Psalm 69

To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, [A Psalm] of David.

Psalm 69: This psalm gives extensive expression to one of the major themes of the psalms: undeserved suffering. In this case, the suffering has come largely from the psalmist’s steadfastness in his commitment to the Lord. Because of this popular and needed motif, the psalm became a favorite of the New Testament writers who quote it frequently: verse 4 (John 15:25), verse 9 (John 2:17; Rom. 15:3), verses 22 and 23 (Rom. 11:9-10), verse 25 (Acts 1:20). The content of the psalm itself may best be viewed topically. It contains David’s lament (verses 1-4; 10-12, 19-21), his protestation of innocence (verses 5-9), his petition (verses 13-18; 22-29), and his vow of thanksgiving to be offered upon deliverance (verses 30-36).

Verses 1-36: This psalm is a prayer of desperation. David realizes that because he is hated by others, he may shortly be killed. Though he begs for rescue, and calls down curses on his enemies, he concludes the psalm with a high note of praise, with inferences concerning the coming messianic kingdom when all enemies of God’s people are dealt with swiftly and severely (compare Rev. 2:27). Much of this psalm was applied to Christ by the New Testament writers. This psalm expresses the feeling of any believer who is being horribly ridiculed, but it uniquely refers to Christ.

I.   The Pray of Desperation (69:1-28).

A.  The Description of His situation (69:1-3);

B.   The Reason for His Situation (69:4-12);

C.   The Hope for His Situation (69:13-18);

D.  The Reproach of His Situation (69:19-21);

E.   The Revenge for His Situation (69:22-28).

II.   The Promise of Salvation (69:29-36).

“Title”: Accord to Shoshannim”: The name of a tune (see note on Psalm 45: Title).

Verses 69:1-12: We should frequently consider the person of the Sufferer here spoken of, and ask why, as well as what he suffered. That, meditating thereon, we may be more humbled for sin, and more convinced of our danger, so that we may feel more gratitude and love, constraining us to live to His glory who died for our salvation. Hence we learn, when in affliction, to commit the keeping of our souls to God, that we may not be soured with discontent, or sink into despair. David was hated wrongfully, but the words here far more fully apply to Christ. In a world where unrighteousness reigns so much, we must not wonder if we meet with those that are our enemies wrongfully. Let us take care that we never do wrong. Then if we receive wrong, we may the better bear it. By the satisfaction Christ made to God for our sin by his blood, he restored that which he took not away, he paid our debt and suffered for our offences. Even when we can plead not guilty, as to men's unjust accusations, yet before God we must acknowledge ourselves to deserve all that is brought upon us. All our sins take rise from our foolishness. They are all done in God's sight. David complains of the unkindness of friends and relations. This was fulfilled in Christ, whose brethren did not believe on him, and who was forsaken by his disciples. Christ made satisfaction for us, not only by putting off the honors due to God, but by submitting to the greatest dishonors that could be done to any man. We need not be discouraged if our zeal for the truths, precepts, and worship of God, should provoke some, and cause others to mock our godly sorrow and deadness to the world.

Psalm 69:1 "Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul."

The petitioner is Christ. Not as a divine Person, as such he is blessed for ever, and stands in no need of help and assistance. But as man, and in distressed and suffering circumstances. As a priest, it was part of his work to intercede, as well as to offer sacrifice. And though he did not offer a sin offering for himself, yet he offered up supplications, with strong crying and tears. And, as the surety of his people, he prayed, in point of right and justice, both for himself and them (see John 17:4). The person petitioned is God the Father, who was able to save him, and always heard him; and did in this petition (Heb. 5:7). Which perfectly agrees with some petitions of Christ, recorded in the New Testament (John 12:27). Moreover, this may also design help and assistance from his divine Father, which was promised him, and he expected and had, in the acceptable time, in the day of salvation. And he was so saved in death, as that he abolished death, and destroyed him that had the power of it. And was quickly raised from the grave, and thereby saved out of it. And this he could have done himself, but he would be saved in a legal way, in a way of justice; and as a point of honor, when he had done the work, he, as a surety, engaged to do. The reasons enforcing this petition follow.

