Read Psalm 69
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.
It’s hard to imagine many things worse than drowning. The claustrophobic, desperate feeling of the floods engulfing us and the waters coming up to our necks sounds miserable. And while we may not know the literal, physical experience of drowning, we all know what it’s like to feel metaphorically like we’re drowning. We know what it’s like to have no foothold and to feel like we’re sinking. Whether it’s financial pressures, a semester’s worth of papers and finals, the challenges of a failing marriage or difficult children, or loneliness and depression, we all know what it feels like to be worn out, wondering if God even sees or hears us. In Psalm 69:3, David writes, “I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.”
Cognitively we know He’s there and we know He sees and hears us. But some days it feels like He’s distant, uncaring, mute, blind, or just plain tired of us. Life doesn’t seem fair—we defend Him, endure scorn and shame (v. 7), and when we even do things like fast, we’re still picked on, mocked, and scorned (v. 10-12).
Fortunately David knows what’s right and true about God, and we would do well to remind ourselves of the same. He loves us (v. 13), is merciful (v. 16), can rescue and deliver us (v. 16), and will execute justice in His time and His way (v. 24). When we feel alone, unseen, and forgotten, we need to remember what’s right and true about the Lord. We can be thankful for David who was human just like us and can follow his lead when we struggle. And not only does David cry out to the Lord, He also praises and glorifies Him (v. 30).
Today when you feel forgotten or alone, remember we are NEVER alone. Be encouraged by the truths of who God is today and remind others of what’s true and right about God. Whether you’re standing on firm ground or sinking in the miry depths, God is with you always (Matthew 28:19-20).
- Who can you encourage today with the truths of Psalm 69?
- When you feel forgotten, unseen, or discouraged, what’s your typical response?
- How can you be more like David in this Psalm and turn to the Lord even when it feels like He’s not there or doesn’t care?
Did You Know?
Psalm 69 is often quoted in the New Testament, perhaps most famously Psalm 69:9a. In this verse, David says, “for zeal for your house consumes me,” which Jesus quotes in John 2:17 when He cleanses the temple.
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