All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

Psalm 6

A Prayer of Mercy in a Time of Sin!

David’s Equation of Repentance!

Every child of God has the ability to fall from the established righteousness set forth by our Creator. It is true that the children of God do not serve sin – Romans 6:16-18; however, that does not diminish the fact that we not only can, but often do! The power of this song and its formula for repentance is vital, right alongside the complete instruction in the Doctrine of Christ that supports it.

David never shares with us what it is that he has come to understand that has caused him to know that he is at odds with his God; instead he becomes the embodiment of the Apostle Paul’s words to the Christians in Corinth –

1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

The importance of looking into our actions and choices on a daily basis in honest appraisal to the expected righteousness of God, cannot be overstated as an element of basic growth and constant restoration to our relationship with God.

David’s opening enforces this, and should be seen as a pure exercise in recognition!

O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.
2 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled;
But You, O Lord—how long?

The recognition of God’s anger is a by-product of the true work of identification (to know the choices one has made that are at odds with God). The process of recognition is predicated on the continued growth of all the children of God, as they come to understand better each day what God has revealed to them as righteousness. Once again, it is not important that David has not shared the specific sin, but the fact that through his knowledge of God’s righteousness, he has recognized it. There is a saying that serves this point:

“Recognition is not the victory, but one cannot have the victory without it!”

Another vital point to pay attention to before we move on, is the fact that David states, “Have mercy on me”. There is no thought of personal worth, David does not plead any innocence or merit. Knowing that God is always just, David instead focuses on the fact that he did not need justice, but mercy. This places all of us in the same unique relationship with God, when by our choice, sin enters our daily lives.

This moves all honest servants of God to the next realization; Godly Sorrow!

Return, O Lord, deliver me!
Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!
5 For in death there is no remembrance of You;
In the grave who will give You thanks?

6 I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief;
It grows old because of all my enemies.

David establish first in the next phase of the formula for repentance (4-5), the need to recognize that it cannot be put off. There is only the now! Not only are we not guaranteed tomorrow, but once the bitter taste of death has come, it is too late for repentance. The sins we are unwilling to repent of and we carry to the grave are those spoken of by the Apostle John as a, “Sin leading to death” 1 John 5:16. The death John speaks of is not the death of the flesh, but of the spirit!

Vs. 6-7, David uses a hyperbole (an exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis). There can be no doubt in the exaggeration that David feels and shares the godly sorrow his sin has brought to his heart.

It has to be recognized that godly sorrow is not repentance. In the parable of the “Lost Son”, that Jesus used to teach repentance to the Pharisees and scribes; the prodigal son, “Came to himself” Luke 15:17. However, in the recognition of his terrible state, had he just sat there and not done anything, all the godly sorrow in the world would not have helped him!  

To this end, we move to the next critical phase of the equation of repentance; True Change!

8 Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity;
For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping

David’s acknowledgement of separation from evil doers (even to include association with the temptations themselves, that lead to sin), to his understanding of God hearing the rending of his heart (Joel 2:12-13), demonstrates a correlation between the strength to put sin behind us and true trust in God. 

David is obviously emboldened by God’s gracious forgiveness, bringing the strength and confidence to put this sin behind him as an option of choice. It is not coincidence that the Lord Himself would use these exact words in speaking to all those who would not “Do the will of My Father who is in heaven” Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 13:24-27.

David demonstrates his trust in the assurance of this true repentance equation – Recognition, Godly Sorrow, and True Change!

9 The Lord has heard my supplication;
The Lord will receive my prayer.
10 Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled;
Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.

David had first proved his repentance by thrusting away evil companions in close connection with God’s forgiveness of his sins. The strength of this Psalm is trust in the equation of true repentance. Don’t just acknowledge sin, depart from it, and walk in trust towards the Living God!

Romans 6:16-18 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

1 John 1:7-9 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

A Prayer of Mercy in a Time of Sin!