Psalm 69

Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.
I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
looking for my God.
Those who hate me without reason
outnumber the hairs of my head;
many are my enemies without cause,
those who seek to destroy me.
I am forced to restore
what I did not steal.
You, God, know my folly;
my guilt is not hidden from you.
Lord, the LORD Almighty,
may those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
may those who seek you
not be put to shame because of me.
For I endure scorn for your sake,
and shame covers my face.
I am a foreigner to my own family,
a stranger to my own mother’s children;
for zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
When I weep and fast,
I must endure scorn;
when I put on sackcloth,
people make sport of me.
Those who sit at the gate mock me,
and I am the song of the drunkards.
But I pray to you, LORD,
in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
answer me with your sure salvation.
Rescue me from the mire,
do not let me sink;
deliver me from those who hate me,
from the deep waters.
Do not let the floodwaters engulf me
or the depths swallow me up
or the pit close its mouth over me.
Answer me, LORD, out of the goodness of your love;
in your great mercy turn to me.
Do not hide your face from your servant;
answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
Come near and rescue me;
deliver me because of my foes.
You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
all my enemies are before you.
Scorn has broken my heart
and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I found none.
They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
May the table set before them become a snare;
may it become retribution and a trap.
May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.
Pour out your wrath on them;
let your fierce anger overtake them.
May their place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
For they persecute those you wound
and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
Charge them with crime upon crime;
do not let them share in your salvation.
May they be blotted out of the book of life
and not be listed with the righteous.
But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
may your salvation, God, protect me.
I will praise God’s name in song
and glorify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the LORD more than an ox,
more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
The poor will see and be glad —
you who seek God, may your hearts live!
The LORD hears the needy
and does not despise his captive people.
Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and all that move in them,
for God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
Then people will settle there and possess it;
the children of his servants will inherit it,
and those who love his name will dwell there.

Psalm 69 is heart-rending, especially to those of us who have faced the opposition, rejection, and misunderstanding that David faced. He cries, "Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck" (Psalm 69:1). I am sure many of us can relate.

However, those of us trying to live in imitation of Christ can take consolation that Jesus would also have identified with the sentiments expressed here. Jesus, too, faced opposition, rejection, and misunderstanding throughout his ministry. On one occasion, he told his disciples, "They hated me without reason" (John 15:25/Psalm 69:4). He quoted David's words as he referred to the unwarranted hostility and rejection from religious leaders and others who opposed him.

We can find other references to this psalm in the New Testament, showing a strong connection between Psalm 69 and the life, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. Listeners/readers might recall an angry Jesus scattering the money changers' coins and overturning their tables in the temple. His disciples then recalled the words from this psalm that said, "Zeal for your house consumes me." (John 2:17/Psalm 69:9).

Much later, when Jesus was dying on the cross, he said, "I am thirsty" (John 19:29). A jar of wine vinegar was there, so [the soldiers] soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips (John 19:29). This is a direct fulfillment of a prophecy contained in Psalm 69, which says, "They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst, they gave me sour wine to drink" (Psalm 69:21).

Through these connections, we see how Psalm 69 not only reflects David's personal experiences but also foreshadows the rejection and suffering that Jesus would endure. However, it also serves as a reminder of how Jesus fulfills the psalmist's desire to see God triumph over his enemies, which should encourage all of us to live in hope of victory.

God bless you.

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