6 I am weary with my sighing;
. Every night I make my bed swim,
. I dissolve my couch with my tears.
7 My eye has wasted away with grief;
. It has become old because of all my adversaries. (Psalm 6, NASB)
No, David didn’t weep so many tears that his bed, soppy and soggy, now dissolving, is presently floating out the door. This is poetic hyperbole. David is filled with grief over . . . what? What loss or agony is causing him to speak of his weeping weariness with such passionate imagery? Why is his soul so “greatly troubled” (vs. 3)?
It looks like he is in grief over his sin.
There are external enemies (vs. 8 and 10) but the initial impetus for his prayer is an awareness of personal need for grace and mercy (vs. 1 and 2). He starts the psalm asking that he might escape God’s wrath (vs. 1) and be given grace (vs. 2). He feels like he is wasting away both physically and spiritually (vs. 2 and 3). Out of his grief, he longs for the rescuing hand of God he knows to be filled with lovingkindness (Hebrew: chesed).
Isn’t that what we need when we feel the dirt and filth of our sin?
The rescuing hand of God.
Our problem is that in the tepid-spirituality of our feel-good, everyone gets a trophy, everyone is entitled era, no one ever feels the dirt and filth of their sin.
But the hand of God that appears like a loving kindness, a gentle hand that soothes us and assures us that despite our filth, our sin, our rebellion, and that God is not finished with us and will forgive us and enfold us in His arms and tell us that we are still His son or daughter and nothing shall separate us from him, is only recieved and known when we first see our need and repent.
See also, Extremity (An offering for the Poetry Project) for another reflection on Psalm 6.