R/LADIES Week 4: Psalm 6

March 15, 2022  |  Christy Dailey

Suggested listen: Poor Bishop Hooper, Psalm 6

Read Psalm 6 in its entirety.

Write down any parts that stand out to you or that you aren’t quite sure about. Pray for the Spirit to reveal His heart as we sort through these verses. Take a deep breath. Read again. 

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.”

Take a moment to ponder and reflect on what stands out as you read. 

  • Do you have any emotional response? 
  • What is the knee-jerk reaction to these words?
  • What portion of the text grips your eyes? Where do they pause?

Let’s walk through this together…


Tiny background:

Psalm 6 is known as the first of the 7 “Penitential Psalms”, meaning it is written as a song of confession and humility before God. The early church and some faith traditions would sing/recite these Psalms on Ash Wednesday and at the close of morning services. 

Vs 1-3

O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O LORD – how long?

Right off the bat, we get a pretty clear idea for where David is. Although we don’t know the exact circumstances David was facing when he wrote this song, whatever the situation, it’s safe to assume there is an issue of sin here that is causing David to feel a great deal of heaviness and he knows discipline is coming! We might frame these words as sounding similar to a teenager being confronted by a parent and begging them to pull the punch or of someone who sees no out and is just depleted. “Please don’t be angry, please don’t lecture me. I’ve been beating myself up and I don’t know if I can handle you yelling at me. I hate that I’ve disappointed you, but please go easy. I’m weak and exhausted, my body hurts, my soul hurts… I know I screwed up and I know I’m in trouble. I know I have no right to ask, but please be gracious.” 

Think about a time when you felt the weight of sinful choices? How does it affect you physically? Emotionally? Relationally? How does it make you feel in your relationship with the Lord?

Read Hebrews 12:5-11.

Does the Hebrew passage reframe your feelings towards discipline in any way? Reflect, pray, journal.

The gift of living on this side of the cross is that we know the following things to be true: The discipline of the Father is not a mark of his anger, but a mark of our adoption. Jesus carried the full weight of God’s wrath on the cross and took it to the grave on our behalf. AND He left it there when He stepped out of the tomb. It IS finished. So for us, the discipline we receive from the Lord is out of corrective Fatherly love. Never anger. He cares deeply for both our troubled bones (physical well-being) and our troubled soul (emotional/mental well-being) and his correction is for our good. It’s much sweeter to accept the chastisement when we know and trust that it is from a foundational place of perfect love and perfect timing and that His mercy will be with us even as we ask “how long?”.

Vs 4-7

Turn, O LORD, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes.

Other translations begin verse 4 with the word “return”, which tells us that David felt distant from Him and was pleading for Him to come back and save his life. And not for any other reason or on any other merit than the steadfast love of God. Again, David was struggling with the realities of his flesh and he knew he had nothing of his own righteousness to stand on. His only hope for rescue rests squarely in the unfailing love of God. In fact, David goes into a poetic description of the kind of despair we’ve likely experienced at some point(s) in our lives. The kind of despair when we don’t think we have any tears left to cry, when our eyes are swollen and hot and blurry for hours, when the tears fall even without us being aware. When our insides physically ache from the stress of it all and the mountain of cards stacked against us because of situations and choices we have made looks insurmountable. What do we have to hope in when faced with such agony?

Vs 8-10

Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

The Lord has heard. He’s heard you! He’s heard the sound of your weeping, He’s heard your pleading. And He accepts your prayer regardless of how broken. He is not far off in times of distress. He is not distant from you. He is close and He hears you. And He will make your enemies turn and run “in a moment”. In a moment! Because the moment we remember that His love for us is steadfast, that He is near, that He accepts our ugly cries of repentance with compassion and comfort and we remember that His anger has been satisfied through Christ, our enemy loses his grip. Our accuser loses his footing when we hide in the broken body and spilled blood of Christ. He is our forgiveness. 

Take a moment to partake in communion with Christ. It doesn’t have to be a wafer and grape juice, but whatever you have as elements of communion to remember that the distance has been eternally mended by Jesus’ sacrifice. Pour out your heart, make your pleas of repentance, and sit in His steadfast love for a while. What do you need to be covered in His atonement? Reflect, pray, journal. 


Father, remind us of your character. Thank you that although we will have seasons of deep agony, and we will surely feel the weightiness of this fallen world and our broken state, thank you that we never need to question your nearness to us. Thank you that although we have sinned against you, we never need to question your steadfast love. You are faithful and good. And you love your Beloved. Let us rest in your Perfect love that dissolves all fear. Thank you for your Fatherly correction. May it serve as a reminder that we are your children, bought with a price, and that nothing can separate us from your love.