Psalm 69:19 You know the insults I endure – my shame and disgrace. You are aware of all my rivals.
Psalm 69:20 Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but found no one.
Psalm 69:21 Instead, they gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
waiting for sympathy
Both David and Jesus experienced abuse with no sympathy. When our Lord was suffering on the cross, they wouldn’t even give him water to drink, but forced him to taste the bitterness of the vinegar.
There will probably be times in your life when you can taste the vinegar, as well. You have to trust God during those times. He has not forgotten you, nor has he forsaken you, even when you have no comfort from others.
Lord, may our awareness of your presence help us to endure the times when we get no comfort from others.
Psalm 69:16 Answer me, Yahveh, because your covenant faithfulness is good. In keeping with your abundant compassion, turn to me.
Psalm 69:17 Don’t hide your face from your servant, because I am in distress. Answer me quickly!
Psalm 69:18 Come near to me and redeem me; deliver me because of my enemies.
why we should pray
Why should we pray? Three reasons. First, God’s covenant faithfulness is good, and our prayers set his love in motion. Secondly, we get in distress by the things that happen to us. They make us think that God is hiding his face. We need his responses to our prayers to remind us that he will not leave us — that he will always be there for us. Thirdly, God is glorified when we prevail over our enemies. This includes actual adversaries and things like hardship and death which are also counted as our enemies. God’s reputation is at stake when the enemies have the upper hand.
Lord, thank you that you have given us access to your throne. Show us how to consistently avail ourselves of this privilege.
Psalm 69:13 But as for me, Yahveh, my prayer to you is for a time of favor. In your abundant, covenant faithfulness, God, answer me with your sure rescue.
Psalm 69:14 Rescue me from the miry mud; don’t let me sink. Let me be rescued from those who hate me and from the deep water.
Psalm 69:15 Don’t let the floodwaters sweep over me or the deep swallow me up; don’t let the Pit close its mouth over me.
down in the mud
What do you do when you are down in the mud, and you think you are going to sink? Do what David did. Cry out to God in prayer. He is invested in you. He gave his Son to die in your place on Calvary’s cross. He sent his Holy Spirit to empower you for a mission to reach the nations with his gospel. David was down in the mud, but he had no intention of staying there. He called out to the God who had rescued him in the past. He called out to the God who has a purpose for his life. David knew that he did not have the power himself to pull himself out of the pit. But he knew someone who does have that power, and so do we.
Psalm 69:4 Those who hate me without cause are more numerous than the hairs of my head; my deceitful enemies, who would destroy me, are powerful. Though I did not steal, I must repay.
Psalm 69:5 God, you know my foolishness, and my guilty acts are not hidden from you.
Psalm 69:6 Do not let those who put their hope in you be disgraced because of me, Lord Yahveh of Armies; do not let those who seek you be humiliated because of me, God of Israel.
Psalm 69:7 You see, I have endured insults because of you, and shame has covered my face.
Psalm 69:8 I have become a stranger to my brothers and a foreigner to my mother’s sons
Psalm 69:9 because zeal for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
Psalm 69:10 I mourned and fasted, but it brought me insults.
Psalm 69:11 I wore sackcloth as my clothing, and I was a joke to them.
Psalm 69:12 Those who sit at the city gate talk about me, and drunkards make up songs about me.
David lived in an honor/shame culture. To be humiliated or dishonored was a terrible thing for him, and he felt that shame. But even worse for him was the thought of bringing dishonor on those who trusted in his God.
Lord, may we be careful to live our lives in such a way as to bring honor to your name, and disgrace to your enemies.
Psalm 69:1 Rescue me, God, because the water has risen to my neck.
Psalm 69:2 I have sunk in deep mud, and there is no footing; I have come into deep water, and a flood sweeps over me.
Psalm 69:3 I am weary from my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.
deep water times
We all depend on water for life, but when the water gets deep, it can be life-threatening. David faced many challenges in his life where he could have prayed like this. Even though he was a man after God’s own heart, he was allowed to go through deep water times.
These times help us to focus on our relationship with God because it is during the deep water times that we realize that only he can help us.
Lord, thank you that we have someone to help us during the deep water times.
Psalm 68:32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the land; sing praise to the Lord, Selah
Psalm 68:33 to him who rides in the ancient, highest skies. Look, he thunders with his powerful voice!
