Summary: David cried out to God, overwhelmed by his guilt, and found mercy. So can we.

Sunday Night, May 25, 2003

Title: Psalms for Psummer Psunday Nights "Guilt--No, Mercy--Yes!"

Text: Psalm 6:1-10


1. Psalms is such a special book of the Bible.

A. Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote: "more and more is the conviction forced upon my heart that every man must traverse the territory of the Psalms himself if he would know what a goodly land they are. They flow with milk and honey; but not to strangers; they are only furtile to the lovers of their hills and vales. None but the Holy Spirit can give a man a key to the Treasury of David; and even He gives it to experience than study. Happy he who knows for himself the secret of the Psalms"

1. It is my hope that as we study the Psalms,

a. that it becomes much more than a study...

b. and that we will truly begin to live in the Psalms...

c. and begin to experience them for ourselves in a very personal and intimate way.

B. As we continue our study of the Psalms, we come to one that is considered a Penitential Psalm.

1. There are only 7 penitential psalms in the entire book of Psalms.

2. Penitential refers to the attitude of repentance and despair expressed by the author.

2. As I began to meditate upon this Psalm, I felt like it would have much to offer us as we delve into it.

A. This Psalm has a poetic form as does many of the Psalms.

1. The first and last stanzas have 3 verses; while the 2nd & 3rd stanzas have 2 verses each. (3,2,2,3)

Read Text: Psalm 6:1-10


1. The first stanza, I’ve entitled "The Struggle" vv. 1-3

A. As you read this passage of Scripture, you get a picture that David is in extreme spiritual anguish.

B. In this first stanza, I sense that David is struggling with guilt over something that he has done.

C. We don’t know the events that lead David to the writing of this Psalm...

1. But there are plenty of things from David’s past that would induce a sense of guilt.

2. And David realizes that what he has done is wrong in the eyes of God.

3. He realizes that a Holy God does not tolerate sin.

4. He realizes that if he were to get what he would cost him his life...

5. In verse 2, he has no alternative but to throw himself upon the mercy of God.

D. Notice that David does not expect God to act unjustly...

1. He is not asking God to NOT punish him...

2. He realizes that he deserves to be disciplined...

3. His sin must be addressed...

4. But, he is asking God, "do not rebuke me IN YOUR ANGER"

5. "do not discipline me IN YOUR WRATH"

6. He doesn’t want God to completely withhold judging him...

7. He just wants the judgment and discipline to be tempered with God’s mercy.

8. James wrote: "Mercy triumphs over judgment" James 2:13 (NIV)

E. Have you ever had that feeling?

1. You had such a strong sense of guilt, that you wouldn’t have been surprised if God sent a bolt of lightening to just take you out?

2. Guilt is like a warning light on the dashboard of your car.

You can either stop and deal with the trouble,

or ignore the light and face a much more serious problem down the road.

3. David was experiencing guilt; and he doesn’t ignore it...he addresses it head on.

F. Guilt is a powerful thing...and sometimes it just doesn’t let go of you.

1. In my ministry, I have come across several people who were burdened under a load of guilt.

2. They had repented, and asked God to forgive them...

3. But they just couldn’t experience the feeling that God would actually do it.

4. They would continue to beat themselves up over past sins...

5. They would continually repent over the same sin from their past, over and over again.

6. Sometimes, guilt is a good thing...

a. if you have done something wrong...committed some SHOULD feel guilty...

b. BUT, if you have already repented... if that sin has already been forgiven...

c. God says I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. Jer 31:34 (NIV)

7. A little boy was visiting his grandparents and they gave him his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his target. As he came back to Grandma’s back yard, he spied her pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck fell dead. The boy panicked. Desperately he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to look up and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing. After lunch that day, Grandma said, "Sally, let’s wash the dishes." But Sally said, "Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you, Johnny?" And she whispered to him, "Remember the duck!" So Johnny did the dishes. Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing., Grandma said, "I’m sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally smiled and said, "That’s all taken care of. Johnny wants to do it." Again she whispered, "Remember the duck." Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing. After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, finally he couldn’t stand it. He confessed to Grandma that he’d killed the duck. "I know, Johnny," she said, giving him a hug. "I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you." Steven Cole.

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