“O Lord, rebuke me not in Your anger.” Who could stand before God and face the full weight of the Lord’s holy discipline? David knew that he needed gracious kindness and healing mercies instead. Why? Because he was “languishing.” He was at a weak moment. How long would he have to wait for help? Would he be able to survive?
David asked God to “turn” and to deliver his life from imminent death. It was as if he saw the Lord walking away from him, and so he yelled for help asking God to turn around and come back. What was David’s reasoning as he brought his petition? Do this “for the sake of Your steadfast love.”
David knew that he existed for the glory of God. It would be best for God’s glory on earth if David would not go to the grave now. He had more praise to give to the Lord.
This great man who seemed so strong and sure to others knew that he was weak and in need of God’s mercy. He was moaning in anguish. He spent his nights crying. What was his specific trouble? He did not reveal the details, but he did say that this lament was because of his foes.
He then turned the words of this psalm toward these enemies. “Depart from me, all you workers of evil.” Why? “For the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.” What confidence in God! David was convinced that the Lord had heard his prayer and that God would bring sudden shame upon those who were harassing him.
To those who were living at ease in Israel, David’s words might have seemed extreme. But for the Savior who would one day face the suffering of the cross, this psalm would have been entirely appropriate. Yet Jesus said something different as He faced death. “Father, forgive them.” O the amazing steadfast love of the Lord! Nonetheless a day of justice is still coming. On that day those who have persecuted the Lord and His people will suddenly be ashamed.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, we know that You are with us despite our troubled bodies and souls. You will help us at just the right time. You will take away our grief that seems to swallow us up in tears and clouds. You hear us, O God. Our enemies will suddenly be put to shame.