Psalms 69:0 ¶ To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, A Psalm of David.
The Hebrew for “Shoshannim” references lilies, and some commentators conclude that this may identify the tune to which it was to be sung.
A good summary from JFB: “Mingling the language of prayer and complaint, the sufferer, whose condition is here set forth, pleads for God’s help as one suffering in His cause, implores the divine retribution on his malicious enemies, and, viewing his deliverance as sure, promises praise by himself, and others, to whom God will extend like blessings. This Psalm is referred to seven times in the New Testament as prophetical of Christ and the gospel times.”
Psalms 69:1 ¶ Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
Psalms 69:2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
Psalms 69:3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
It’s obvious that David is crying out to God from a very troubled heart and is totally overwhelmed by his circumstances. He feels like he is drowning spiritually. He has wept so much that his throat is parched. His hope has grown dim since it seems that God has not heard him.
How often we are tempted to lose hope because of our expectations, by how and when we think God should be acting on our behalf.
Psalms 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.
Psalms 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
I liked the CJB for verse 4: “Those who hate me for no reason outnumber the hairs on my head. My persecutors are powerful, my enemies accuse me falsely. Am I expected to return things I didn’t steal?”
It’s obvious that David is declaring his innocence of the wrong for which he is accused and attacked. The wording indicates that men who hate him have accused him of stealing and that tthose haters number more than the hairs on his head. He takes comfort in the truth that God knows all about him; He knows all of David’s foolish actions and sins. Implied—He also knows that David is being accused falsely and attacked without just cause.
It truly is a comfort to this child of God to know that God knows everything about me and loves me unconditionally. I have learned many hard lessons along the way in trying to please others, when the only person I need worry about pleasing is my Father in heaven.
Jesus used these words of David in describing those that hated Him for exposing their sin, declaring that David had actually been prophesying about Him as he penned the words of this psalm. Those that hated Him were “mighty.” They were the religious leaders that exercised great authority over the people.
John 15:24–25 “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.”
Like David, Jesus was overwhelmed with grief in the Garden of Gethsemane. He suffered for sins He did not commit. He felt that God had forsaken Him while He was on the cross.
Psalms 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.
David asked God not to let him be a stumblingblock to the faith of others because of the shame that he was enduring because of the false accusations against him.
I think in the days after Jesus was crucified and before His resurrection, it was likely that those that had followed Jesus faced mocking from the masses that had cried out for His crucifixion.
Spurgeon: “Our Lord's behaviour during his sharpest agonies is no cause of shame to us; he wept, for he was man, but he murmured not, for he was sinless man; he cried, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me;’ for he was human, but he added, ‘Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt,’ for his humanity was without taint of rebellion. In the depths of tribulation no repining word escaped him, for there was no repining in his heart. The Lord of martyrs witnessed a good confession. He was strengthened in the hour of peril, and came off more than a conqueror, as we also shall do, if we hold fast our confidence even to the end.”
Psalms 69:7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
Psalms 69:8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.
It sounds like David is suffering persecution for His faith in God. Or maybe it is a statement about how he has chosen to respond to the false accusations by waiting for God to intervene for him. Even his own brothers assumed the worst and were staying away from him.
Jesus also suffered shame as He obediently submitted to the will of His Father and suffered the shame of the cross. It seems that He, too, was rejected by His “mother’s children” until after the resurrection.
Another poignant quote from Spurgeon: “The Jews his brethren in race rejected him, his family his brethren by blood were offended at him, his disciples his brethren in spirit forsook him and fled; one of them sold him, and another denied him with oaths and cursings. Alas, my Lord, what pangs must have smitten thy loving heart to be thus forsaken by those who should have loved thee, defended thee, and, if need be, died for thee.”
Psalms 69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
Psalms 69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
Psalms 69:11 I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
Psalms 69:12 They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.
David was passionate in his zeal to honor God and those that were part of His spiritual “house” or family (from the Hebrew). When people blasphemed God, he took it personally. When David chose to fast and wear sackcloth because of his grief, he was mocked. He was the subject of gossip and the subject of derisive songs by the drunkards.
It should be noted that the disciples certainly considered this psalm to speak of the Messiah. John notes that they remembered the words of verse 9 when Jesus first overthrew the moneychangers at the temple.
John 2:13–17 “And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”
Psalms 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.
