Psalm 6 is an Ordinary Prayer. It is not one of the happy ones. It speaks of an incredibly common and poignant moment of human experience, a moment of vulnerable sadness. Basically, the psalmist is saying, “I’m falling apart.” That about sums it for me sometimes. It may be that the only thing you feel like you are able to do is just keep it together. In these moments, crying out is what one does. The question is do you have an assurance that there is anyone to cry out to?
Commentator Dale Ralph Davis has this to say about the Hebrew name for the Lord, YHWH (The Way of the Righteous in the Muck of Life). He writes that when the Lord gives his name to Moses, he isn’t saying something about his being, “I will be what I will be.” Rather as Davis says, “he is talking about — ‘But I will be with you’. So Exodus 3:14 means ‘I will be present is what I will be.’ In light of verse 12, God does not here stress his being or existence so much as his presence. And ‘Yahweh’ captures and summaries that thought — he is the God who will be present to all that his people need him to be. ‘Yahweh’ means the God who is present to help.”
So, in keeping with Dr Davis’ input, rather than using the title Lord, I am choosing to use the personal name of God — whose name that means “the God who is present to help.” Below is my paraphrase of Psalm 6. I hope you can make use of it as a prayer. But more so, when it feels like your life is turned all upside down, you will know that Yahweh is present to help.Yahweh, don’t speak hard to me when you’re mad, or jerk me up when you’re rightly upset. Please give me what I don’t deserve, Yahweh, for I am withering; I need gathering up, Yahweh, for my resolve is shaken. My life is turned all upside down. But Yahweh? When? O when? Over here! Yahweh! Rescue me! Rescue me because your love never gives up. Who remembers you when they are dead? Who praises you from inside a coffin? I am so tired…so tired of crying; Every single night I set myself afloat in a river of tears; my mat is wet with wailing. My eyes can’t cry anymore tears I’m so sad; I can’t see for all the enemies around me. Get away! You who think its your job to do evil, For Yahweh has heard my cry, Yahweh has taken up my cause. Every one of them! Their faces will blanch white and their knees will knock, They’ll turn and run away at the first sight. © Randall Edwards 2020. This paraphrase of Psalm 6 is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and my other blog (backwardmutters.com)