1 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.
2Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
3My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O Lord—how long?
4Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?
6I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7My 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.
9The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
Observation: Out of this really desperate plea for mercy, for relief from the hard discipline of God, I notice at least two things: One – The recognition that God is sovereignly at work in him. It is YHWH who is doing the disciplining. David is in his hard, strong, but loving hands. (Prov. 3:11,12) He has not been abandoned, in fact it’s quite the opposite. God is very active and present – just in very uncomfortable ways. Two – There is a definite change of attitude between vs. 7 and 8. Why? It seems very unlikely that his enemies and God’s discipline has been instantly turned off like a faucet. It seems It’s know something has changed within David.
Interpretation: It feels more like a burst of faith, of understanding, of recognizing and remembering Who is dealing with him. That Who is timeless YHWH, perfectly loving Father, who IS – past (“The Lord has heard..”), present/now (“The Lord accepts…”), future (“my enemies shall be…”). He is enveloped by full faith in his always -oving Father, and it changes his heart and attitude and perspective.
Application: I get this prayer, this psalm – do you? I am weary of my sin and of God’s discipline. I am impatient – “How long?”
I imagine God turning the question back on me. “Steve, how long do I need to discipline you? How long before you get it?”
Where specifically do I need to confess and obey?
May I be strengthened today by Your have, am, will; by knowing and believing that I live in the reality of your timeless, loving presence.
(Suggested reading for the week: Ps. 7, Ps. 94:8-15, Ps. 51, Ps. 139, Ps.130)