm

thanks for this. I’m starting a spring sermon series in the Psalms and this is a good one to reflect upon. I like the spirit of asking God to “payback” enemies so the psalmist doesn’t have to take matters into his own hands — something most of us would prefer to do!
peace to you in your travels and speaking.

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posted April 16, 2010 at 7:24 am

I’m hitting a very busy time during which I do not have time to join in on all the wonderful conversations here at Jesus Creed, but I do come to meditate on the psalms with you. I was thinking: more than just feeding my soul, I sense my larder being stocked for the day of drought. Thanks.

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Ann F-R

posted April 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I wonder how often it is true that the very pain & desperation in our grief and agony drives us to God, opens our ears and hearts to the voice of the Spirit, and then, only then, are we able to “hear” the very lack of God’s condemnation of us. Then, only then, are we able to “hear” that it is our enemies’ voices clamoring for our destruction, and not Godself.

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