Need a little help with Psalm 6? The ESV Study Bible calls this a penitential Psalm:
“This is an individual lament, also from David. It is especially suited to one whose hard circumstances have led him to see his sins and to repent of them. For this reason Psalm 6 is often included in the “Penitential Psalms” (cf. Psalms 32; 38; 51; 130; 143).”
1-5 Plea for Mercy.
These verses arise from some life-threatening situation; a sickness would fit the description, as would a number of other desperate crises. The song interprets the situation as coming from God’s displeasure at some particular sins. This does not mean that all desperate situations are evidence of God’s displeasure, only that some may be; the psalm provides a vehicle for singing to God properly in such cases.
6-7 Weariness and Weeping.
Now the psalmist describes the effects of realizing that his circumstances stem from his sins; he moans and cries and loses sleep from sorrow over his sins.
6:8-10 The Lord Has Heard.
Those who are truly sorry for their sins can be assured that God hears their cries for mercy and will not give them over to the schemes of their enemies.
Psalm 6:1-10 O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. 2Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony. 3My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long? 4Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. 5No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?
6I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. 7My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.
8Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. 9The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer. 10All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; they will turn back in sudden disgrace.