This psalm is another of those that apply both to David and to Jesus. Whether from a time when David was on the run from Saul, we do not know, nor does it matter. He is crying out to God, clearly suffering and just as clearly afraid. Many appeals contained in this psalm are appropriate for prayer today at times when life is bleak:
Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.
But the psalm is indicative of the Messiah’s plight in places as well. Verse 4 (“They hated me without a cause”) is quoted by Jesus in John 15:25. Verse 9 (zeal for your house has consumed me) is quoted in John 2:17. And verse 21 (“They gave me poison for food,and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink”) is referred to in all four gospels (such as Luke 23:36). Indeed, this psalm is quoted by Paul in Romans 15:3 (69:9b), Romans 11:9 (69:22), Romans 11:10 (69:23), and Acts 1:20 (69:25).
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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