“…the Lord accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:9b (ESV)
Theologians often describe this psalm as the first of the Penitent Psalms, which include psalms 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142. These songs had the following characteristics: sorrow, humiliation, and hatred of sin. This psalm, like the last, is constructed of two sections: verses 1-7 and verses 8-10.
David enters into this penitential song knowing of God’s right to rebuke and discipline His children, and only asks that the punishment not be done in anger. Like a child cowering before an angry father, David would rather be punished for wrong-doing than to be used as a whipping boy: “O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath.” (v.1) Generations later, the prophet Jeremiah echoed David’s words with a clarifying note: “…lest you bring me to nothing.” (Je. 10:24) David was already worn out from regret, mourning over his sin (v.’s 2-3; 6-7), being to close to 'nothingness' for a rebuke that would completely destroy his being.
There was one simple, yet sure, remedy – to be saved through God’s redeeming grace. Though he knows he deserves God’s rebuke, David pleads for God’s salvation. (v.4) He knows God is able to restore him to good standing before The Creator. Without God’s total restoration, David’s expressions of worship would never reach Heaven’s throne, and if he died in his sin, he would surely never enjoy worshipping with the redeemed in the glory of heaven. (v.5)
In these first seven verses we find a broken man: guilty, insecure, and tired… oh, so tired. One can almost hear the minor key of the blues song being groaned in the shadows of the night. Then the key changes, and the tone of the song reveals confidence by a restored heart. David confronts the “workers of evil”, commanding them to disperse from their taunts and schemes. Isn’t it interesting how people are like coyotes which encircle their prey… we see it in the political shenanigans of our day, as well as from the antics of Hollywood. Crucifixions are as popular as ever… people just use insults and innuendo instead of crosses these days. David prophesied against those wicked people, writing: “All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.” (v.10) When God’s deliverance comes, it comes certainly and swiftly. The condemning words of his enemies would prove to be the evidence to put them to shame.
Have you ever been surrounded by accusers who hurl insults, accusations, and disparage your character by innuendo throughout your community? We live in a world where we increasingly see people using inappropriate means to retaliate in such circumstances, causing further pain in the world. Kneel and pray to the God Who will save… The One Who restores the soul and one’s life to wholeness and purpose. Then you will be able to stand confidently before the world confidently say
THE LORD ACCEPTS MY PRAYER!
He is there waiting to answer…