How Long, Lord?


Reading the Word

Psalm 6:1–10 (ESV)

1 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. 2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. 3 My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long? 4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. 5 For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? 6 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. 7 My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes. 8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. 9 The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In this psalm, David calls out for God to deliver him from his enemies. In fact, David has been calling out to God, but has yet to see God move. This is why he asks “how long?” How long until God will answer his prayers? David describes his situation as one that has brought tears and weeping. He is greatly troubled and desperately needs God’s intervention. Then as we read verses 8-10, the psalm changes from one of desperation to one of confidence. David is sure that God has heard his prayers and that he will act on his behalf. David’s enemies would answer to God for their actions.

How often have you prayed and waited? How did you respond to the delay? The Bible teaches us that God does hear our prayers and that he does answer them. However, he may choose to answer them in ways that we do not expect or in his own timing. Even in prayer, we learn to allow God to be God and to trust his response and his timing. He is a God of steadfast love towards his people and he will never fail us.

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