Here’s a prayer God loves to hear: “Save me, O God!” Put even more precisely, God loves this prayer: “Help!” That’s how Psalm 69, today’s Bible readying, begins in verse 1. David describes his situation like water creeping up to his neck (seen some of those movies! It creeps you out even to think about it!). He feels like quicksand where there is no foothold (vs 2a). It’s like being in a flood/tsunami, floodwaters ripping you away to untold destinations (vs 2b)! Over and over again David cries out to God, “Save me O God”, growing more tired as he waited on the Lord (vs 3).
What caused this situation? Two things:
- Something David himself did (vs 5). We don’t know exactly what it was but David himself calls it “folly”. But he knew that God saw these wrongs done. Nothing is hidden from God. He knew he needed to confess it.
- Some strong, mighty people wanted to destroy him (vs 4). They constantly attacked David with “lies”. They had not only stolen something from him, they’d stolen his reputation.
So what does David do? Two things:
- For himself, he recommits to a “zeal for your house has consumed me” (vs 9). He humbled himself before God. He fasted and prayed, directing all his prayers to God (vs 13). Basically, as we all should do, he asked God to reveal anything he personally had done to cause and/or exacerbate the problem. Times of deep distress should always be accompanied by times of introspection, inward examination, to see if there’s anything in our heart that is not of God.
- He asked God to take care of his enemies. This is called an “imprecatory prayer”. It’s a prayer for justice and revenge. Some say here that this kind of prayer has no place in the heart of a believer. To one extent, I agree. When hurt, we should not pray for God’s immediate destruction on people. We should pray they’d repent and, if possible, there would be reconciliation between us and them. However, if they continue in their sin, if they continue to be bent on our destruction, if no repentance is possible, I think it is very Biblical to give them over to God and ask him to deal with them in his perfect ways, in his perfect justice. That’s what David is doing here. In fact, Paul uses this verse in Romans 11:23-25 to explain how God wishes the Jews to repent and come to Christ.
David concludes the psalm asking God to make his deliverance public so that all others who are going thru similar circumstances can see it and 1) believe God for their own deliverance 2) increase their praise and worship of God (vss 29-33). Indeed, when this happens, it should increase worship and praise throughout the entire community of faith (vss34-36)!
Your heart feels overwhelmed today? Because of your own sin? Someone else really persecuting you. Follow David’s example. Do a heart examination. Give your enemy to God for HIS justice to be done.
And continually realize the power of this simple prayer: “Save me, O God”!
May the grace of our Lord be with you today and forever.