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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Psalms 6



Verses 1-10

Here the psalmist asks for a visit from God, for he is sick at heart, heavy and depressed. Be very thankful if that is not your case; but if it is, be very grateful that here is a prayer ready-made for you. Here you are taught how to cry to God, and what to expect from him. If you are very sick and sad, you are not worse off than David was. Send for David’s Physician; you cannot have a better doctor than the royal Physician. He who waited on King David is prepared to wait on you.

Psalms 6:1. O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger,

“Rebuke me; it will do me good; I need it; but not in anger. Be gentle and tender with me: ‘Rebuke me not in thine anger.’”

Psalms 6:1. Neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

“Chasten me; it may be that the rod will be very curative to me; but let not the chastening be given in thy hot displeasure. Be not very angry with thy poor sinful servant. If thou dost not turn away thy rod, yet turn away thy wrath. It is a sweet prayer. Some people cry to God about their sickness; it is much better to cry to God about the cause of it; that is to say, if it be a chastisement for sin, get rid of the sin, and the rod will then be removed.

Psalms 6:2. Have mercy upon me, O LORD for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.

“Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak.” This was a sweet reason for David to urge: “For I am weak.” He could not say, “For I am worthy.” He would not have dared to say that. He could not say that when he said, “Have mercy,” for mercy is for the unworthy. Justice is for the good; mercy is for those who are guilty. “Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed.” Plead the greatness of your disease as a reason for the remedy. Do not come with your self-righteousness; that will hinder you. Come with your sorrow and your sin, your weakness and your pain, and plead these before God.

Psalms 6:3. My soul is also sore vexed:

That is worse than the bones being vexed. “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?”

Psalms 6:3. But thou, O LORD, how long?

There is the pith of the prayer. David is troubled because God is away from him; he has lost communion with his Lord; he has got out of fellowship with his God, and here comes the most necessary cry of all: —

Psalms 6:4. Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake.

Will not that prayer suit you who are here tonight, you who are full of sin, and are heart-broken about it, and dread the wrath to come? I put this prayer into your mouths, and pray the Holy Spirit to put it into your hearts: “Oh save me for thy mercies’ sake.”

Psalms 6:5. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

As much as to say, “If thou lettest me die, thou wilt lose one singer out of thy earthly choir; but if thou wilt let me live, I will remember thee; I will praise thee; I will give thee thanks.” Do you feel like saying tonight, “Lord, if thou shalt destroy me, thou wilt gain nothing by it; but if thou wilt save me, there will be one who will give thee thanks for ever”? I have told you sometimes of that old woman who said, “If the Lord does save me, he shall never hear the last of it.” And you and I can also say that if he saves us, he shall never hear the last of it; we will praise him throughout eternity for his great salvation.

Psalms 6:6. I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.

David was in a very sorry case when he wrote these words. So great was his pain, so acute his sorrow, that all the sluices of his eyes were pulled up, and he seemed to float his bed in tears, and to be like George Herbert when he wrote: —

“O who will give me tears? Come, all ye springs,

Dwell in my head and eyes: come, clouds and rain:

My grief hath need of all the watery things,

That nature hath produced. Let every vein

Suck up a river to supply mine eyes,

My weary, weeping eyes, too dry for me,

Unless they get new conduits, new supplies,

To bear them out, and with my state agree.”

Psalms 6:7. Mine eye is consumed because of grief;

He had almost wept his eyes out; they grew red with his weeping, so that he could not see.

Psalms 6:7. It waxeth old because of all mine enemies.

His eyesight grew dim, like that of an old man. A cataract of grief had put a cataract of blindness into his eyes.

Psalms 6:8. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity

He wants his God to come to him, so he bids God’s enemies clear out. If we keep company with the wicked, we cannot invite God to our house, and expect him to come. “Depart from me,” says David, “all ye workers of iniquity.” “You who are singing what you call a jolly song, be off with you. You who are merry with your jokes against religion, begone far from me.”

Psalms 6:8. For the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.

“And if he has heard my tears, I do not want you to be here. I cannot associate with God’s enemies now that he has heard the voice of my weeping.” Is not that a beautiful expression, “The voice of my weeping”? Why, there was no sound, was there? Yet there are songs without words, and there are voices without sounds.

Psalms 6:9. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.

“I thought at first that he would not take my petition; but I see be stretches out his right hand, he receives my prayer; and if he receives my prayer, I shall soon receive his answer.”

Psalms 6:10. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

Now let us read the eighth Psalm, in which David expresses great wonder that God, whom he had asked to visit him, should deign to do so. I think I see him sitting with his window open. It is night, and he is feeling better; and he bids them throw open the window, and he sits and looks at the stars, glad of the cool, fresh air.

This exposition consisted of readings from Psalms 6:8.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 6:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 29th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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