Jehová, no me reprendas en tu enojo, Ni me castigues con tu ira. 2 Ten misericordia de mí, oh Jehová, porque estoy enfermo; Sáname, oh Jehová, porque mis huesos se estremecen. (RVR 1960)
Most of us if you are over the age of 40 can remember the days when disciplining a child was no big deal. You did not have to be afraid of being arrested for spanking an unruly child in public never mind your home. I remember the greatest fear being told to go and cut a willow branch (switch), cause I had done something wrong (again 🙂 ) that deserved a whooping. Try that today and the nosy neighbors are likely to call the cops, social workers will investigate and child services will take your kids. How far we have fallen.
In today’s text most bibles have headings saying something like O Lord, Deliver My Life, Prayer for Mercy in Time of Trouble or A Prayer for Mercy. Whatever the case the context is clear I am deserved to be discipline, I am going to be disciplined Lord please have mercy on me when carrying out the discipline. I =s that not what we all hoped for when going to cut our own switch. Let us break it down:
v.1 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger: To rebuke someone is to to reprimand them strongly or to express strong disapproval of their action(s). It is pretty obvious why David is crying out here to God asking Him not to do this in anger. How many of us (be honest) have ever said something or done something in anger we later regret knowing we over reacted. David is basically saying ‘God please do not scold me for my sinful ways while angry.’
nor discipline me in your wrath: Some will argue that my opening comments do not reflects today’s society. I get it, we need to “protect” children from “abusive” parents, those disciplining their kids in wrath. Those that can and do cause harm to their children. That is what David is crying out for here. Yet we, in society today seem to have lost all sense of balance where the restrained biblical discipline is a viable option.
v.2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing: Other versions have Mercy for gracious and weak for languishing. I do not think David is making excuses here just pointing out the facts that he is very troubled and in need of God’s mercy and Grace.
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled: This is pretty straight forward David pleads for healing. Physical, maybe the bones after all are the foundation upon which the body is built. Also the expression my bones are troubled in the original languages lends itself to a reading that may be understood of his grief and trouble of the heart. This is caused by his sins and transgressions, which are at times presented in scripture as bones being weak, tired and or broke, ( Psalm 51:8 ) ( Psalm 38:3 ).
In conclusion; we all sin against the Holy God, creator of all the universe. His rebukes and discipline are always righteous and more merciful than we deserve. Yet we should never forget to humble ourselves before God and cry out for His Mercy, Grace and Healing.