Opening Prayer

Lord, I am grateful for the freedom that is mine to have the Bible, to fellowship with other believers, and to worship you wherever and however I choose.

Read PSALM 69

Psalm 69[a]

For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies.” Of David.

Save me, O God,
    for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in the miry depths,
    where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
    the floods engulf me.
I am worn out calling for help;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
    looking for my God.
Those who hate me without reason
    outnumber the hairs of my head;
many are my enemies without cause,
    those who seek to destroy me.
I am forced to restore
    what I did not steal.

You, God, know my folly;
    my guilt is not hidden from you.

Lord, the Lord Almighty,
    may those who hope in you
    not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
    may those who seek you
    not be put to shame because of me.
For I endure scorn for your sake,
    and shame covers my face.
I am a foreigner to my own family,
    a stranger to my own mother’s children;
for zeal for your house consumes me,
    and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
10 When I weep and fast,
    I must endure scorn;
11 when I put on sackcloth,
    people make sport of me.
12 Those who sit at the gate mock me,
    and I am the song of the drunkards.

13 But I pray to you, Lord,
    in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
    answer me with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mire,
    do not let me sink;
deliver me from those who hate me,
    from the deep waters.
15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf me
    or the depths swallow me up
    or the pit close its mouth over me.

16 Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love;
    in your great mercy turn to me.
17 Do not hide your face from your servant;
    answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
18 Come near and rescue me;
    deliver me because of my foes.

19 You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
    all my enemies are before you.
20 Scorn has broken my heart
    and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
    for comforters, but I found none.
21 They put gall in my food
    and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

22 May the table set before them become a snare;
    may it become retribution and[b] a trap.
23 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
    and their backs be bent forever.
24 Pour out your wrath on them;
    let your fierce anger overtake them.
25 May their place be deserted;
    let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute those you wound
    and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
27 Charge them with crime upon crime;
    do not let them share in your salvation.
28 May they be blotted out of the book of life
    and not be listed with the righteous.

29 But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
    may your salvation, God, protect me.

30 I will praise God’s name in song
    and glorify him with thanksgiving.
31 This will please the Lord more than an ox,
    more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
32 The poor will see and be glad—
    you who seek God, may your hearts live!
33 The Lord hears the needy
    and does not despise his captive people.

34 Let heaven and earth praise him,
    the seas and all that move in them,
35 for God will save Zion
    and rebuild the cities of Judah.
Then people will settle there and possess it;
36     the children of his servants will inherit it,
    and those who love his name will dwell there.


  1. Psalm 69:1 In Hebrew texts 69:1-36 is numbered 69:2-37.
  2. Psalm 69:22 Or snare / and their fellowship become

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


‘I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.’1

Think Further

This psalm is an individual lament that seems to relate to the psalmist’s concern for right worship in the temple (v 9). Indeed, the disciples remembered verse 9 when Jesus cleared the temple.2 It may reflect circumstances like those we encountered yesterday in Jeremiah Moreover, Jeremiah experienced something like verses 2 and 14.3

As you read the psalm, watch for ‘I’ statements, ‘you’ statements, and ‘they’ statements. The psalmist brings his troubles to God in ‘I’ statements, mostly in verses 1–13, although they are mixed with ‘you’ statements, since the psalm is a prayer. ‘You’ statements are more prominent in verses 14–20, as he calls on God to rescue him. ‘They’ statements occur throughout the psalm, but are prominent in verses 22–28, where the psalmist asks God to condemn his enemies. The tone changes in verse 30, where the psalmist seems to recognize that God has heard his prayer and resolves to bring words of praise and thanksgiving. The last few verses may have been added later and probably refer to the return from exile in Babylon, applying God’s answer to the psalm to all God’s people.4

Two aspects of this psalm can be uncomfortable for Christians. First is the idea of lament itself. Lament doesn’t sit well with us: we are much more comfortable bringing our praises to God. Psalm 69 reminds us that God also wants to hear about our pain. Verses 22–28 are more uncomfortable still. Here the psalmist asks God to judge his foes (unlike Jesus who asked his Father to forgive them). However, prayers like this also belong in the Bible. When we see atrocities against defenseless people, Psalm 69 gives us the warrant to pray for God’s justice (not our own).


In the face of injustice, trust that God will deal justly with those who commit atrocities against others.

Closing prayer

My God, I look to you to expose the darkest areas of my heart. With the psalmist, I pray and trust you to answer me: “for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.” (v 16).

Last Updated on October 30, 2023 by kingstar

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *