PSALM 69 - Messiah: The man of sorrows in His humiliation & rejection.
69:1 To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim,
Shoshannim {'lilies'}- ie., Springtime, Passover, as in Psa 45:1
[A Psalm] of David.
Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul.
The Holy Spirit led David to write this psalm.
But we do not know the circumstances which caused him to pray in this way.
However, the NT quotes portions of several verses, with reference to Christ (eg., v.4,9,13,21,22,25).
Therefore, we will consider the entire psalm as it relates to Him.
Psalms 68 & 69 are in startling contrast: The victorious LORD is also the Man of sorrows.
Here intermingled are His inner agonies of childhood & manhood, of Gethsemane & Calvary.
Save me... for the waters... in unto my soul.- The situation is desperate.
There is hope for a ship until the sea breaks into the hold.
69:2 I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing:
I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
deep mire- see Psa 40:1,2.
Sorrow gripped His being completely: within, around and over. cp. Jonah 2:1-5
He knows our sorrows. He entered into them to provide escape for us. Isa 43:2; Heb 4:15
69:3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried:
mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
I am weary...- ie., in toil, exhausted. His weariness was due to intensity in prayer.
Too often, our weariness of prayer is that of boredom or faithlessness.
Hoarse and depleted of tears from long and powerful pleading, He prays on.
I wait for my God.- God is the object of His desire.
He waits, not for the remedy, but for the Provider.
cp. Psa 13:1-3; Psa 22:1,2
Here, we are privileged to overhear...
A. The Continual Prayer of the Man of Sorrows throughout the "days of His flesh." vs. 1-3 -
cp. Luk 6:12; Heb 5:7
B. The Cause of the Reproach of the Man of Sorrows. vs. 4-7 -
(He came to restore what sin had taken away.)
69:4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head:
cp. Psa 40:12
they that would destroy me, [being] mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty:
"Joh 15:24-25" [Note: References in "quotes" are NT quotes of this Psalm.]
then I restored [that] which I took not away.
As He was hated, so He justified... without a cause.- Rom 3:24; 1Pet 3:18
"As our guilt offering He restored to God the love and obedience of which man had robbed God. He voluntarily charged Himself with our guilt as His own (v.5)." [GWms]
cp. Lev 5:14-16
69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
Interpreters stagger at this. Contrast the GWms comment at v.4 with:
"We dare not apply this verse to Christ. Surely, David's voice is heard here." [CHS]
(eg., David's foolishness brought dishonor upon His God. 2Sam 12:13,14)
However, in the following verses, it seems evident that Christ's voice is heard, above all others, as He took our reproaches upon Himself.
69:6 Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake:
let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
ashamed - ie., disappointed, disillusioned.
confounded - put to confusion, reproached.
He prayed that the reproaches which He bore (eg. v.7-12; Psa 22) would not undermine
the faith of God's people, but that they would understand. cp. Luk 7:19-23; Joh 6:60,61,66; Luk 22:31,32
69:7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach;
shame hath covered my face.
reproach - scorn, disgrace.
shame - disgrace, dishonor, insult.
face - face, presence, person.
for thy sake - David's shame could not be so described (cp. v.5).
Jesus knew disgrace because of His life of obedience.
His shame, like His obedience, reached its climax at the cross.
Php 2:8; Psa 22:6-8; Isa 53:2-4; Gal 3:13; Heb 12:2
C. The Continual Rejection of the Man of Sorrows. vs. 8-12 -
- - by His brethren, v.8-10,
- - by His neighbors, v.10-12
69:8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren,
and an alien unto my mother's children.
my mother's children - The virgin birth is clearly foretold here.
One factor which separated Jesus from His siblings was that they did not share the same father. His brothers were not His Father's children. The stigma of His assumed illegitimacy followed Him throughout His life. His brothers did not believe His message, and actually questioned His sanity, because His nature was foreign to them (see 1Cor 2:14).
cp. Mark 3:6, 21-22, 31-35; Joh 1:11; 7:3-5; 8:41,42
69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up {ie., has consumed me};
His preoccupation with "My Father's business" was incompatible with their unbelief.
Psa 119:139; Luk 2:48-50; "Joh 2:15-17"
and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
Though He sought only to please the Father,
Christ willingly bore the shame and disgrace which rightfully belongs to sinful men. "Rom 15:3"
69:10 When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
They made light of the heaviness of His burden of prayer (v.9)
and of His intensity and power in prayer (cp. v.10,11).
69:11 I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
cp. David's repentance. 2Sam 12:15-23
69:12 They that sit in the gate speak against me;
and I [was] the song of the drunkards.
in the gate- ie., the rulers of a city. All levels of society derided Him.
Following His 40 days fast, Jesus returned to Nazareth in the power of the Spirit.
All in the synagogue wondered at His gracious words.
Yet, all turned against Him. (cp. v.10-11, Luke 4:1-30)
He knew false accusation & derision. Mat 27:12,13; Mark 15:17-19; Joh 8:41,48,49
D. The final Prayer of the Man of Sorrows (in Gethsemene & on the cross). vs. 13-19 -
The sorrows of His earlier prayer (v.1-3) are intensified by reproaches, enemies, the pit...
69:13 But as for me, my prayer [is] unto thee, O LORD, [in] an acceptable time:
O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
The Father's answer to this prayer was assured in the OT (Isa 49:7,8)
and fulfilled in the NT, in His death and resurrection.
