Summary: From a series of Wednesday night Bible Studies on Psalms 1-23. David thinks he has been disciplined enough, but we take the time to contrast parental discipline and godly discipline.
Notes From Psalm 6
Discipline is unavoidable for the child of God.
God’s discipline is a demonstration of divine love. See Hebrews 12: 4 - 11
The purpose of God’s discipline is not to crush us, but to create a right heart within us.
What we think is God’s discipline is often the natural results of our own actions, rather than God having to act.
God uses people to discipline us, even unbelievers.
See Israel and Judah in the Old Testament—one of God’s repeated judgments was to use heathen nations to judge them. Especially if you read the book of Judges you see the cycle repeated over and over. God’s people fall into idolatry and God raises up a heathen nation that begins to smack them around. The people begin to repent and cry for mercy and God raises up a judge who leads a revival and brings about some relief from judgment. God’s people begin to live righteous lives, but soon, the cycle begins again.
Assyria and Babylon were heathen nations used to bring about the exile of God’s people when they continued in idolatry, perversion of justice, and oppression of the poor.
Discipline is not a delight for God or for us.
Whatever was going on in David’s Life in Psalm 6, he was already asking God for mercy. He already felt like it had been enough.
David never suggests that he deserves God’s mercy. Rather, he is expectant because of God’s unfailing love. He believes he can expect mercy simply because God loved him dearly.
David felt as if he was going to die.
Children often feel the same way—Proverbs 23: 13 - 14
God’s discipline, like that of a loving father, is designed to deliver us from destructive behavior.
David was ready for his period of discipline to be complete.
Our children are always ready for the punishment to be complete. However, as parents, we have to gauge their response to discipline carefully and determine to the best of our ability whether they have come to a change in behavior and/or attitude, or whether they are chafing under the discipline. God is better at this than we are since he sees and discerns the attitude of the inward man.
We may THINK we are ready for discipline to end, but God knows the right time to bring about the end of a time of discipline.
The basis of David’s opinion, (that his discipline should be over) was his own pain and suffering. God’s goal is a permanent change of heart, and our weeping often is not godly sorrow. Weeping is not necessarily a sign of a change of heart. A broken heart does not always demonstrate a contrite and repentant heart. Sometimes we are more sorry for the consequences of our sins than we are for the wrong we have done.
The King James version says that we are not to spare discipline just because our child cries. Any of us who have raised children know that sometimes they cry tears of pain and sometimes they shed tears of anger. God knows how to continue discipline in just the right measure in order to bring about the change of heart he is looking for.
David’s declaration of separation between himself and evildoers is one of the demonstrations of a changed heart God is seeking. In fact, the Psalms begin with a statement about the man of God separating himself from evildoers in order to obtain God’s blessing. Since this is the only sin mentioned in this Psalm, I believe it is safe to assume that it was the major sin that God was dealing with when he began this time of discipline. At the very least, it was the first step towards the change that David needed to make right before he declares that he knows that God has responded to him. (There is an interesting parallel in Matthew 7:23)
God accepts David’s prayer because his heart has changed, not because he is heart- broken.
There is a point where God comforts us with the knowledge that he has heard our prayer and Help is on the Way. It is so comforting when the Holy Spirit encourages us and we feel lifted up.
In the book of Acts, the church prayed about the persecution that Peter and John had experienced over the healing of the man at the gate of the temple and the preaching of the gospel. When they were finished, they were encouraged, comforted and strengthened. What had changed? The circumstances on the outside remained the same. The threats were still in effect. However, the people had prayed for boldness and THEY were changed by their submission to God.
We change when we submit to God. We begin to feel lifted up when we turn from our sinful ways and submit to God.
God has a way of reversing our situation, but that change always begins with our own personal change of heart and taking steps to remove ourselves from personal sins.