“Save me, O God!” David cried out to the Lord in a time of great distress. David’s enemies were numerous and powerful. They hated him “without cause.” He was aware of his own sin, but would he now be forced to “restore” what he “did not steal?”
The king knew that his actions in this time of difficulty would have implications for the lives of many other people. He did not want to sin in his response to injustice, in part because of the “shame” and “dishonor” that it might bring upon others.
David also understood that the events that were transpiring all around him had something to do with the Lord’s purposes. “It is for Your sake that I have borne reproach.” It was because of his devotion to God that many people stood against him. “Zeal for Your house has consumed me.” Those that were against David were actually expressing their anger with God by speaking against His anointed. “The reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.”
When David humbled himself before the Lord, his enemies took that opportunity to express their displeasure. These attacks hurt the King deeply, but he affirmed in Psalm 69 that he was not fasting and crying out to God in order to make friends among men. “My prayer is to You, O Lord.” He appealed to His God for deliverance, trusting that the Lord would hear him and provide the salvation that he needed.
Throughout this psalm of David we recognize New Testament quotations that take us beyond the life of the king. When we read, “They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink,” we cannot help but consider the Anointed One who died for our sins on the cross. Zeal for the temple of the Holy Spirit consumed Him. He humbled Himself for our salvation.
Those who will not repent of their hatred of Jesus and His people fall under the condemnation of David’s words in Psalm 69: “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous.” Those who would trust in God and His Anointed, Jesus, have a far better destiny.
The resurrection hope of the faithful was displayed first in the vindication of one perfectly righteous Man. “I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set Me on high!” The Lord heard the cries of His Son and lifted Him up from death as the firstfruits of the coming resurrection.
The pattern of suffering leading to glory for one great Servant of God would bring much courage to many others who would follow Him. His vindication would give them great hope. “When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive.” Because of His pleas for help and the Lord’s bountiful deliverance, many people all over the world would one day sing these words with joy: “The LORD hears the needy and does not despise His own people who are prisoners.”
Beyond the present strengthening of the Lord’s faithful in their own times of distress, the death and resurrection of Jesus would also secure the fullness of blessing that the Almighty intends for all His people. One day a new heaven and earth will praise Him, and the people who put their trust in the Lord will inherit the best land of grace for all the sons of God who “love His Name.”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
God of Our Salvation, we are in a sea of enemies who seek our destruction. Though we have sinned, we hope in You. We are in great need, for we love Your house, and Your enemies hate us. Even our own families do not understand our zeal for Your Kingdom. Help us, O God, for we would be swallowed up by the earth in death. Come quickly, O God. Speak the word of our redemption again through the blood of the Lamb. He was entrapped by faithless men, but He has won His battle through the victory of the cross. Hear the prayers of Your Son, who surely lives forever to intercede for us. We are weak and close to death. We are weary, O Lord. You will give us life, for we are in Him.