Since that day... "Now is the accepted time."
Today is the day of salvation, for all who will believe. "2Cor 6:1-2"
69:14 Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink:
let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
Psa 40:1-2, 12-13
69:15 Let not the waterflood overflow me,
neither let the deep swallow me up,
and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
cp. v.1-2; Jonah 2:1-5; and Mat 12:40
69:16 Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness [is] good:
turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
Psa 40:10,11
69:17 And hide not thy face from thy servant;
for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
Psa 22:11; Psa 40:13
69:18 Draw nigh unto my soul, [and] redeem it:
deliver me because of mine enemies.
Psa 22:19-21
69:19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour:
mine adversaries [are] all before thee.
1Pet 2:21-23
E. The Final Rejection of the Man of Sorrows. vs. 20-21 -
69:20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness:
Psa 42:10
and I looked [for some] to take pity, but [there was] none;
and for comforters, but I found none.
In Gethsemane, He asked His disciples to watch with Him.
They slept. They forsook Him, and fled. Mat 26:37,38; Mark 14:37,50
69:21 They gave me also gall for my meat;
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
{"Mat 27:34,48"}
At Golgotha: Jesus' crucifixion is clearly in view here. cp. Mark 15:23; Joh 19:29
gall - The HB word refers to a poisonous herb, venom.
The GK word, meaning "yellow," probably refers to myrrh.
vinegar - sour wine. The "comfort" which they offered Him was full of bitterness.
F. The Consequences of Rejecting the Man of Sorrows. vs. 22-28 -
69:22 Let their table become a snare before them:
and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a trap.
69:23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not;
and make their loins continually to shake.
Paul applies v.22-23 to Israel's rejection of Christ ("Rom 11:7-11").
The Passover Seder table speaks of Christ and His work in our behalf. From that table, Jesus took bread & wine and said, "This do in remembrance of Me" (Luk 22:15-20). But for His brethren in the flesh, Jesus continues to be a stone of stumbling. cp. Isa 8:14,15; Luk 2:34
Christ prayed from the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luk 23:34)
Therefore, it is best to view this imprecatory section (vs. 22-28) as the prophetic voice of the Holy Spirit speaking through David, rather than as the voice of Christ. Christ will be vindicated. His enemies will be judged. Yet, while the Day of Salvation is open, His enemies are offered the opportuntity of reconciliation through His sacrifice (Rom 5:8-10).
Let their eyes be darkened...- Because of their unbelief,
Israel has come under a judicial blindness to spiritual truth. Isa 6:9,10; Joh 9:39-41
We must not forget that this judgment is temporary. Rom 11:25-27
69:24 Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
Deut 28:64-67; Jer 30:6-9
69:25 Let their habitation be desolate; [and] let none dwell in their tents.
Jesus applied this verse to the nation of Israel, in Mat 23:34-"38".
Peter applied it to Judas Iscariot, in "Acts 1:20".
Peter's quote incorporates singular pronouns. However, since the pronouns, here in the psalm, are plural, Judas may be seen as representative of those who reject Christ.
69:26 For they persecute [him] whom thou hast smitten;
and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
Isa 53:4; Joh 15:20
69:27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity:
cp. Rom 1:28
and let them not come into thy righteousness.
Mat 23:13,27,28; Rom 10:2-4
69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living,
and not be written with the righteous.
There may be two books in view here:
  1. The book of the physically living (or, the book of Israel's congregation):
    From birth, every living human is spiritually dead, and in need of the new birth (Joh 3:5-7). Those who do not enter spiritual life during their lifetimes, will eventually be absent from the rolls of the living.
    cp. Psa 139:16; Ex 32:32,33
  2. The book of Salvation:
    Those who put their trust in God's Son, are born of God's Spirit. Joh 1:11-13
    Only such individuals are written into the Lamb's Book of Life.
    Once written, God's children are secure (never to be blotted out). eg., Eph 1:13,14
    cp. Luk 10:20; Php 4:3; Heb 12:23; Rev 3:5 (where 'the book of life' is contrasted with the roll books of apostate churches, from which a true believer might be excommunicated, for holding biblical faith in Christ alone); Rev 20:12-15
69:29 But I [am] poor and sorrowful:
let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
Crushed beneath His enemies, and bearing the weight of our sin,
the Savior returns to His prayer for deliverance. v.14-21; Psa 40:17
G. A Song of Praise: the Man of Sorrows is Salvation. vs. 30-36 -
(Note the sudden transition. With the realization of salvation, sorrows are forgotten (v.29), songs of praise fill the heart, mind and tongue.
69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song,
and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Psa 40:1-3
69:31 [This] also shall please the LORD better than an ox [or] bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
Psa 40:6-8; Heb 10:4-14- The one sufficient sacrifice has been accepted.
Psa 50:13,14; Heb 13:15- He is the reason for our praise and rejoicing.
69:32 The humble shall see [this, and] be glad: {cp. v.6}
and your heart shall live that seek God.
Psa 22:26; Isa 55:6,7
69:33 For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
Psa 22:23,24; Psa 68:6; Rev 2:10
69:34 Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.
Psa 96:8-13; Isa 44:21-26
69:35 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah:
that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.
Psa 102:12,13; Jer 33:10,11
69:36 The seed also of his servants shall inherit it:
and they that love his name shall dwell therein.
Joh 14:23; Joh 17:24-26; Rev 21:27

This Concludes the study in Psalm 69.
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