Psa 69: Anguishes of failure
the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies.” Of David.
Comments: Within this psalm we find David anguishing
over the dealings he has been having with those he considers his
enemies – and thus enemies of God. He feels he is sinking in a
quagmire of accusations, guilt and failure [see later] and cries
to the Lord for help [v.1,2]. As is not uncommon he obviously
has been asking but so far doesn't feel he has been heard [v.3].
He pours out his need [v.4-12], cries for God's help [v.13-21],
yearns for God to deal with his enemies [v.22-29], but determines
to praise God as he is sure He will act on behalf of His people
(and restore David) in the land. [v.30-36]
1: v.1-3: David Pleas to be heard by God
David pleads for God to stop him from drowning
me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.
It seems he has called on God but to no avail
am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
looking for my God.
2: v.4-12: The Causes of his anguish
He has accusatory enemies without number
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.
Yet he is conscious of his own failings and desires for forgiveness
God, know my folly;
my guilt is not hidden from you.
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.
This seems to have brought scorn on him even from his own family
I endure scorn for your sake,
and shame covers my face.
am a foreigner to my own family,
a stranger to my own mother's children;
zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who insult you
fall on me.
Even though he repents he is still mocked
I weep and fast,
I must endure scorn;
I put on sackcloth,
people make sport of me.
who sit at the gate mock me,
and I am the song of the drunkards.
3: v.13-21: His plea for help
So now he will seek God's help to deliver him from this mire
I pray to you, Lord
in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
answer me with your sure salvation.
me from the mire,
do not let me sink;
deliver me from those who hate me,
from the deep waters.
not let the floodwaters engulf me
or the depths swallow me up
or the pit close its mouth over me.
He appeals for God's mercy to rescue him
out of the goodness of your love;
in your great mercy turn to me.
not hide your face from your servant;
answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
near and rescue me;
deliver me because of my foes.
He anguishes for the way he has been treated
know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
all my enemies are
has broken my heart
and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I found none.
put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
4: v.22-29: His desire for his enemies to be dealt with by God
He desire is that those who have become his enemies will be dealt
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.
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
They seem to delight in joining in as God's discipline
they persecute those you wound
and talk about the pain of those you
them with crime upon crime;
do not let them share in your salvation.
Thus they deserve to be dealt with while he still need's God's
they be blotted out of the book of life
and not be listed with the righteous.
as for me, afflicted and in pain—
may your salvation, God, protect me.
5: v.30-36: His determination to praise God & see His works
Yet in the midst of this he will praise the Lord
will praise God's name in song
and glorify him with thanksgiving.
will please the Lord
than an ox,
more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
Thus the godly will see and give thanks as he knows God will act
poor will see and be glad—
you who seek God, may your hearts live!
and does not despise his captive people.
God will be praised as He re-establishes His people (under David
heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and all that move in them,
God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
Then people will settle there and possess it;
children of his servants will inherit it,
and those who love his name will dwell
Comments: In the midst of this not uncommon cry for
help from David, there are two unusual features that are not explained.
First, in verses 5 & 6 he indicates he has failed in some
way but that is not explained, only in as far as he feels it is
unjust [v.4c], and something of it has to do with the way he seeks
to honour the Lord [v.7 & 9]; otherwise it is a mystery what
has happened. Perhaps this enables us to more widely empathize
with David when we too fail.
other strange thing is that in verse 26 he recognises that the
way his ‘enemies' are treating him may be part of God's disciplining
of him, yet he takes exception to the way they seem to relish
this. This accords with other scriptures for elsewhere the Lord
says that although He has used the enemies of Israel to discipline
them, He will now judge those other nations for the way they did
it in arrogance and with no sense of pity.
we should also note that he feels God is not hearing him [v.3]
and that although he has been acting out his repentance [v.10-12]
that doesn't seem to be helping. Yet in the apparent face of the
spiritual dimensions of this not working for him, we might say,
he nevertheless determines to praise and honour God. From many
other psalms of his we see his assurances that God will act for
him and eventually does act for him. Although not actually said
here, the tone of the last verses imply this.]
to Psa 70