A Cry for Mercy
Sermon Series: Praying the Psalms
Sermon Title: A Cry for Mercy
Even in the face of our failure, God’s mercy never fails.
When we sin, we sense its effect on our relationship with God. How do we respond? Psalm 6, the first of seven penitential psalms of David, shows us his cry for God’s mercy as he faces his grievous sin against Bathsheba and Uriah. He works through the reality of his failure, spending seven nights weeping before God. Psalm 6 brings hope to the fallen, for we see David understanding his failure, crying for mercy, and experiencing God’s mercy.
Point 1: David Understands His Failure
David clearly comprehends his failure, for his response is prayer. He knows that his sin has provoked God to anger (v. 1). Sin violates God’s glory and holiness, and His wrath is the only appropriate response. Although an uncomfortable topic, sin must be dealt with. Gratefully, Jesus took the cup of God’s wrath on our behalf on the cross (Mt. 26:38).
Point 2: David Cries for Mercy
In his penitent prayer David pleads for God’s mercy (v.2). He is assured of the steadfast love of the Lord (v. 4). As Christians, mercy has triumphed over judgment because of Jesus (James 2:13). Our cry for mercy is firmly placed in Christ’s work (2 Cor. 5:21 and 1 Pet. 2:24). We must rest in the truth that the Father’s discipline is borne out of His steadfast love, not His anger.
“Wave after wave of our sin was poured over Christ’s sinless soul…and He did it willingly” (Hughes).
Point 3: David Experiences God’s Mercy
David knows that the Lord has heard his cry (v. 8). He experiences a release of his former feelings even though his situation has not changed. David knows that the Lord has accepted his prayer (v. 9) and understands his tears (v. 8).
Just like David, we see that God’s mercy trumps our failure. God, through Christ, subdued His own anger by making Christ a propitiation for our sins so we would never have to experience it. In its place, we experience Christ’s righteousness. This covenant of grace, free to us but costly to God, prompts us to be compassionate towards others facing their sin.