Here is my poetic response to Psalm 6. Following the poem, I have added a YouTube link to a musical rendition of this Psalm by the group Sons of Korah. My wife introduced me to this band’s music, and I think that the tone they set for their cover of Psalm 6 is absolutely wonderful. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Oh LORD, you know that I am weak
temptation often masters me
and even when it’s good I seek
sin in my life is what I see
How can I face your holiness
when willfully I’ve left your path
I know LORD that my life’s a mess
and I deserve your righteous wrath
But can I praise you when I’m dead
if you destroy this sinful man?
LORD hear me groaning from my bed
and please forgive me if you can…
You can and have! Oh LORD my God!
I know my prayer is heard by you
You love me even though I’m flawed
you make me whole as though brand new!
I love form poetry. I love the discipline of restricting my words to a set meter and rhyme, and so I rarely write free verse. I was hoping to write a rondeau for Psalm 5, but everything seemed too forced. I started writing in other forms too, but nothing seemed to come together (hence why I didn’t post anything last Sunday). The fact that nothing would come together caused me to believe that God wanted me to meditate more on this particular Psalm. So I ended up going in the free verse direction so you can see some of what came to me in my reading and rereading of these words of David’s.
Was David speaking of himself
when he spoke of his enemies?
Was he, himself, the wicked one
that God must surely hate?
Were arrogance,deceit and malice
vices that he struggled with?
I wonder, Lord, for when he asks
to be led down straight paths
he says to you that it’s because
of enemies he faces
And I, oh Lord, like David know
that you detest all forms of sin
and sin abounds within me Lord, and yet…
Because, oh Lord, of your great love
I can come bow before your throne
and though my sin is as a grave,
yet still Lord, I can come to you
and sing for joy…
…for you give me new life
When my children were younger, my wife and I taught them to recite Psalm 4:8 as part of their bedtime routine. “I go to bed and sleep in peace, because, LORD, only you keep me safe.” (New Century Version). This is a promise that I still often repeat…especially if I am facing stress or worries.
In this psalm, The Psalmist speaks of enemies and their lies, but also speaks of how he is able to sleep in peace because of the confidence he has in God. I wanted to reflect that in today’s poem. The last 2 lines of my poem repeat (as closely as I could stay to the NCV rendering as I could within my chosen meter) and expand upon Psalm 4:8. The form of the poem is called a “Fourteener” as there are 14 syllables per line.
To sleep in peace, Lord, Ah! That is a treasure worth much more
than all the gold and riches that the evil have in store
They scheme and plot to try to steal the things another built,
but in the end they only gain an ever deep’ning guilt!
Lord, what I have may be no more than I need to get through,
yet I have joy, for I have found contentment’s found in you!
“I go to bed and sleep in peace”, I need not fear the night
“For only you, Lord, keep me safe” until the morning light