"For the waters are come in unto my soul": The Messiah represents his case, in these words (and in Psalm 69:2). As like to that of a man standing up to his chin in water, and the waters running into his mouth, just suffocating him. And that in a miry place, where he could not set his feet firm, nor get himself out; and even overflowed with the floods, and immersed in the deep waters, and so in the most imminent danger. These overwhelming waters may signify the floods of ungodly men that encompassed him, the assembly of the wicked that enclosed him; and the proud waters that went over his soul. The Gentiles and people of Israel, that were gathered against him to destroy him; and so the Targum interprets it of the camp of sinners, that pressed him on every side, as water. The whole posse of devils may also be designed, for now was the hour and power of darkness. Satan, and his principalities and powers, came in like a flood upon him, to swallow him up. Innumerable evils, the sins of his people, came upon him from every quarter, and pressed him sore. The curses of the law fell upon him, which may be compared to the bitter water of jealousy that caused the curse. These entered into him, when he was made a curse for his people. And the wrath of God went over him, and lay hard upon him, and came about him like water, into his very soul, which made him exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.

In this whole chapter, we will see the Son of God portrayed, as well as David. Not in every verse will He be shown, but in nearly every verse. Watch with me as we begin this study, and see if you too cannot see the Lord. In this very first verse, we can see Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane praying so earnestly to the Father for the cup to pass from Him that a sweat of blood was on His forehead. There was at this moment a flooding of His soul. I believe the dread was for that one terrible moment, when the Father would turn from Him. We also see David in this, crying to God to save him. Christians all over the world are crying this same cry now. God, please do not turn from us. Our souls are troubled.

Psalm 69:2 "I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me."

Which signifies not despair of mind, but difficult and distressed circumstances. The Messiah now bearing the filthy sins of his people, and the punishment of them, and so was gotten into the horrible pit, the mire and clay (see notes on Psalm 40:2).

"I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me": As afflictions are often compared to waters in Scripture. Christ's sorrows and sufferings are very aptly signified by deep waters and overflowing floods. And therefore, rightly called a baptism, as by himself (Luke 12:50), when he was as one immersed in and overwhelmed with water.

Have you ever been to the point that you thought if God does not intervene today, I will not be able to stand any longer? The more you attempt to do what is right, the deeper in the mud you get and the higher the problems come up like a raging river. If help does not come, you will go under.

Psalm 69:3 "I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God."

I have prayed and cried to God long and fervently, and yet God seems to neglect and forsake me.

"My throat is dried": With loud and frequent cries.

"Mine eyes fail while I wait for my God": God the Father was the God of Christ, as he was man. He prepared a body for him, and anointed his human nature with the Holy Spirit. He supported and upheld him. And as such Christ loved him, believed in him, prayed to him, and waited and looked for help and salvation from him. This being delayed, his eyes failed with intense looking about for it, as well as with grief and tears.

Jesus prayed three times for the cup to pass. He submitted His will to the will of the Father. David is crying desperately to God. I have felt this same despair in my Christian ministry. It is as if there is no strength left in you to fight with. Waiting sometimes can be a painful experience.

Psalm 69:4 "They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, [being] mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored [that] which I took not away."

“Hate me” (quoted in John 15:25).

David faced numerous critics, whom he described hyperbolically as “more than the hairs of mine head”. Those, “they that would destroy me” were very powerful people who attacked him unjustly. These words were fulfilled in the sufferings of Jesus (109:3-5; John 15:23-25).

More than anyone else who ever lived, Jesus was hated without a cause. Truly those opposed to Jesus were more than the hairs of His head. Jesus had done nothing to harm any of these people who were against Him. Jesus went around doing good. He healed the sick, cast out devil spirits, and raised the dead. Jesus bought salvation for even those who rejected Him, if they would repent and turn to Him. Paul was among those opposed to Jesus, until the face to face encounter with Jesus. It was not just the worldly people who were opposed to Jesus, it was the church people along with the world. There was Rome, there was just the average citizen, and there were the scribes and the Pharisees as well. It gives us some consolation, when we are undergoing so much opposition (trying to do good), that our Lord suffered much more persecution than we could ever stand. David felt this same opposition, and some of it from his own family.

