Psalm 6:1–2: “O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, / Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. / Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; / O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.”

July 10th, 2017 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Psalm 6 is the first of seven penitential psalms by King David. In them, he repents and cries out to God for forgiveness and mercy. God’s anger toward His children is always remedial and never punitive, because He loves us and desires to teach us wisdom. David used the Hebrew word for mercy that means to bend down. He was asking God to bend down and be gracious to him as he lay there in pain. David wisely clung to the Lord’s mercy, and in doing so he gave us a model prayer. He compared God’s mercy and goodness to his own weakness and desperate need.

Notice that David is not saying, “Due to my being so very spiritual, God . . . because my devotional life is so powerful . . . since my giving is so regular, Lord, You should heal me.” No. David comes humbly, knowing it is only because of God’s great predisposition toward mercy, forgiveness, and loving grace for the sinner that he can come and expect God to respond. David is counting on NOT getting what he deserves from his heavenly Father, judgment. Instead anticipating that God’s character is consistent and that He will once again give the mercy he doesn’t merit. Someone pointed out that God’s mercy is like the air we breathe. It constantly surrounds us, but just like air, we take it for granted.

There is an old Dutch story of a rich farmer who ridiculed Christianity, but decided to attend a place of worship one Sunday. The pastor taught on the text: “The ox knows its owner” (Isa. 1:3). The farmer was disgusted with all he heard. A few days later, as he plowed his field, one of his oxen stepped over the chain. The farmer flew into a rage and beat the animal without mercy. A few minutes later he passed by the mistreated animal, and it reached out and licked his arm. The text, “The ox knows his owner,” jumped into his mind. He went to the house and gave his heart to the Lord. Over the stall of his now favorite ox, he placed the motto: “The ox knows his owner,” to remind him of God’s mercy, forgiveness, and goodness.

“LORD, we don’t want to take Your mercy for granted today but be forever grateful to You for it.”