Something to do
1. If you have a Bible, or can find the Book of Judges, read The Song of Deborah in Judges 5.
2. Look at Psalm 68:19. "Every day he gives us help with what we have to carry". The things that we carry (that we call burdens) are often inside us. It may be that we are sad, or do not know what to do next. Ask God for help to carry your own burden. If you have a Bible, read Isaiah 46:1-4, or 63:9. Both of these tell us that God will carry us as well as our burdens!
The Whipping Boy
Jesus came to his own country, and his own people did not receive him. (John 1:11)
The Story of Psalm 69
We do not know if David wrote this psalm. Some Bible students think that Jeremiah wrote it. Jeremiah was a *prophet that lived 400 years after David. Jeremiah told people what he thought God was saying to them. They did not like it. They hurt Jeremiah but there was no reason to hurt him. What he said was true. Maybe David did write the psalm and Jeremiah wrote some more verses for it. Both David and Jeremiah had enemies.
At the top it says:
· use *lilies. Lilies are beautiful flowers. Maybe it is the name of beautiful music also.
· for David. Maybe this means "for the set of psalms that David started". We call the psalms "The Psalms of David" today, when we know that he did not write them all.
Our name for the psalm is The Whipping Boy. What does this mean? The son of a king is a *prince. *Princes had teachers. When the *prince made a mistake, the teacher did not hit (or whip) the *prince, but he hit a boy that had lessons with the *prince. The boy had done nothing wrong, but the teacher whipped him. He was a whipping boy, someone for the teacher to whip, hit or beat instead of the *prince. Today, a whipping boy is anyone that is hurt when someone else has done wrong!
They often hurt David and Jeremiah when they had done nothing wrong. They were both "whipping boys". But the most important "whipping boy" of all was Jesus. They hurt him and killed him when he had done nothing wrong. Everybody that has ever lived has done wrong, and God should *punish us all. *Punish means "hurt someone for doing wrong". But God *punished Jesus for what we did wrong. In Psalm 69 are several things that happened to Jesus, as well as to David or Jeremiah. The psalm is not only about Jesus, but it makes Christians think about Jesus. That is why many Christians sing it on Good Friday, the day when we remember Jesus’ death.
Psalm 69: Verses 1 - 4
(This is) for the music leader.
Use (the music that they call) "*Lilies".
(It is) for David.
v1 Save me, God! Because the waters have come to *(take) my life.
v2 I am going down into deep *mud and there is nowhere to put my feet.
I have come into deep waters and *floods rush over me.
v3 I have shouted so much for help that I am weak.
My mouth is hot and dry. My eyes hurt from looking for God.
v4 More people *hate me than (I have) hairs on my head.
They have no reason to be my enemies.
Many people try to destroy me with their *lies.
They made me give back something that I did not rob them of.
What Verses 1 - 4 mean
In verses 1 - 3 the *psalmist (maybe David or Jeremiah) gives us a picture. It is of a man drowning. He shouts to God, "Save me". He wants God to pull him out of the water. In verse 4 he tells us that the water is a picture of his enemies. His enemies are trying to destroy him just *like the water tried to drown the man in the picture. He tells us two other things:
· there is no reason for them to try to kill him
· they made him give back something they say he took.
We do not know what this was. The *psalmist says that he did not take it from them.
Psalm 69: Verses 5 - 12
v5 You, God, know that I am a fool.
I cannot hide my *sin from you.
v6 Master, do not let the people that put their hope in you
be ashamed because of me.
You are the *LORD of the armies (of *heaven).
Do not let the people that follow you
be ashamed because of me.
You are the God of Israel.
v7 Because I love you people say bad things about me.
They make me feel ashamed.
v8 I have become a stranger to my brothers
and my own mother’s sons do not know me.
v9 I am angry for your house and it burns me up inside.
People *insult you, but they do it by *insulting me!
v10 When I cry and eat no food people still *insult me.
v11 When I wear clothes made from *sacks people laugh at me.
v12 People that sit by the gate talk about me
and people that are drunks sing songs about me.
What verses 5 - 12 mean
In verses 5 - 6 the *psalmist says that he has *sinned, or broken God’s rules. He asks that other people will not get hurt because of this. The armies (of *heaven) are, maybe, *angels not people. Heaven is where God lives and *angels live there with him.
In verses 7 - 9 enemies of God want to say bad things to him. But they cannot see God. So they do and say bad things to God’s servants instead! In verses 22 - 29 the *psalmist says what he wants God to do to these enemies.
In verse 10 we call "eating no food" fasting. They thought that it made God answer their *prayers. In verse 11 people wore clothes made from *sacks ("sackcloth") when they wanted to say "sorry" to God. In verse 12 the leaders of the people sat by the gate of their town. It was the place where they decided what to do.