Psalm 69:5 "O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee."

This does not conflict with a true Messianic application of the Psalm, but is fatal to that which would see in the author not an imperfect type, but a prophetic mouthpiece of Christ.

"And my sins are not hid from thee": But, O Lord, although I have been innocent toward mine enemies, yet I must confess I am guilty of many sins and follies against thee, and have given thee just cause to punish me by giving me up into their hands, and by denying or delaying to help me.

This Scripture does not apply to the Lord at all. He was completely without sin. It does however, apply to David and to us. David made some foolish mistakes with Bath-sheba. We have done things we wish we could take back too. We may be able to hide from the world, but we cannot hide from God. He knows even every evil thought we have ever had. Praise God! My sins are forgiven.

Psalm 69:6 "Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel."

“Be ashamed”: The psalmist fears that his dismal situation may be a stumbling block to other believers.

This does not apply to the Lord either. Jesus did not have short comings. I have thought myself Lord, please do not let my short comings cause anyone to have reason to fall away from you. The non-believer is watching every move you make trying to figure out something that he can ridicule Christianity for. Weak Christians are also looking to find some reason why it is alright for them to go back into the world. Some will go so far as to say, I told you it was not real. In both of these cases, this is someone who does not have the right relation with God. If we have the right relation with the Lord, the following Scriptures are true in our life.

Romans 8:35-39 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" "As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come," "Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Psalm 69:7 "Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face."

In thy cause; in defense of thy truth; because I have professed to be a friend of God. The true reason why these calamities have come upon me is that I have been thy professed friend, and have endeavored to do my duty to thee. The reproach connected with religion in a world of sin, or where true religion is hated, has fallen on me.

"Shame hath covered my face": The idea here is not that he had himself been ashamed of religion or of the service of God, but that he had suffered shame, derision, reproach among people for his professed attachment to the truth (compare Psalm 44:15-16).

Jesus bore our sin upon His body on the cross. He was not guilty of sin, we were. Jesus went around telling the truth, and it made the religious people of His day angry. Their religion offered regulation. His message brought hope. Jesus came to the Jewish people first, and they rejected Him. We cannot put all the blame on them however. Our sin really brought Jesus to such shame. It was our sin that He took on His body that caused the shame to cover His face.

Psalm 69:8 "I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children."

“Alien … children”: Even his family rejected him (compare Matt. 12:46-50; John 7:3-5).

Jesus half-brothers and sisters did not accept Him for who He said He was, until after He rose from the grave. Notice, (mother's children). Joseph was the father of the rest, but Jesus' Father was the Holy Spirit of God.

Psalm 69:9 "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me."

“Hath eaten me up”: The psalmist has brought hatred and hostility on himself by his unyielding insistence that the behavior of the people measure up to their outward claim of devotion to God. Whenever God was dishonored he felt the pain, because he loved God so greatly. Jesus claimed for Himself this attitude, as indicated (in John 2:17; Rom. 15:3).

David was zealous for the “house” of the Lord, just as Phinehas had been before him in (Num. chapter 25). This verse is also prophetic of Jesus’ cleansing of the temple (in John 2:13-17).

This zeal spoken of here, is the keeping of the letter of the law. These people in authority in the temple, had been taught by Gamaliel. They knew the letter of the law; they did not know the lawgiver. Those who had said ugly things about God and His temple are now turning that anger to the Son of God. They are trying to stop Jesus. If the temple had been a threat to them, think what greater threat it would be for the powerful ministry of Jesus to come against them.

Psalm 69:10 "When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach."

In thy cause; in defense of thy truth; because I have professed to be a friend of God. The true reason why these calamities have come upon me is that I have been thy professed friend, and have endeavored to do my duty to thee. The reproach connected with religion in a world of sin, or where true religion is hated, has fallen on me.

