Rest In Sovereignty: Psalm 6:1-5

Psalm: ANATOMY OF THE SOUL
Rest In Sovereignty: Psalm 6:1-5
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday July 17, 20
22

Notes, not a Transcript

We’re studying a Psalm today from David.  Last week we looked deeply into who David is.  We talked about people’s tendency to participate in hero worship.  We’ll be reminded of that today, but we’ll see David returning to God in this Psalm, and we’ll see his pivot’s turning point, as it often is, be on God’s Sovereignty. 
 
We mention and use the term Sovereignty often, so let’s discuss it.
 
There is a great picture here:
 

Genesis 15:12–16 (ESV)
12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram.  And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 
13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 
14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 
15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 
16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

 
Think of all God caused to bring about this promise to Abraham.  Joseph as favorite, jealous brothers, and Egyptian slave trader, Potiphar and his wife, jail, a cell-mate, the dreams of Pharaoh and this was how God is sovereign, He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all present, and as a consequence, He is Sovereign.

 
Psalm 147:5 (ESV)
  5    Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.

 
Psalm 90:2 (ESV)
  2    Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
 

He is sovereign and so can do absolutely anything He wills, and so we pray to Him according to His will.  Like Sovereignty is a consequence of his nature (all-knowing, all-powerful, all present), so too His will is subject to His character: he is faithful, loving, and truthful, He is merciful, and so His will is subjected to (or perfectly aligned with) His nature.  And so, God’s sovereign decisions are a reconciliation of his true, loving, faithful character of Grace. 
 
David returns to this truth of God’s Sovereignty very often, and as we’ll see today, at his lowest points, the Sovereignty of God pulls him up and restores him.

Psalm 6 (ESV)
O Lord, Deliver My Life
6 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.

 

We spent a good bit of time last week reviewing David’s life and the timeline of events of his life.  HIs many calamities within his family, enemies, etc.  We know this is from David. It’s signed, “A Psalm of David.”  We don’t know what the specific events of this Psalm are inspired by.  Why is David so deeply troubled, I don’t know?
 
But in this first verse, “O Lord,” he is reduced to a place of begging.  This Psalm is known as a penitential Psalm along with 6, 32, 38, 52, 102, 130, and 143.  What makes this be about penitence?  He is brought here by God himself.  Though the circumstances seem to be delivered through men, the Psalmist knows the judgment/correction is ultimately of God. 
 
We read in
 

Deuteronomy 20:16–17 (ESV)
16 But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes,
17 but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded,

 
Also, the Assyrians against the north of Israel

 
2 Kings 18:9–12 (ESV)
9 In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea, son of Elah, king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it,
10 and at the end of three years he took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.
11 The king of Assyria carried the Israelites away to Assyria and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes,
12 because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened nor obeyed.
 

We’ll see an interesting pattern here in David’s song.  We know him from last week as a man who is an anti-hero.  He’s not the one you’d pick to bring YOU glory because he can’t seem to stop messing up in colossal ways.  We noted last week that when he does seem to do heroics, it is when he is dependent upon God. 
 
Here is a pattern for that dependence in this Psalm. 

 
Psalm 6
 
1. Brought low
2. Directed by God
4. Sustained by God
5. Find purpose in life THROUGH God

 
This is all we’ll get to today, but that chain alone is enough to help us realize our way through strife, clarity, etc. – trusting in a sovereign God.  And the more we recognize God’s sovereignty, the more we’ll genuinely trust him.  The more we trust Him, the more we’ll see Him through right eyes.  And the more we see him through right eyes, the more we’ll live as more than conquers.
 
This is how we’re encouraged to be followers of Christ.  The lesson of David and the key to living in his pattern is summed up well in Romans:

 
Romans 8:31–39 (ESV)
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
       “For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 
Psalm 6:1 (ESV)
  1    O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.

 
Similar to an earlier pattern in

 
Psalm 2:5 (ESV)
  5    Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
 

Or later in
 

Psalm 38:1 (ESV)
  1    O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath!
 

The second amplifies the first. Some commentators have argued that “rebuke” is not a strong enough word and that “condemn” would be appropriate, no matter here looking at rebuke and discipline anger and wrath and parried with the passionate ‘O Lord’ tells us that we’re dealing seriously with God. 
 
 
  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?

 
What is happening to him? He is Languishing NIV says, “I am faint, NAS is pining away, fading maybe just exhausted.  …I. …have.  …nothing.  God.  I’m done.  No more fight. 
The word is literally droop like plants.  We have gardens in troughs, the one who Watters them usually has been working quite a bit, and I looked at them just the other day, and they all are hanging over the edge just wanting some attention. They’re languishing – this is how David is feeling. 
  
His “bones are disturbed,” the very frame holding his body is disturbed.
 

  4    Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.

 
ESV/NIV and NRSV say “turn” O Lord, NASB, and LSB say “Return,” an interesting difference also found in:

Psalm 80:14 (ESV)
14    Turn again, O God of hosts!
Look down from heaven, and see;
       have regard for this vine,

 
Psalm 90:13 (ESV)
13    Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
 

He asks for God’s return and his salvation, why… for the sake of God’s own steadfast love.  Not on his merit, not on works, the Psalmist David trust God over Himself. 
 
to help us realize our way through strife, clarity, etc. – trusting in a sovereign God.  And the more we realize God’s sovereignty, the more we’ll genuinely trust him.  The more we truly trust Him, the more we’ll see Him through right eyes.  And the more we see him through right eyes, the more we’ll live as more than conquers.
 
This is a pivot in David’s cry.

 
  5    For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?

 
This makes me think of the Westminster shorter Catechism question 1:

Q: What is the chief end of Man?

A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

  
“We know that we are placed on the earth to praise God with one mind and one mouth, and that this is the end of our life. Death, it is true, puts an end to such praises; but it does not follow from this, that the souls of the faithful, when divested of their bodies, are deprived of understanding, or touched with no affection towards God. It is also to be considered, that, on the present occasion, David dreaded the judgment of God if death should befall him, and this made him dumb as to singing the praises of God.”
 
What does it mean that non one declares God’s name.  Consider this:

 
1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV)
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
 

Romans 8:31–39 (ESV)
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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