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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 6

Verses 1-10

PSALM 6

The exercises of a godly soul who identifies himself with the chastisement that has come upon God's people; though, by humbling himself, he shows his moral separation from the nation.

(v. 1) In the previous psalm the godly soul had owned that God had no pleasure in wickedness; now he recognizes that the nation has incurred the “anger” and “displeasure” of the Lord. While bowing under the rebukes and chastenings of the Lord, so justly incurred, he deprecates the Lord's displeasure and seeks His favour. The following verses give the soul's experiences in reaching the sunshine of God's favour.

(vv. 2-3) Having owned God's righteous dealings in chastisement, the soul pleads for God's intervention, first, on the ground of mercy, and, second, on the ground that God cannot be indifferent to the distress of His own, He will put a limit to this distress. Therefore faith can ask, “O Lord, how long?”

(vv. 4-5) With increasing confidence the soul looks to the Lord to return in blessing, and deliver his soul from going down into death and the grave, that he might live on the earth for the praise of the Lord.

(vv. 6-7) Though submitting to the chastening of the Lord, the soul realizes that the unrepentant mass of the nation is opposed to him as his enemies. To stand alone in the midst of an opposing nation, as Jeremiah in his day, causes the soul acute anguish.

(vv. 8-10) Through these exercises the soul reaches the sense of the personal favour of the Lord. He realizes that the Lord is not unmindful of his tears; has heard his supplications; and received his prayer. This, however, he foresees will involve the shame and defeat of his enemies.

The exercises of this godly soul while prophetically setting forth the experience of the remnant in the midst of the guilty nation of the Jews in a day to come, has a bright expression in the remnant who submitted to the baptism of John the Baptist. There, too, the Lord, by identifying Himself with the remnant, owned that the nation was under the rebuke and chastening of the Lord. Immediately the heavens are opened and the Father's voice expresses His infinite delight in the Lord. The repentant remnant, identified with Christ, enjoy this favour and escape the displeasure that rests upon the nation.

The principle of owning the chastisement of God's people, and casting ourselves upon the mercy of God, is right in any day of failure; and yet the experience of the psalm is clearly that of an earthly saint. The Christian looks for his blessing in resurrection, beyond death, in a heavenly scene. The psalmist looks for blessing on earth without going into death.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 6". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-6.html. 1832.