Psa 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psa 18:3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
Book three is sharply different from the 2 books that precede it. It is much shorter with only 17 psalms as compared to 41 in Book One and 31 in Book 2. Only one psalm is attributed to David. The dominant theme is “a crisis of faith for the people of God. That struggle is characteristic of fourteen of the seventeen psalms. Sometimes it is personal, but primarily related to the whole nation of Israel. The faith of Israel as individual believers and as a nation is represented by the monarchy. The crisis is centers on the apparent failure of God’s promise that David’s son would forever sit on his throne. There is also a sub them of the importance of the temple as the meeting place of God and his temple, and the tragedy of its destruction.
Asaph was a Levite who led one of the temple choirs (1 Chron. 15:19; 25:1-2). His name is identified (with Psalms 73-83; also Psalm 50). He either wrote these psalms, or his choir sang them, or later choirs in the tradition of Asaph sang them.
The psalmist became depressed when he contrasted the seeming prosperity of the wicked with the difficulties of living a righteous life. (Beginning in verse 15), however, his attitude changes completely. He looks at life from the perspective of being under the control of a sovereign, holy God, and concludes that it is the wicked, not the righteous, who have blundered. VV 1—15 show that the psalmist confusion and envy were leading him to bitterness.
Since David was a type or pattern of his greater descendant, Jesus, one can see all of the psalms as messianic. Paul taught “2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him.” This would mean that all the prayers and praises offered in the book of Psalms are consummated in God’s Son. Psalm 69 is easily seen as messianic as seven of its verses are quoted n the N T, making it the next most quoted psalm after 22 and 110. It relates to Christ in general and specifically in reference to his atoning death for sinners.
A word on Book Two
Recall that Book Two focuses on the king, his city, and his temple as doing His salvation work for the world to see. The blessing given to Israel is extended to the whole world. This could only be fulfilled in Christ.
This psalm presents elements of lament and praise. It is very pointed and vivid, as it shows suffering, praise, severe imprecations and anticipates Christ.
This psalm is a prayer of desperation. David realizes that because he is hated by others, he may shortly be killed. Though he begs for rescue, and calls down curses on his enemies, he concludes the psalm with a high note of praise, with inferences concerning the coming messianic kingdom when all enemies of God’s people are dealt with swiftly and severely (compare Rev. 2:27). Much of this psalm was applied to Christ by the New Testament writers.
Jesus quotes 69:4 and applies it to himself. Joh 15:25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
Verse 69:9 is directly applied to Jesus by the apostles. It was when he had thrown the shopkeepers out of the temple. This zeal spoken of here, is the keeping of the letter of the law. These people in authority in the temple, had been taught by Gamaliel. They knew the letter of the law; they did not know the lawgiver.
Joh 2:16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” Joh 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
David indicates 10-11that it was not the temple that annoyed the detractors but the religion practiced there. Salvation involves self-humiliation before God’s holiness along with the sacrificial blood of Christ. Joh 3:19
Ps 69:13-18 is a series of repeated cries for rescue.
- As the psalm develops he seems to be growing in confidence that the Lord will hear him and answer his prayers.
- We see how to respond when rejected by the world
→Imprecatory Prayers (IM’PRECATORY, a. Containing a prayer for evil to befall a person.)
Someone may suggest that whatever the use of the rest of the psalm may be to the Christian, the imprecations are foreign to us. Acts 1:20 quotes and applies Ps 69:25 to explain the loss of Judas.
Paul in Romans 11:9-10 quotes Psalm 69:22-23 to explain the loss of the non elect in Israel.
- We need to remember that imprecations apply to those who unrepentantly persevere in evil against God. They apply especially to those who have known the covenant of God and have knowingly rejected it.
God has promised judgement for those who are confirmed in sin: Heb 6:4 , 1 John 5:16 ,1 Co 16:22. If we diminish the necessity and righteousness of judgement, we will diminish the work of Christ on the Cross.
Having found salvation in God, David desires to please the Lord by offering him true and sincere worship: Psa 69:30-31.
Note from Kathy: In the sidebar, I have added an article on bible reading and the link to Megan Hill’s wonderful book on prayer.
This is the 3rd psalm of David in book five and it shows us the redemptive plan of god, and even the whole meaning of the kingship. Most of it is about a victorious king who God, himself, seats at His right hand. He promises to subject the king’s enemies to him that they will be no more than a footstool. (soldiers would put their feet on the neck of the defeated).
Jesus draws our attention to a detail in this text that we might otherwise overlook. It is so important that the three Synoptic gospels record His statement (Matt. 22:41-46). Continue reading “Lesson 4”