How Long?

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long? Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. – Psalm 6:1-4

Agony…anguish…fear…  These are some of the results of sin. No matter how much our culture might try to downplay or excuse it, we know. Our conscience screams it and the Word of God proclaims it: God’s holy anger over disobedience is not something to take lightly. King David cries out, “How long?” Sometimes it’s because of the big sins – the lie that tainted a friend’s reputation, the lust that led to sinful action, or the hurtful words that damaged a relationship. Other times it’s just the accumulation of smaller things – constantly worrying about the future, snapping at loved ones, or being discontent with what the Lord has given us. Whether big or small, sin has a way of wearing us down. At times it torments our consciences and weighs so heavily upon our hearts that we feel it in our bones.

David expresses the agony of someone who understands the weight of guilt. He knows that the Lord hates sin, and that he has every right to hate the sinner. But did you hear it? He knows that God is not only just, but merciful. He knows that only the Lord can save and deliver him. Why? Because of the Lord’s unfailing love.

There are times in our lives when sin brings us to our knees. Whether our suffering is spiritual or physical, we feel the anguish in the depth of our souls. It’s at times like this that we can follow the example of David. He knew where to turn, and he knew what to expect. No matter how much our conscience might be tormenting us, we can turn to the Lord. Even when we feel it in our bones, we can turn to him and confess all of our sins, because we too know what to expect. He is the Lord, our Savior God, the one who sent his own Son to take all the agony of sin upon himself to get rid of it once and for all. With David we can trust that the Lord is merciful and cry out: “Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.”

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, when we feel the weight of our sin, help us to always turn to you. Remind us of your love and mercy in your Son Jesus Christ and refresh us with the good news of your forgiveness. Amen.

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