June 23 2023
Today, Friday June 23
“Save Me, O God!”
To the Chief Musician. Set the ‘The Lilies.’ A Psalm of David.
“Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me. I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. Those who hate me without a cause Are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, Being my enemies wrongfully; Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it. O God, You know my foolishness; And my sins are not hidden from You.
For the next few days, we will be meditating and looking at Psalm 69. From the title we learn that is another of David’s Psalms. Again, he wrote it to the “Chief Musician” who was to sing it to the tune of “The Lilies”. Maybe that was a popular tune in those days. This is the second time we have a Psalm entitled "upon the lilies." In Psalm 41, they were golden lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh, and blooming in the fair gardens which skirt the ivory palaces. But in Psalm 69, we have the Lily among thorns, the Lily of the valley, fair and beautiful, Jesus Christ in His agony praying in the garden of Gethsemane.
This psalm has long been considered Davidic even though there is nothing in David's life which resembles the things he says. We must remember that David was not only a poet but that he was also a prophet. That is the key to this psalm. From beginning to end it points forward to Christ. This is not about David, but about great David's greater Son, Jesus Christ.
As I was reading this Psalm in preparation for our chat today, I couldn’t help but think of the Ethiopian eunuch on his way back home from Jerusalem reading about a man suffering in Isaiah 53. When Philip the evangelist heard him reading this, he joined him and asked this question: "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth." So the eunuch answered Philip and said, "I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?" Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him” (Acts 8:30-35).
When you read Psalm 69 you might ask the same question: “Who is David the prophet speaking about, himself or some other man?” And again, the answer would be: “Some other Man named Jesus!”
As we study this Psalm, we will see that it is both a Messianic Psalm, and a imprecatory Psalm. After Psalms 22 and 110, it also has the distinction of being the most frequently quoted psalm in the New Testament. Over the years as I have read this Psalm, I noticed that the Psalmist is speaking of a person who is in a time of deep distress and I wrote these words over the top of it in my Bible: “dishonor” (vv. 7, 19), “distress” (v. 17), “despair” (v. 20), “desolation” (v. 25).
Also, throughout the Psalm I saw the Psalmist crying out these words and wrote them over it too: “Save me” (v. 1), “Deliver me” (v. 14), “Hear me” (v. 16), “Redeem me” (v. 18), “Ransom me” (v. 18), and “Revive me” (v. 32).
David begins by asking for deliverance for his own sake (vv. 1-5) and describes his dangerous situation with the metaphor of a drowning man. (See Psalms 18:4-6; 30:1; 32:6; 42:7; 88:7, 17; 130:1-2.) His cries to God show how desperate the situation was. He had prayed to the Lord, but the Lord had not yet answered (v. 3), and he wanted an answer now! (v. 17).
Though David was not sinless (v. 5), he was innocent of the charges his enemies were making, and yet he was being treated as though he were guilty (v. 4). This reminds us of our Savior, who was sinless yet treated like a transgressor (Isa. 53:5-6, 9, 12). (See also Psalms 35:11-19; 38:19; 109:3; 119:78, 86, 161.) Jesus quoted verse 4, “they hated Me without a cause”, in the upper room discourse (John 15:25). Referring to verses 1-2, Amy Carmichael wrote, "Our waters are shallow because His were deep." How true!
Maybe today you feel like you are drowning in the waters of trouble and turmoil in your life. You can make this Psalm your prayer, and cry out to the Lord and be assured He will hear your cry! Remember Psalm 34:6, “This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.”