For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies.” Of David.
1 Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.
3 I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
looking for my God.
4 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.
5 You, God, know my folly;
my guilt is not hidden from you.
6 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.
7 For I endure scorn for your sake,
and shame covers my face.
8 I am a foreigner to my own family,
a stranger to my own mother’s children;
9 for zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
10 When I weep and fast,
I must endure scorn;
11 when I put on sackcloth,
people make sport of me.
12 Those who sit at the gate mock me,
and I am the song of the drunkards.
13 But I pray to you, Lord,
in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
answer me with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mire,
do not let me sink;
deliver me from those who hate me,
from the deep waters.
15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf me
or the depths swallow me up
or the pit close its mouth over me.
16 Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love;
in your great mercy turn to me.
17 Do not hide your face from your servant;
answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
18 Come near and rescue me;
deliver me because of my foes.
19 You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
all my enemies are before you.
20 Scorn has broken my heart
and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I found none.
21 They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
22 May the table set before them become a snare;
may it become retribution and a trap.
23 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.
24 Pour out your wrath on them;
let your fierce anger overtake them.
25 May their place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute those you wound
and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
27 Charge them with crime upon crime;
do not let them share in your salvation.
28 May they be blotted out of the book of life
and not be listed with the righteous.
29 But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
may your salvation, God, protect me.
30 I will praise God’s name in song
and glorify him with thanksgiving.
31 This will please the Lord more than an ox,
more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
32 The poor will see and be glad—
you who seek God, may your hearts live!
33 The Lord hears the needy
and does not despise his captive people.
34 Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and all that move in them,
35 for God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
Then people will settle there and possess it;
36 the children of his servants will inherit it,
and those who love his name will dwell there.
Have you ever played “spot the difference”? It’s a game where you’re presented with two pictures that look very similar, yet contain some key differences. For all the similarities, it’s the differences you really need to focus upon. That’s what it’s like as you read through the Psalms. You’re always comparing two pictures, and watching for differences. One picture is of David, God’s great Old Testament King, who wrote this and so many of the Psalms. The other picture is of a majestic coming King, greater than David, who truly fulfils the Psalm. When we turn the page to the New Testament and meet this greater king in the flesh, in the person of Jesus, we can play a great real life game of “spot the difference”.
The similarities are immediately noticeable, especially as we compare the picture painted by Psalm 69 with the picture of Jesus’ death on the cross: parched throat (verse 3), being hated without reason (verse 4), being scorned (verse 19), offered vinegar for his thirst (verse 21), afflicted and in pain (verse 29).
Yet it’s the differences that are really striking. David’s zeal for God’s house (verse 9) leads him to call down God’s wrath on his enemies (verse 24). Yet Jesus’ greater zeal for God’s house leads him to have God’s wrath fall on him at the cross, as he destroys the temple in his death and rebuilds it permanently in his resurrection (see John 2:13-22 where verse 9 of this Psalm is quoted). God’s judgment, as explored in this Psalm, remains a reality for God’s enemies (verse 28 is applied to Judas in Acts 1:20). Yet Jesus is the king who prays for his enemies from the cross, who dies for his enemies on that cross, that they might be spared that judgment. We are those enemies! So we rejoice also in the contrast between David’s voice in verse 28 and Jesus’ voice in the gospel: “I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels” (Revelation 3:5).
Head: What have you learnt about Jesus from Psalm 69? What have you learnt about yourself?
Heart: How does it make you feel that Jesus prayed for you – died for you – on the cross while you were his enemy (see Romans 5:8-10)? How does it make you feel that he gladly entered your name in the book of life?
Hands: As you go about your day, every time you are tempted to think, “Am I really loved?” or “Am I really secure” look to your king on the cross and know for certain that you are loved and secure.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that Jesus is the king who prays for his enemies. Thank you that Jesus is the king who dies for his enemies. For me. So please help me to live this day knowing that I am completely loved and completely secure even though there is so much happening at the moment that could make me feel very insecure. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.