A Cry for Mercy
(6) I am weary with groaning. Every night I make my bed swim. I cause my couch to dissolve with tears. (7) My eyes waste away with grief, grown weak because of all my enemies. (8) Get away from me, all you evildoers, for Yahweh hears the sound of my weeping. (9) Yahweh has heard my cry for mercy. Yahweh accepts my prayer. (10) Let all my enemies be ashamed and dismayed. Let them turn back in sudden disgrace.
In this second segment of Psalm 6, David continues to implore Yahweh out of a sense of desperation brought about by his enemies. David seems to have reached a particularly low point and is crying out to God for relief in his extremity. David’s choice of words indicates that his struggles have gone on for an extended period of time, adversely altering his sleep patterns and perhaps even affecting his eyesight (vs. 6 & 7).
We reach a major turning point when David directly addresses his enemies, demanding that they leave him alone because Yahweh has heard and accepted his prayers (vs. 8). As in the previous segment, David repeatedly invokes Yahweh’s name, three times in two verses, as he affirms his trust in God’s provision and protection (vss. 8 & 9). While David’s enemies are still at hand to harass him, they seem no longer to terrorize him quite as much as they had in the first half of the psalm.
I. David in anguish over his enemies (6 & 7)
II. David heartened by God's help (8-10)
Although our enemies may cause us deep anguish, knowing that God has heard and will answer our prayers enables us to endure.
Each of us responds differently to spiritual opposition. One believer may seem to thrive on conflict and enjoy combat in the arena. At the other extreme, another believer may shrink from anyone who presents a challenge, criticism, or the slightest threat of disagreement.
Our ability to stand up to adversity often depends on how we are feeling at the moment. When fresh and rested, we seem far better prepared to deal with hostility than when we are tired and worn down. David, who never seemed to shrink from conflict as a youth, found himself in a position of weakness and vulnerability as he wrote Psalm 6. He felt unable to face his enemies directly. His example of crying out to the Lord with earnest prayer helps us understand how we should respond to opposition, especially when we feel emotionally exhausted and ready to give up. Yahweh was always there for David, ready to hear his prayers, ready to give him the strength he needed to withstand the storm swirling around him. Even in the midst of great turmoil, we can find the strength we need to endure as we look to Yahweh for his enablement.
Paul gave the Philippians a wonderful promise: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:6 & 7). Like David, we need to cry out to God, admitting our vulnerability in the face of adversaries and adversities, and turn everything over to him. When we learn to trust God, especially in times of weakness, his peace will calm our hearts as we remember that he has promised to deliver us and bring us safely through the storm.