1 Save me, O God!
2 I sink in deep mire,
3 I am weary with my crying out;
4 More in number than the hairs of my head
must I now restore?
5 O God, you know my folly;
6 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,
7 For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
8 I have become a stranger to my brothers,
9 For zeal for your house has consumed me,
10 When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting,
11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,
12 I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,
13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
14 Deliver me
15 Let not the flood sweep over me,
16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;
17 Hide not your face from your servant;
18 Draw near to my soul, redeem me;
19 You know my reproach,
20 Reproaches have broken my heart,
21 They gave me poison for food,
22 Let their own table before them become a snare;
23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,
24 Pour out your indignation upon them,
25 May their camp be a desolation;
26 For they persecute him whom you have struck down,
27 Add to them punishment upon punishment;
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
29 But I am afflicted and in pain;
30 I will praise the name of God with a song;
31 This will please the Lord more than an ox
32 When the humble see it they will be glad;
33 For the Lord hears the needy
34 Let heaven and earth praise him,
35 For God will save Zion
36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,
This psalm really gives insight to the life of David and his struggles. We don’t know exactly when he had written the psalm, but we do know that he had many struggles with Saul coming after to kill him, being in hiding and on the run, and away from his family. Later in his reign he also suffered as king as there were many factions and divisions within his family, one of his son raped his daughter, another tried to take over David’s kingdom by force which led David to flee, and he had many enemies that tried taking his kingdom. I think this psalm encompasses David’s struggles and failings.
Many of us can relate to some of the struggles that David has experienced such as the waters rising to his neck, being in the deep mire and sinking, and he describes his physical state of being such as being weary because he cries out, his throat parched, and his eyes are dim. David uses exaggeration as a technique to demonstrate that his enemies are numerous and impossible to count. He wears sackcloth as a symbol of his desperation, his families disown him (maybe as a reference to Absalom, his son - 2 Sa 15), he becomes a reproach, and pleads to God to uphold him and answer his prayers.
There’s a lot we can relate to David: some of us have experienced pain, sadness, deep trouble, loneliness, desperation, anxiety or worry, sickness, and all kinds of fears. But there is a hope that David has and that is the Lord because “the Lord hears the needy
and does not despise his own people who are prisoners” (v. 33). God hears and sees our vulnerabilities and tough circumstances. He is gracious to answer our prayers.
This psalm also reveals Jesus as He is the one who becomes a reproach for our sins and on our behalf. Jesus suffered much like David: He was betrayed, experienced loneliness, was beaten and eventually crucified. He’s experienced much like we’ve experienced. Verse 9 in particular is used to reference to Jesus’ anger at the money changers at the temple, but when reading this psalm we realize that our sins wasn’t cheap and Jesus paid a steep price for us.
So what is our response: “Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them” (v 34) because “those who love his name shall dwell in” (v 36) His presence forever.