Psalm Chapter 6.

Psalm Chapter 6. Do not discipline me oh God. #Discipline #Lament #CryOut #Faith #Trust #Hope (Unless otherwise cited all scripture in this devotional is from the King James Version. I use this version because many people prefer to study from this specific version.)

Psalm 6 is a psalm of lament/a sorrowful prayer. Some researchers has labeled it a penitential psalm.However, penitential psalms are psalms that indicate attrition for sins committed. However Psalm 6  does not appear to clearly contain the requirements of a penitential psalm. There is no direct confession of sin in this psalm. Longman proposes that “While this psalm traditionally has been included in the list of penitential psalms (along with Psalms 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143), it does not include an explicit acknowledgment of sin (though v. 1 may imply it).” (Longman 2014, 72).

This psalms depicts the psalter in two phases.

  • Phase I.1. The psalter appears to be a pitcher that is pouring out his soul like water before God. He appears to be lost in verses 1-7. a. Verses 1-4 connotes an attitude of total helplessness. b. Verses 5-7 changes from helplessness to hopelessness.

2. Verses 8-10 appears to be revelatory verses where the psalter realizes whom he serves and that He has never left his children alone, defeated, and unprotected.

  • Phase II.1 Verses 8a the psalter regains his composure and becomes bold. The reader is wondering why this has occurred until they read 8b-10.

1.(To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.) O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

What does chasten mean? Contextual reading of the psalm enables the reader to personalize it. BibleStudy Tools define chasten as

These two words corresponding to Hebrew mucar, and Greek paideia, are distinguished in English use, in that “chastisement” is applied to the infliction of pain, either as a punishment or for recalling to duty, while “chastening,” is a wider term, indicating the discipline or training to which one is subjected, without, as in the other term, referring to the means employed to this end. The narrower term occurs in the Revised Version (British and American) but once in the New Testament and then in its verbal form, Luke 23:16: “I will therefore chastise him.” the King James Version uses it also in Hebrews 12:8

The psalter was concerned about the discipline of God and thought that He was angry with him “thy hot displeasure [or a spiritual tongue lashing by God.]” Even so he still pleads a case for God to Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: [Is this an indication of an illness?] Verse 2 may well be an indication of the initial purpose for this prayer. The Hebrew verb used in this verse clarifies the intent of the prayer and also the intensity of the psalter’s intent. 

Longman states “Indeed, verse 2’s dual motivation clauses also suggest this. In the first, the psalmist announces that he is faint . The verb ( ’ml ) means ‘weak’, but can apply to psychological as well as physical weakness. Here the adjective is used ( ’umlal ). However, the second colon ( my bones are in agony ) makes it clear that physical weakness associated with sickness is in mind, since one’s bones were ‘often viewed as the seat of one’s physical strength and health (p. 74).

O LORD, heal me [Now do we see a confirmation of the illness?]; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? What does vexed mean?  The KJV Dictionary Definition: “vexed VEX’ED, pp. Teased; provoked; irritated; troubled; agitated; disquieted; afflicted.” So the pslater was undergoing psycholocal/emotional as well as physical duress. 

Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

The psalter cries out for the deliverance of his soul according to God “ thy mercies’ sake.” Now we need to read verse 5 with the understanding that the psalter had no comprehension of what happened after death. The OT does not address this. There were no writings of the major or minor prophets who speak to the time of restoration. Cayce proposes “

“No remembrance of thee”: There is much about “death” and “the grave”, i.e., Sheol, in Psalms. Such language as that (of verse 5), does not imply annihilation, but inability to participate temporally in public praise offerings (compare Hezekiah’s reasoning in Isa. 38:18). 

The NT Christian knows that death is not the end of all things for the saints.

6  I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.  Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.

The psalter is consumed with hopelessness. Have you ever been in a situation where you have prayed an prayed and prayed-all night. It might even be until you have no words left in you? The psalter felt the say way he says “I am weary with my groaning.” I have experienced this. I remember when I came out of the hospital I was in so much pain. I was so frustrated because I couldn’t drive myself anywhere. I could not cook for myself. I could barely get from my chair to the bathroom without experiencing excruciating pain. I just knew that I would be healed and healed immediately. I cried so much-in prayer-that my eyes were puffy. I had no more words to pray so I cried literally to God. The psalter stated all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.”  He identifies the sources of his grief and pain. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.” The enemies are not identified. So theologians think this could be a reference to Absalom and his supporters. However, Scripture does not support that assertion.  After the emotional and spiritual cleansing that the psalter experienced in these verses he begins to address his enemies and his situation with hopefulness.

Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. 10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

The psalter is spiritually energized, why? “for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.”  The psalter puts his enemies on notice.10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.” The psalter certainly experienced the emotions penned in Psalm 30:5  (KJV) “….. weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Longman provides us with a concise summary of the meaning of this Psalm. 

Meaning: The psalm is a model prayer for those who suffer illness and per­secution. Although there is no explicit confession of sin, the psalmist may imply that he has transgressed, since he does see his present distress as a result of God’s anger. The psalm, particularly with its lack of a clear confession of sin, can be read as expressing the types of emotions Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36– 46). He is ‘overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death’ and asks God to take his cup (of wrath) away from him. He ultimately submits to God’s will, which takes him on a collision course with those who want to kill him, but they will ultimately be overwhelmed with shame (Ps. 6:10) as the Father hears his son’s cry for mercy (p. 75).

This psalm demonstrates for us how we fight spiritual warfare today. This is how we fight our battles. We cry out to Jesus. We do not need a human intercessor between us and God. We can pray for ourselves. No human being can take our sins away – only the blood of Jesus. No human being can answer our prayers only the Godhead. That gulf of separation between us and our Heavenly Father no longer exists and we can certainly say “Hallelujah Praise The Lamb of God slain from the foundations for the world for the remission of our sin! We are free indeed!.”


Cayce, Ken. 2014. Bible Studys: Psalms Retrieved August 9, 2018. 

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed August 9, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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