Lesson Objective Lesson 3: Reach Out: A Psalm of Lament (Psalm 6) •Objective: The point of the lesson is that you would be challenged to be authentic with God, bringing their real and maybe even raw emotions to Him, and that they would trust Him to be their source of comfort and peace.
PSALM 6 AUTHOR: David The Story Behind the Psalm David had committed his sin concerning Uriah and Bathsheba. At the writing of this Psalm, Bathsheba had given birth to a baby. The baby was near death. David was heartbroken and penitent. He is praying and asking forgiveness. This is the first of the penitential Psalms. This, like Psalm 51 and some others, is a Psalm of seeking forgiveness and begging restoration. The Psalm was sung with stringed accompaniment and was serious music. Psalm 6 is no victory shout; it is the mourn and wail of a sinner seeking forgiveness as he pays the price for his sin. The Way It Was Used by God's People The Jews would use this Psalm when wanting forgiveness. It was used after a time of backsliding when a vow had been made to God to return to His will and His work. Notice the groaning of verse 3, the need for restoration found in verse 2 and the desire for forgiveness found in verse 4. Perhaps some reader has wandered from his God. Read this Psalm. Picture David pleading for restoration at the bedside of a dying son whose brief life was soon to be ended. Then call to God for forgiveness and restoration. http://www.fbbc.com/messages/hyles_psalms.htm
Psalms Facts Psalms of Penitence Some of the Psalms reflect upon the holiness of God and, by way of contrast, the sinfulness of man. They acknowledge the fact that evil conduct is an assault upon the Creator, and they evince a deep feeling of contrition as a consequence of offending Jehovah. David’s tragic sins, along with the heartaches that followed, are echoed in several of the Psalms (cf. 6; 32; 38; 51; 143). The spirit of these poems surely stands in bold relief to the flippant attitude toward sin that is so characteristic of today’s world.
The story of Psalm 6 King David was ill. We do not know what his illness was. We do not know why he was ill. We do not know when David wrote Psalm 6. Perhaps it was: · when Absalom tried to become king (2 Samuel 15:14) · when King Saul tried to kill David (1 Samuel 19:18) Samuel is a book in the Bible. Absalom was a son of David. In Psalm 6 David was very lonely and not happy. He was ill in body and in mind. He thought that God had left him. He thought that God would not give him help. This made David so sad that he forgot what he believed. He had believed that he would always live with God. But David continued to pray, "LORD come back". One day God answered David. David then told the bad men to go away. These men wanted to hurt David. They probably told David that God would not listen to him. But God did listen. God made David feel much better. Sometimes we feel as David felt. We think that God has left us. Psalm 6:6 says that David cried every night. Psalm 6:3 tells us David asked, "For how long?" One night God will answer us as he answered David. We too will say, "The LORD heard me!" God was really with us all the time. We could not see him through our tears. God is not angry with us. God loves us.
Psalms Facts What Psalm 6 means Verses 1 – 3: David is praying, "How long will my illness last?" This is what "how long?" means. He does not want this to make God angry. In verse 2 "my bones are afraid", probably means "my body is ill". In verse 3 "myself am very frightened" probably means "my mind is ill". David does not say that he is ill because he has done wrong. Verses 4 – 7: God does not answer immediately. So David thinks that God has left him. David asks God to come back because: · God is so loving and kind · David cannot praise God in Sheol Long ago people believed in Sheol. It was a place under the ground. People went there when they died. It was a dark place. In Psalm 16:10 David says he will live with God when he dies. Here, David is so sad that he forgets it! He cries so much his bed is like a boat on water. It floats on his tears! He cries until ... Verses 8 – 10: ... God answers him! Then David tells his enemies to go away. They were probably telling David that God would not answer. They did this in Psalm 3:2. They said, "God will not save David". But God did answer David! God was not angry with David.
Psalm 6 (NIV) A psalm of David. 1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.3 My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? 4 Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave? 6 I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. 8 Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping.9 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish; they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.
Discussion Questions • Compare the first verse with the last. Are the tears because of the Lord or the enemies? Explain. • What is the cumulative effect of the three verbs turn, deliver and save in verse 4? • The emotional center of this prayer is verses 6-7. How many different ways is weeping expressed? • Why the tears? (Go through the psalm and note every possible source.) • In verses 8-9 there are three phrases in parallel: weeping, cry for mercy and prayer. Are these aspects of one thing or three different things? Explain. • How do you feel about crying (is it always negative, positive or mixed)? • Tears are often considered a sign that something is wrong with us—depression, unhappiness, frustration—and are therefore to be either avoided or cured. But what if they are a sign of something right with us? What rightness could they be evidence of?