Psalm 69 is a beautiful lament where the author asks God to save them. As I read it, I thought of a person who was in over their heads in life and judged for it by their contemporaries, someone who is trying to make up for past transgressions but failing at it and turning to God for help. They get a little resentful around v22 but bring it back around to request for salvation by v29. It’s a beautiful psalm and a beautiful sentiment. Here is the text:
To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. Of David.
1Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.a
2I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.
3I am weary with my crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God.
4More in number than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without cause;
mighty are those who would destroy me,
those who attack me with lies.
What I did not steal
must I now restore?
5O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
6Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,
O Lord GOD of hosts;
let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me,
O God of Israel.
7For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
that dishonor has covered my face.
8I have become a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my mother’s sons.
9For zeal for your house has consumed me,
and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.
10When I wept and humbledb my soul with fasting,
it became my reproach.
11When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword to them.
12I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,
and the drunkards make songs about me.
13But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD.
At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
from sinking in the mire;
let me be delivered from my enemies
and from the deep waters.
15Let not the flood sweep over me,
or the deep swallow me up,
or the pit close its mouth over me.
16Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good;
according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
17Hide not your face from your servant,
for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.
18Draw near to my soul, redeem me;
ransom me because of my enemies!
19You know my reproach,
and my shame and my dishonor;
my foes are all known to you.
20Reproaches 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.
21They gave me poison for food,
and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.
22Let their own table before them become a snare;
and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.c
23Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,
and make their loins tremble continually.
24Pour out your indignation upon them,
and let your burning anger overtake them.
25May their camp be a desolation;
let no one dwell in their tents.
26For they persecute him whom you have struck down,
and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.
27Add to them punishment upon punishment;
may they have no acquittal from you.d
28Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
let them not be enrolled among the righteous.
29But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your salvation, O God, set me on high!
30I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31This will please the LORD more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.
32When the humble see it they will be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
33For the LORD hears the needy
and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.
34Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and everything that moves in them.
35For God will save Zion
and build up the cities of Judah,
and people shall dwell there and possess it;
36the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall dwell in it.
When I checked out my reference material, I saw that this was likely written in the time just after the exile by someone in the discussion to rebuild the temple before the cities themselves were rebuilt because of v35. That said, I have no idea what “according to the Lilies” is supposed to signify.
Readng through it now, though, it’s still a beautiful lament for Easter. I can see how any one of the disciples might have felt this way as Jesus was taken away, desperate but sure that He would figure out a way to save the day. And then when He did save everyone it wasn’t exactly done in a way that would have been obvious at this point in the story.
This being the Saturday after Good Friday, He would still have been considered just dead. This was one of the days in Hell before Jesus rose and the disciples would have been beyond despair and wondering what to do now that their world had crashed. I imagine they may have been feeling this psalm but maybe stuck in v35 until the next day when Mary showed up with the Good News. Maybe. It just seems like an interesting time to ponder a “Save Me” psalm.