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Psalm 69

Jorine Johnson

1 Save me, O God!

    For the waters have come up to my neck.

I sink in deep mire,

    where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
    and the flood sweeps over me.

I am weary with my crying out;

    my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
    with waiting for my God.

More in number than the hairs of my head

    are those who hate me without cause;
mighty are those who would destroy me,
    those who attack me with lies.
What I did not steal

    must I now restore?

O God, you know my folly;

    the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,

    O Lord God of hosts;
let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me,
    O God of Israel.

For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach,

    that dishonor has covered my face.

I have become a stranger to my brothers,

    an alien to my mother's sons.

For zeal for your house has consumed me,

    and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.

10 When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting,

    it became my reproach.

11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,

    I became a byword to them.

12 I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,

    and the drunkards make songs about me.

13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.

    At an acceptable time, O God,
    in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.

14 Deliver me

    from sinking in the mire;
let me be delivered from my enemies
    and from the deep waters.

15 Let not the flood sweep over me,

    or the deep swallow me up,
    or the pit close its mouth over me.

16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;

    according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.

17 Hide not your face from your servant;

    for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.

18 Draw near to my soul, redeem me;

    ransom me because of my enemies!

19 You know my reproach,

    and my shame and my dishonor;
    my foes are all known to you.

20 Reproaches have broken my heart,

    so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none,
    and for comforters, but I found none.

21 They gave me poison for food,

    and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.

22 Let their own table before them become a snare;

    and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.

23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,

    and make their loins tremble continually.

24 Pour out your indignation upon them,

    and let your burning anger overtake them.

25 May their camp be a desolation;

    let no one dwell in their tents.

26 For they persecute him whom you have struck down,

    and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.

27 Add to them punishment upon punishment;

    may they have no acquittal from you.

28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;

    let them not be enrolled among the righteous.

29 But I am afflicted and in pain;

    let your salvation, O God, set me on high!

30 I will praise the name of God with a song;

    I will magnify him with thanksgiving.

31 This will please the Lord more than an ox

    or a bull with horns and hoofs.

32 When the humble see it they will be glad;

    you who seek God, let your hearts revive.

33 For the Lord hears the needy

    and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.

34 Let heaven and earth praise him,

    the seas and everything that moves in them.

35 For God will save Zion

    and build up the cities of Judah,
and people shall dwell there and possess it;

36     the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,

    and those who love his name shall dwell in 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. 

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