Psalms 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.
Psalms 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.
As David continues to plead with God to be merciful and deliver him at the time of His pleasure in accordance with His will, he asks the LORD not to let him sink in his calamity or misery (from the Hebrew). He begs God to deliver him from those that hate him that are the cause of his misery. I think verse 15 is a verse marking the urgency of his request by emphasizing that he felt like he was sinking in the mud or drowning and facing possible death.
Psalms 69:16 Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
Psalms 69:17 And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
Psalms 69:18 Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.
David expresses great faith in the love and abundant mercy of God. He pleads with God to answer his prayer quickly because he was in terrible trouble. He asks God to draw near to him and deliver him from his enemies.
Verse 16 reminded me of the words of Jeremiah.
Lamentations 3:22–23 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
Psalms 69:19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.
Psalms 69:20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
Psalms 69:21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Even as David presents his case to the LORD in prayer, he is aware that God knows what is happening to him and who his enemies are. David is brokenhearted over the whole situation and mourns the fact that there was no one to show him sympathy or comfort him. It seems that his enemies had tried to poison him (from Hebrew for “gall”) and gave him wine to mask the symptoms.
Regarding Messiah, it is obvious that God was aware of all that was happening to His Son and the identity of all those involved in making the false accusations against Him and insisting on His death. Verse 21 finds fulfillment as recorded in Matthew’s account of the crucifixion.
Matthew 27:34 “They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.”
Psalms 69:22 ¶ Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
Psalms 69:23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
Psalms 69:24 Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
Psalms 69:25 Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
Psalms 69:27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.
Psalms 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
David is basically asking God to curse his enemies. He wants God to avenge him and judge them in accordance with how they have treated him. I think verse 25 is calling for the LORD to ensure that they have no descendants to carry on their name. David wants God to blot their names out of the book of life so that they are condemned for eternity.
That’s a heavy statement. David was a warrior king living under the old covenant of the law and a culture predicated on an eye for an eye and vengeance. David did, however, know that it was not his right to take vengeance; that right belongs to God alone.
Psalms 94:1 “O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.”
We, under the new covenant of grace, know that “but for the grace of God go I.” God is not willing that any should perish, and our hearts should mirror His. I think the story of King Manasseh is one of the most amazing in scripture that testifies to this truth. He was one of the most wicked kings in Judah’s history; yet in His omniscience, the LORD patiently waited for Him to repent of his sins and submit to Him in faith.
2 Chronicles 33:9 “So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel.”
2 Kings 23:26 “Notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.”
2 Chronicles 33:12-13 “And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God.”
Psalms 69:26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
This verse is confusing. It sounds like the men that have slandered David are acting at a time in which David has already experienced the chastening hand of God against him.
Psalms 69:29 But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
David humbled himself before God, admitting himself to be poor and sorrowful, as he asks for God to rescue him.
I have been memorizing the beatitudes recently, so this verse immediately brought them to mind. I believe David examples the first three in this one verse.
Matthew 5:3–5 “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
Psalms 69:30 ¶ I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Psalms 69:31 This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
As is usually the case, David begins to close his psalm with words of praise and thanksgiving. He is committed to publicly praising God with thanksgiving, knowing that a sacrifice of praise will please Him even more than an animal sacrifice.
I think it a very amazing that the LORD considers our praise a sacrifice, but scripture is clear in stating that truth. It seems like such a small thing to me in light of all that we have in Jesus, but it is obviously something that pleases Him.
Jeremiah 33:11 “The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.”
Hebrews 13:15 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
Psalms 69:32 The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.
Psalms 69:33 For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
When those that are humble before the LORD witness the praise of those who endure suffering by looking to God with praise and thanksgiving, it encourages them to do the same. The LORD always hears the poor in spirit and esteems His people that are suffering.
Psalms 69:34 Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.
Psalms 69:35 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.
Psalms 69:36 The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.
David closes the psalm with a call for all in heaven and on earth to praise God—even the seas and every creature in them. God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah to be a safe home for His people. All the descendants of those that served God and those that love His name will be allowed to live there. This is definitely a reference to the time that Jesus comes to set up His kingdom on earth as King of kings as foretold by the prophets.
Isaiah 2:2–4 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
Micah 4:1–3 “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
Zechariah 8:20–22 “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.”