"Shame hath covered my face": The idea here is not that he had himself been ashamed of religion or of the service of God, but that he had suffered shame, derision, reproach among people for his professed attachment to the truth (compare Psalm 44:15-16).

Jesus was accused no matter what He did. He really did not need food. At one point He told the disciples that He had food that they knew not of. He was not speaking of physical food, but of spiritual food. When Jesus joined in and ate with the others, the people called Him a glutton and a winebibber. They were never satisfied; they were just looking for anything to accuse Him of. Jesus had no reason to fast. This particular part of the verse possibly, has to do with David.

Psalm 69:11 "I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them."

“Sackcloth”: David’s wearing of sackcloth, a symbol of grief, brought even more ridicule.

When a person was dedicated to prayer, it was the custom to wear sackcloth and not eat. This showed total separation from the world. It was saying, that the world and all it has to offer were not important.

Psalm 69:12 "They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I [was] the song of the drunkards."

“Sit in the gate”: The highest in society, those who sat in the gate of a city, were usually governmental officials. Even there, city leaders were gossiping about the psalmist.

“Song of the drunkards”: The dregs of society, the drunkards, ridiculed David in their raucous songs.

Just about the worst thing there is in a community, is the corner where those without work hang around. Gossip is traded regardless of whether it is true or not, and most of the time it is not true. Some people get their thrills by trying to tear someone else down. Gossipers are house wreckers, not builders. This is saying, that even the drunkards are in on this gossip.

 

Verses 13-21: Whatever deep waters of affliction or temptation we sink into, whatever floods of trouble or ungodly men seem ready to overwhelm us, let us persevere in prayer to our Lord to save us. The tokens of God's favor to us are enough to keep our spirits from sinking in the deepest outward troubles. If we think well of God, and continue to do so under the greatest hardships, we need not fear but he will do well for us. And if at any time we are called on to suffer reproach and shame for Christ's sake, this may be our comfort, that he knows it. It bears hard on one that knows the worth of a good name, to be oppressed with a bad one. But when we consider what a favor it is to be accounted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus, we shall see that there is no reason why it should be heart-breaking to us. The sufferings of Christ were here particularly foretold, which proves the Scripture to be the word of God. And how exactly these predictions were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, which proves him to be the true Messiah. The vinegar and the gall given to him, were a faint emblem of that bitter cup which he drank up, that we might drink the cup of salvation. We cannot expect too little from men; miserable comforters are they all. Nor can we expect too much from the God of all comfort and consolation.

Psalm 69:13 "But as for me, my prayer [is] unto thee, O LORD, [in] an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation."

While they scoff, I will pray, and not be driven from thee, nor from prayer and other duties, by all their reproaches, or any other discouragements.

"In an acceptable time": In a time of grace, of good will, or good pleasure. These words may be joined, either, first, with the following. By way of limitation, thus: "Hear me" in thy accepted time. That is, I do not limit thee to any time; but when thou seest it will be best, hear and help me. Or rather, with the foregoing, as an argument to enforce his prayer: as if he had said, I pray in a time of grace, or acceptance. I seek thee when thou mayest be found (see Psalm 32:6; Isa. 55:6).

"O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me": Or, "in the greatness of thy mercy." I.e. as thy mercy is so great.

“In the truth of thy salvation”: In the exercise of that fidelity which secures the salvation of all that trust it".

Jesus did not ask for mercy from the authorities. David is not going to earthly authorities for help either. He is praying to the Lord for help. The acceptable time for salvation is today. Jesus came to this earth at the appointed time and showed God's great mercy for mankind. There is salvation in no other.

Psalm 69:14 "Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters."

In which he was sinking (Psalm 69:2); and accordingly he was delivered out of it (Psalm 11:2). Even out of all the mire of sin, the sins of his people that were upon him, from which he was justified when raised from the dead. And so will appear without sin, when he comes a second time.

"Let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters": These phrases design the same, even the enemies of Christ; such that hated him, compared to deep waters. These are the floods of the ungodly, and the many waters out of which he was drawn and delivered (Psalm 18:4).

