To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments; according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David.
1 O Lord, rebuke me not in Your anger, nor discipline me in Your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled. But You, O Lord — how long?
4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of Your steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of You; in Sheol who will give You praise?
6 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
David is in anguish. He is in the valley. Life is suffocating him, apparently because of interpersonal strife (v. 8). His very soul is in agony (v. 3). But this is a suffering that is physical too, affecting him to his very bones (v. 2). We are given a portrait of David alone on his couch, weeping like a baby. His life has gone into meltdown.
Through it all, to make matters worse, he is keenly aware of his own sin and guilt, as evident from his opening words, in which he asks the Lord to withhold his heavenly rebuke and discipline.
Where does David go in such distress?
“The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer” (v. 9). Amid the storm of his life, David looks not out, at his circumstances, nor in, at his own internal resources, but up, to the Lord of mercy.
Unloading the burdens of his heart to God in prayer, David does not apply a formula to his pain but rather this: God. When we are brought into the dark valleys of life as we journey through this fallen world, we have, and we need, one thing: God.
And we can know that we have the Lord with us, moment by moment, because he sent his own Son to walk through this world’s sorrows. He was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief ” (Isa. 53:3). And why? So that God could withhold his “anger” and “wrath” (Ps. 6:1) from us despite our deserving it. Bringing our complaints and afflictions to God in Jesus’ name, we can know for certain that “the Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.”
Source: Devotional Psalter