“Perhaps in no psalm in the whole psalter is the sense of sorrow profounder or more intense than in this. The soul of the singer pours itself out in unrestrained abandonment to the overwhelming and terrible grief which consumes it.” (G. Campbell Morgan)
Observe: Psalm 69 is an imprecatory psalm (utters a curse or invokes evil against someone). The first 28 verses see David pleading to God for help and deliverance from his adversaries. In verses 1-4 he is drowning in a flood of trouble and living with the constant disapproval of man in verses 5-12. Verses 13-28 talk of his appeal to God, asking for deliverance, compassion, and defeat of his enemies. Now we see a glorious turn-around in verses 29-36 where David praises God and gives glory to Him.
Interpretation and application: I’d like to “park” on the last few verses of this psalm but take a slight detour to verse 21. Here David tells of his enemies putting gall in his food and giving him vinegar to drink. This line is referred to in the New Testament when Christ was on the cross and they gave Him vinegar to drink (Matthew 27:34). John 19:28-29 is even more clear with John adding that this was done that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
I love verses 30 and 31. This tells us that praising God pleases Him more than any sacrifice. Sure, that’s easy to do when everything is hunky-dory but not so much when we feel the world crashing down around us. We might even ask: “Why God is allowing that to happen to me?” I’ve asked this question myself many times in the last couple of years, often getting frustrated and discouraged and feeling that it’s not fair of God to “do” this to me. However, verses 32 -33 give an answer to that question…God uses our trials and difficulties and our Godly response to them to encourage others. Even if our faith is small, He is there to help us in the bad times. Our purpose in life is to enjoy God and serve Him forever as well as to encourage other Christians and be a testimony to those who don’t know Him. I hope and pray that my response and attitude to my difficulties will be one of praise and thanksgiving, even if I don’t feel it. If I am to shine my light for the world to see, I need to thank God for my trials. Very hard to do, but a real sense of peace and contentment comes when I do so. Knowing that I am His child and will have an inheritance in heaven is well worth it!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the trials you send me because I know it builds my faith and through that can encourage someone else. Help me to be grateful and to enjoy You so that others might see and be drawn to You, despite my circumstances. Amen.
Song: With a Thankful Heart (Don Moen)
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.