Psalm 69:15 "Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me."

“Pit shut her mouth”: The “pit” was another word for Sheol, the realm of the dead. The psalmist felt that death was imminent.

David is crying to God to deliver him. The children of Israel cried this same cry, when they were in the mud in Egypt making brick as slaves. You and I cry this too, in a world that is about to drown us in the sin and filth all around us. Sometimes it feels as if we are about overcome. That is when we must cry the harder to the Lord to deliver us. The pit could be speaking of hell as well. Without Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior, we would be headed for an eternity in that very pit. He came and saved us.

Psalm 69:16 "Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness [is] good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies."

Thy mercy, thy favor is good. That is, it is ample, abundant, great. It delights in deeds of mercy and in acts of benevolence. This was the only ground of his plea; and this was enough (compare Psalm 63:3).

"Turn unto me": Incline thine ear unto me; turn not away, but be favorable to me.

"According to the multitude of thy tender mercies": See the (notes at Psalm 51:1). He felt that he had occasion for the exercise of "all" the mercy of God. That the case was one which could be reached only by the exercise of the highest kindness and compassion.

Psalm 69:17 "And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily."

The Psalmist pleads his calling: surely God cannot continue to withhold His favor and help from one who is bound to His service and devoted to His cause. The plea would have special force if the Psalmist was a prophet like Jeremiah (Amos 3:7; compare Psalm 27:9; 31:16; 44:24). Not that he feared that God would not hear him, but that care made him think that God delayed too long.

Psalm 69:18 "Draw nigh unto my soul, [and] redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies."

To support and relieve it, O thou who seems to be departed far away from me. Partly because they persecute my soul, and greedily seek to destroy it. And partly because they are thine as well as mine enemies.

"And redeem it": That is, from the power of the grave. Not leave it there, but raise him from the dead, and give him glory, as he did.

"Deliver me because of mine enemies": I.e. because of their plots and machinations (see verse 4). And if they succeed, will triumph not only over me, but in some sort over thee, and over religion.

Turn unto me and help me, not because I deserve it, but because you are kind. Thy mercy Lord, is sufficient for me. Isn't it strange how we can relate so closely to what David is saying here, and he lived thousands of years before us? We all cry help; I am in trouble.

Psalm 69 Questions

1.      What message do we see spiritually about Jesus in verse 1?

2.      What was the dread that Jesus had?

3.      What is the condition of the true Christian around the world today?

4.      Have you ever been to the point that you thought, if God does not intervene today, I will not be able to stand?

5.      How many times did Jesus pray for the cup to pass from Him?

6.      Waiting sometimes can be a _________ experience.

7.      They that hate me without a cause are more than the _______ ____ ____ _______.

8.      Who, in all of history, could say this and it be the most truthful?

9.      Who were those opposed to Jesus without cause?

10.  What brings some consolation to us, when we are being persecuted unjustly?

11.  Who lived completely without sin?

12.  What was one of the foolish mistakes David made?

13.  What do Christians have reason to praise God about pertaining to their sin?

14.  Who is watching every move the Christian makes, besides God?

15.  Read aloud Romans 8:35- 39.

16.  Jesus bore our sin upon His ______ upon the cross.

17.  What made the religious people of Jesus day angry with Him?

18.  When did Jesus' half-brothers and sisters believe who He really was?

19.  Why does verse 8 say, alien to my mother's children?

20.  What is the zeal in verse 9?

21.  They knew the letter of the law, they did not know the _____________.

22.  When Jesus ate, what did the people call Him?

23.  What was the food that Jesus said He had, that the disciples did not know about?

24.  When a person had totally dedicated themselves to prayer, what did they wear?

25.  What is verse 12 all about?

26.  Who is our salvation in?

27.  Did David ask for help of those around him?

28.  What are the Christians, in the world today, about to drown in?

29.  Turn unto me according to thy __________ __________.

30.  Do you find it strange that we relate so closely to the problems of David?

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