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Surviving a Flood of Tears

Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  22:41
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I am so glad that God inspired the men who arranged the Psalms to include Psalm 6 in this opening journey of lament that we find at the beginning of the Psalms. In Psalm 3-5 we find David in trouble, but his faith and confidence in God are so strong he can sleep like a baby. The reality is however, it is not always like that for a believer, sometimes sleep does not come, in fact the night is spent weeping and we despair, even to the point of feeling like we are about to die.
In Psalm 6, we find David in one of those times. He writes:
Psalm 6:6–7 ESV
I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes.
The image David paints is of one drowning in their own tears!

Sometimes We are Drowning in Our Own Tears

We find the cause of this flood of tears earlier in verses 1-3:
Psalm 6:1–3 ESV
O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long?
Once again, we are not told what situation David was in, but because of its placement in the Psalter and because of what David says about his enemies, there is good reason to believe this Psalm was written as David was fleeing Absalom.
Verse one reminds us that Absalom’s rebellion was born from the fall out of David’s sin. When Nathan confronted David, he said:
2 Samuel 12:7–12 ESV
Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’ ”
It is not hard to imagine that Nathan’s words burned like hot coals in David’s heart and mind.
We too often suffer from guilt and remorse when we see the consequence of our sin play out before our very eyes. This makes the trials we are facing all the more painful. Moreover, our enemies are close at hand to accuse us. Our greatest enemy is Satan and he accuses us with a murderous intent. It is his goal to kill in us all faith and hope.
By this, we can tell the difference between the voice of Satan and the voice of the Holy Spirit. Satan accuses with the goal of leading us to despair and unbelief. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin with the goal of leading us to repentance and faith. So if your guilt is driving you away from God, you can know with 100% accuracy that those thoughts are coming from the pit of hell. Now back to Nathan’s conversation with David...
2 Samuel 12:13–14 ESV
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.”
God clearly forgave David, but this did not mean God took away all the consequences of his sin, nor did it mean that God would not discipline David for his sin. The same is true for us and this is because God loves us like a father.
Notice that David does not ask God to not rebuke or discipline him. In fact, as the author of Hebrews reminds us, if God did not rebuke or discipline us He would not be a loving Heavenly Father (Hebrews 12:3-11). What David does ask is that God would not do this in anger or wrath. As Christians we can be assured that God never rebukes or disciplines us in anger or wrath, because Jesus bore all of God’s anger and wrath against sin!
This truth leads us to the second point:

The Only Safe Place is God’s Steadfast Love

As we have seen already in our study of the Psalms, David’s faith and confidence is founded upon the rock of God’s steadfast love.
Psalm 6:4 ESV
Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
This steadfast love is most clearly seen on the cross of Christ.
Romans 5:8 ESV
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:10 ESV
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
When Paul argues that “for those who love God all things work together of good” (Rom 8:28), he concludes his agreement by saying, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom 8:31-32)
Are you assured of God’s love today? If you are not, I urge you to look to the cross. There you will see God’s Son, His only begotten Son, dying for you. What more can God do to demonstrate His love? Why do you doubt that love? Is it because you are a guilty sinner? Well, this is no reason to doubt, because it was for your sins that Jesus was nailed to the cross!
The only way you can survive a flood of tears is by hiding yourself in the steadfast love of God, just as Noah hid himself and his family within the Ark. Moreover, just as Noah received hope from the dove, even before the flood water had totally receded, so God will send you His hope before your troubles end.

By Faith, Hope Arrives Before the Waters Depart

Notice the confidence David had as he concludes this Psalm:
Psalm 6:8–10 ESV
Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
David speaks with authority against his enemies. This is not just the authority that David possessed as a king, this is Divine authority, because the Lord heard his prayer! The Lord hears our prayers as well when we pray in faith in the name of Jesus.
Our great enemy and accuser is Satan, and twice in Matthew’s gospel we read of Jesus speaking with authority to Satan, demanding he depart. The first is during His forty days of temptation.
Matthew 4:10 ESV
Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ ”
The second is when Satan uses Peter to hinder Jesus’ mission.
Matthew 16:23 ESV
But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Our earthly enemies are ultimately pawns of Satan and by the authority of Jesus we do not have to take the Devil’s attacks lying down. James, the Lord’s brother, writes:
James 4:7 ESV
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
When we submit ourselves to God in faith and prayer, God is answering our prayer long before we see the flood waters of our troubles depart. By faith we can speak to those troubles, “Depart from me,” and we can be assured that God will vindicate our faith, if not in this life, in the next!
Brothers and sisters do not let your tears blind you from the power of the steadfast love of the Lord!
Let us pray.
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