To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. On an eight-stringed harp. A Psalm of David.
1 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?
So many of the Psalms seem to be motivated by David's sin, God's correction of David or both. This Psalm opens with David asking God not to rebuke him in anger. We don't know what the source of David's sin was in this case. David is fearful of God's chastisement. It's not just God lashing out in anger but it is a heavenly Father chastening or correcting one of his adopted sons.
David cries out for Mercy from God. He says he is weak and afflicted to the bones. He is overwhelmed with the situation he is in. We studied in Romans that in our adoption as sons of God that we instantly recognized as adult sons; not as babies that have no rights until we grow up. We have the rights of inheritance right away. We can cry out to Him ……..Abba Father. And that same loving Father loves us so much He will bring us to correction. He won't allow these things to eat away at us. He will deal with them.
The correction isn't God getting even, but the firm hand inflicting something to remind us that sin brings pain. God's wrath and anger against sin was put on Jesus on the cross. We couldn't withstand that anger. We simply feel the firm hand of a Holy Father growing us toward holiness.
David cried out to the Lord. He was physically and spiritually weak. And he asks the Lord "How Long?" When your sin is brought before you and you know you've displeased your heavenly Father, time slows down. All that you live for, all your sufficiency and hope lie in Him.
When He chastens you, it hurts in countless ways. David wants to be renewed and in good standing with God. How long God before this is over? How long before I can put this behind me? And when its over we never want to be there again; and these longings show that the chastening has served its purpose.
In verse 4 David said…….
4 Return, O LORD, deliver me!
Oh, save me for Your mercies' sake!
He is asking God to return. But the Lord didn't leave David, David left the Lord. He had forsaken God's ways and sinned just like we do. When the Lord is far away, we often ask God where He is? He's right where He's always been. We are the ones that have turned away. It's you and I that have distanced our self from the Lord.
David wants to be back in good standing with the Lord. He wants deliverance from the pain he is feeling. He wants deliverance from the distance he feels from God. He wants that closeness again.
Verse 5 says……..
5 For in death there is no remembrance of You;
In the grave who will give You thanks?
David feels so far away and in such pain that he thinks death is near. And David says "God I want to remember you and give you thanks. I want the opportunity……once again…..to praise you" David's confidence wasn't in life. But he had no confidence in others remembrance or willingness to praise God after he was gone.
6 I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief;
It grows old because of all my enemies.
David had displeased the Lord and he was being corrected. Now in the same way the Lord was with him in all circumstances. The correction of the Lord was before him. He was weary from tears and full of grief. 'It grows old because of all my enemies' David said. This whole situation was getting old and wearing him out.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity;
For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping.
9 The LORD has heard my supplication;
The LORD will receive my prayer.
Suddenly the tables are turned. The Lord has heard the voice of David's weeping. And David rises up from the place of mourning and sorrow. God heard David's supplication. A supplication is a cry for mercy and the Lord heard it and received David's prayer.
David completes the Psalm……..
10 Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled;
Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.
This was David's prayer and supplication. David asks the Lord for relief from his enemies. He asks God to turn them back. That they would feel ashamed and be greatly troubled.