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Psalm 69

Prayer for Deliverance from Persecution

To the leader: according to Lilies. Of David.


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.


I am weary with my crying;

my throat is parched.

My eyes grow dim

with waiting for my God.



More in number than the hairs of my head

are those who hate me without cause;

many are those who would destroy me,

my enemies who accuse me falsely.

What I did not steal

must I now restore?


O God, you know my folly;

the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.



Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me,

O Lord G od of hosts;

do not let those who seek you be dishonored because of me,

O God of Israel.


It is for your sake that I have borne reproach,

that shame has covered my face.


I have become a stranger to my kindred,

an alien to my mother’s children.



It is zeal for your house that has consumed me;

the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.


When I humbled my soul with fasting,

they insulted me for doing so.


When I made sackcloth my clothing,

I became a byword to them.


I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate,

and the drunkards make songs about me.



But as for me, my prayer is to you, O L ord.

At an acceptable time, O God,

in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.

With your faithful help 14rescue me

from sinking in the mire;

let me be delivered from my enemies

and from the deep waters.


Do not let the flood sweep over me,

or the deep swallow me up,

or the Pit close its mouth over me.



Answer me, O L ord, for your steadfast love is good;

according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.


Do not hide your face from your servant,

for I am in distress—make haste to answer me.


Draw near to me, redeem me,

set me free because of my enemies.



You know the insults I receive,

and my shame and dishonor;

my foes are all known to you.


Insults have broken my heart,

so that I am in despair.

I looked for pity, but there was none;

and for comforters, but I found none.


They gave me poison for food,

and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.



Let their table be a trap for them,

a snare for their allies.


Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,

and make their loins tremble continually.


Pour out your indignation upon them,

and let your burning anger overtake them.


May their camp be a desolation;

let no one live in their tents.


For they persecute those whom you have struck down,

and those whom you have wounded, they attack still more.


Add guilt to their guilt;

may they have no acquittal from you.


Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;

let them not be enrolled among the righteous.


But I am lowly and in pain;

let your salvation, O God, protect me.



I will praise the name of God with a song;

I will magnify him with thanksgiving.


This will please the L ord more than an ox

or a bull with horns and hoofs.


Let the oppressed see it and be glad;

you who seek God, let your hearts revive.


For the L ord hears the needy,

and does not despise his own that are in bonds.



Let heaven and earth praise him,

the seas and everything that moves in them.


For God will save Zion

and rebuild the cities of Judah;

and his servants shall live there and possess it;


the children of his servants shall inherit it,

and those who love his name shall live in it.

5. O God! thou knowest my foolishness Augustine has labored to little purpose to show in what way these words are applicable to Christ; and at length he transfers to his members that which could not properly be said of the Head. 7272     According to Augustine, the Messiah, when he says “my foolishness” and “my iniquities,” speaks of the sins of men which were imputed to him, and for which he suffered and died under the curse of the law, which treated him as if he had been a sinner, in consequence of the sins thus imputed to him. A similar interpretation is given by Bishops Horsley and Horne, as well as many others. “The Messiah,” says the first of these critics, “here, as in many places, may speak of the follies and crimes of men, for which he had made himself answerable as his own.” Admitting, as we are disposed to do, although Calvin takes an opposite view, that the passage is applicable to Christ, it may be doubted whether this is the correct interpretation. The sins of those for whom Christ died, by being imputed to him, no doubt became his in the eye of the law, in such a sense as to make him answerable for them. But the Scriptures, be it observed, while they speak of him as “wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities,” and as “bearing our sins in his own body on the tree,” as if afraid to use any forms of expression which would even seem to derogate from his immaculate purity, never speak of the sins of those for whom he died as his own sins. What Horsley adds, as an additional explanation, is very unguarded. “Perhaps,” says he, “He who, although he was without sin, was yet tempted in all points like up to us, might, in his humility, speak of the incitement of the passions in his own mind as weakness and fault, making confession of it before the Father.” Nothing, doubtless, was farther from the mind of the prelate than to teach any thing inconsistent with the perfect holiness of the Son of God; and he expressly warns that “he was without sin;” but the language which he employs is scarcely consistent with this position, and it can convey no idea on the subject except an erroneous one. “The prince of this world cometh,” said Jesus to his disciples, “and hath nothing in me” — hath nothing in me, that is, to use the words of Dr Doddridge, “no guilt of mine to give him power over me; nor any inward corruption, to take part with his temptations.” The explanation of the text, which appears to be the most natural and consistent, is that which considers the Savior as solemnly appealing to the Father in vindication of his innocence. His enemies falsely charged him with crimes, and made these charges the ground of their cruel and malignant proceedings against him. The Divine Sufferer, therefore, with confidence appeals to God, saying, Thou, who art the omniscient and all-righteous Judge, knowest that I am innocent of the crimes laid to my charge, and I invoke thee to plead my cause. This interpretation, which is adopted by many eminent critics, as Dr Boothroyd, Dr Morrison, Walford, and others, is strongly supported by the context. The preceding verse contains strong assertions of his innocence; and it was very natural to accompany these with an appeal from the falsehood and calumny of men, to the all-seeing and righteous Judge of the universe. David here uses the language of irony; and by this mode of expressing himself he meant to intimate, that, overwhelmed with the unrighteous judgments of men, he betakes himself to God, and implores him to appear as the defender of his cause. This is much more emphatic than if he had affirmed plainly, and without figure, that his integrity was known to God. In this way he administers a sharp rebuke to his enemies, and as it were looks down with a noble contempt upon the calumnious speeches which they uttered against him; as Jeremiah does when he says,

“O Lord! thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived.”
(Psalm 20:7)

Some ignorant people put a violent construction on these words of Jeremiah, as if they implied that he was actually deceived; whereas he is rather to be understood as deriding with bitter sarcasm his calumniators, who, in speaking evil of him, were chargeable with reproaching and blaspheming God himself. David in like manner, in the passage before us, as a means of preserving himself from succumbing under the perverse judgments of men, appeals to God as the judge of his cause; and possessing as he did the approving testimony of a good conscience, he regards in a great measure with indifference the unjust estimate which men might form of his character. It were indeed desirable that our integrity should also be acknowledged and approved of by men, and that not so much on our own account as for the edification of our brethren. But if, after we have done all in our power to make men form a favorable opinion respecting us, they misconstruct and pervert every good word which we utter, and every good action which we perform, we ought to maintain such greatness of mind as boldly to despise the world and all false accusers, resting contented with the judgment of God and with that alone; for those who are over anxious about maintaining their good name cannot but often experience fainting of heart. Let us be always ready to satisfy men; but if they refuse to listen to what we have to say in self-vindication, let us proceed in our course through evil report as well as good report, following the example of Paul where he fearlessly appeals to the judgment of God,

“who will bring to light the hidden things of dark,”
(1 Corinthians 4:5)

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