The Psalms of David

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Psalm 69: Verses 13 - 18

v13    But me ... I am praying to you, *LORD,
     (at a) time when you will hear me.
     God, because you have so much kind love,
     answer me and make me really safe.

v14    Take me out of the *mud
       and do not let me fall into it any more.
     Save me from the people that *hate me
       and from the very deep waters.

v15    Do not let:
       ·    *floods of waters pour over me
       ·    the deep seas drown me
       ·    the *pit close its mouth round me.

v16    Answer me, *LORD, because your kind love is (so) good.
     Turn to me because you have so much *mercy.

v17    And do not hide your face from your servant.
     Because of my trouble, answer me very soon.

v18    Come near to my *soul and make it safe.
     Buy it back because of my enemies.

What verses 13 - 18 mean

The *psalmist repeats some of what he said in verses 1 - 4. In verse 13 "the time when you will hear me" maybe is a special meeting of God’s people. "Any more" in verse 14 means that he does not want a bigger lot of *mud over him. In verse 15 the *pit was a special place. The Jews thought that when they died they went to a place under the ground called *Sheol. In one corner of *Sheol was a *pit, or deep hole. Very bad people went there and never came out again! That is why the *psalmist talks about his *soul in verse 18. He is thinking about the part of him that will live when his body dies. He does not want it to live in *Sheol and its *pit. It is difficult to say who God will buy his *soul back from at the end of the verse. Maybe he means *Sheol. Christians say that Jesus bought our *souls back from *hell and that the enemy was the devil. The *psalmist did not know this.

Psalm 69: Verses 19 - 22

v19    You (God) know that people *insult me
     and say that I am a *disgrace and make me ashamed.

v20    *Insults have broken my *heart.  I feel *helpless.
     I looked for *sympathy, but there was none.
     I wanted someone to *comfort me, but did not find anyone.

v21    But they put poison in my food
     and they gave me *vinegar to drink.

v22    I want (the food on) their table to be a *trap (for them)
     and a *trap for all their good friends!

What verses 19 - 22 mean

The *insults (or bad things that people say about someone) in verse 19 have broken the *heart of the *psalmist in verse 20. This means that they have made him so sad that he wants to die. He looked for someone to listen to him and give him some help, but nobody did. Rather, they gave him a poison called gall and *vinegar to drink. This is where we have some *imprecations. They are in verses 22 - 29. Look later for what imprecations are. Here, the idea of his enemies giving him poison makes him want them to eat poison! So he says in verse 22 that he wants their food (on their table) to *trap them and their friends. The poison that they gave him in verse 21 was gall. It had a bad taste, the opposite of sweet. Maybe it came from a plant, or a snake. Matthew 27:34 says that they gave Jesus *vinegar and gall to drink just before they crucified (killed) him. But he did not drink it. Mark 15:23 says there was *myrrh in the *vinegar, which would make the pain less.

Psalm 69: Verses 23 - 29

v23    I want their eyes to be in the dark so that they cannot see.
     I want their bodies to bend over always,

v24    (because) you are so angry with them.
     Pour out your anger on them!

v25    I want the places where they stay to be empty
     and nobody to be in their *tents.

v26    For they *persecute the people that you (God) hurt
     and talk about (more) pain for the people that you *punish.

v27    Make a note of all their *sins
     and do not let them have your *righteousness.

v28    Take their names out of the book of life.
     Take them off the list of *righteous people.

v29    But I have pain (in my body) and trouble (in my mind).
     God, *protect me and make me safe.

What verses 23 - 29 mean

By verse 25, they are not in their towns but in *Sheol where no one can see them. Verses 27 - 28 are the worst *imprecations we could ask! Not only does the *psalmist ask that his enemies die and go to *Sheol (verse 23). He asks more! He asks that God will not make them *righteous and that he will take away their names from the book of life. To Christians, this means that he is asking God never to let these enemies become Christians. Jesus said that we must pray for our enemies. He showed us what words to say, when his enemies killed him. Jesus said, "Father, *forgive them". When God *forgives us he makes us *righteous and puts our names into his book of life. Look at Psalms of *Imprecation for more.

Psalm 69: Verses 30 - 36

v30    I will *praise God’s name with songs
     and I will say how great he is by giving thanks.

v31    This will bring more pleasure to the *LORD
     than an *ox or a bull with *horns and *hooves.

v32    Poor people will see it and be happy.
     People that are looking for God will have brave *hearts again.

v33    For the *LORD hears what people need
     and he does not think bad things about his people in *captivity.

v34    Let the skies and the earth *praise him!
     And let the seas and everything that moves through them *praise him!

v35    For God will make Zion safe.
     He will build again the cities of Judah.
     Then (his servants) will live there and it will be theirs.

v36    As for the children of his servants,
     it will stay their *inheritance also.
     The people that love God’s name will always remain there.

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