Psalm 68:34 Ascribe power to God. His majesty is over Israel, his power is among the clouds.
Psalm 68:35 God, you are awe-inspiring in your sanctuaries. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!
As I write this, last night I replaced my home phone because I could not hear its ringer. The replacement phone is only a little better. I’m starting to think it might be my ears, and not the phone.
But I can still hear thunder. When it is near, thunder still shakes me — reminding me of a power much greater than myself — a power to which I call for help in time of need, and respect at all times.
God’s voice is unmistakable. He thunders when all the gods of the nations whisper. Listen to his voice. Look at the signs of his power and majesty.
Lord, thank you for your awesome power, and the thunder!
Psalm 68:28 Your God has decreed your strength. Show your strength, God, you who have acted on our behalf.
Psalm 68:29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem, kings will bring tribute to you.
Psalm 68:30 Rebuke the beast in the reeds, the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples. Trample underfoot those with bars of silver. Scatter the peoples who take pleasure in war.
Psalm 68:31 Ambassadors will come from Egypt; Cush will stretch out its hands to God.
rebuke the beast
The beast is a symbol of Gentile kings and empires. We learn more about the beast in the apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation. Here, the psalmist asks God to tame these beasts, whose only concern is their own power and violence and wealth. Instead, these Gentile kings will bring tribute to God in Jerusalem.
Lord, rebuke the beast, and cause us all to submit to your righteous rule.
Psalm 68:24 People have seen your procession, God, the procession of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.
Psalm 68:25 Singers lead the way, with musicians following; among them are young women playing tambourines.
Psalm 68:26 Bless God in the congregations; bless Yahveh from the fountain of Israel.
Psalm 68:27 There is Benjamin, the youngest, leading them, the rulers of Judah in their congregation, the rulers of Zebulun, the rulers of Naphtali.
Being in a parade is exciting, but watching a parade helps you to see the whole picture. From group to group, float to float, a watcher is impressed with the glory.
Such is the procession that the worshiper sees and relates in this psalm. From the singers to the leaders, each in turn showing the splendor of God.
Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord! Day after day he bears our burdens; God is our rescue. Selah.
Psalm 68:20 Our God is a God of rescue, and escape from death belongs to Yahveh my Lord.
Psalm 68:21 Surely God crushes the heads of his enemies, the hairy brow of one who goes on in his guilty acts.
Psalm 68:22 The Lord said, “I will bring them back from Bashan; I will bring them back from the depths of the sea
Psalm 68:23 so that your foot may wade in blood and your dogs’ tongues may have their share from the enemies.”
I will bring them back
Two major threats against Israel are highlighted in today’s text: the battles against kings on the way to Canaan (Og, king of Bashan was an example) and the ordeal that ended by God parting the Red Sea and protecting Israel as they walked through the parted waters. The point was, in both of these cases the miracle happened because God had said “I will bring them back” (22).
Christian, are you facing an ordeal right now? Are you facing an enemy which is certain to overpower you? Listen to these words from our deliverer God: “I will bring them back.” He does not promise to keep you from battling the enemy. But he does promise rescue.
Lord, thank you for going with us into battle, and promising to bring us back.
Psalm 68:15 Mount Bashan is God’s towering mountain; Mount Bashan is a mountain of many peaks.
Psalm 68:16 Why gaze with envy, you mountain peaks, at the mountain God desired for his residence? Yahveh will dwell there forever!
Psalm 68:17 God’s chariots are tens of thousands, thousands and thousands; the Lord is among them in the sanctuary as he was at Sinai.
Psalm 68:18 You ascended to the heights, taking away captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious, so that Yah – God might dwell there.
The Apostle Paul appears to have misquoted this passage in Ephesians 4:8.
Ephesians 4:8 (JDV)
For this reason it says: When he ascended on high, he took the captives captive; he gave gifts to humans.
Actually, Paul’s statement is easy to reconcile. His quote is actually only the first part of the verse. When he said “he gave gifts to humans” he is referring to the fact that those gifts he received (from the terrified Egyptians who wanted the Hebrews to just go away) went to the Hebrews themselves. So, although God did the Passover miracle, the Israelites received the gifts.
In the same way, When Jesus rose from the dead, and ascended to his throne in the sky, he left some parting gifts for his people. The equipping ministries of Ephesians 4:11 are Christ’s parting gifts to enrich the lives of his wandering congregation.