Short Meditations in Psalms: 6.2 I need help!
Psa 6:2 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
I said in the previous meditation if you read the whole of this psalm you will see that David never in it actually details why he is down. In this verse he appears to be speaking about physical disability and yet later on he speaks about enemies but even then he doesn’t say what it is about his enemies that is causing him distress.
If we take this verse in reverse order we read, “my bones are in agony.” However we are to take that it suggests that, yes, his agony includes a physical element. Here is a strange thing about being a human: on one hand our physical bodies can be the source of so much pleasure and on the other hand they are our point of vulnerability. Assuming roughly forty per cent of the population are women of child-bearing age, at any one time in a month ten per cent of the population are coping with emotional changes and ten percent with potentially painful physical changes, another meaningful percentage are coping with the menopause. On present figures over 25% of the UK population is over the age of 60 and that means after that age they will be increasingly succumbing to age-related aches, pains, illnesses and incapacities. We could continue to talk about illnesses in general, but the point is made – being a human being can be physically tough.
A little earlier in this verse David wrote, “I am faint.” I don’t know if you have ever suffered faintness but it is a feeling of weakness that you are unable to control. You feel vulnerable and you are not sure if it is entirely physical or partly a mind thing. Whatever it’s cause, you do not feel good!
Now if you were an atheist you would be stuck with this (and perhaps some of us Christians act like we are atheists when it comes to this) and you just struggle to cope on your own. You know, “I need help,” and maybe there are people around you, perhaps in the medical profession, who may be able to help in a small measure but you’ve got to get to them and find them available, willing to help and with a solution. But for a believer it is different. David simply cries, “O LORD, heal me.” In that we see a belief that God heals. Observing Jesus’ ministry in the Gospels tells us a) God can heal and b) God wants to heal, otherwise Jesus would not have healed all the crowds who came to him. It is largely only our unbelief that stops him.
But David takes nothing for granted and he knows the sort of imperfect person that he is and therefore when he appeals to the Lord he says, “Be merciful to me, LORD.” He appeals to God’s mercy which we’ve seen in earlier verses – unearned loving willingness to act. That’s it!