Read Psalm 69:1-36
The 150 psalms comprising the book of Psalms of the Old Testament are often categorized into different types according to the theme and tenor of the writing. Psalm 69 is somewhat unique in that it incorporates aspects of many of these different types.
- Lament– David endured human opposition as illustrated by scorn, shame, and disgrace (vv. 7, 19)! There was no one in his life expressing sympathy and comfort (v. 20). He felt helpless (v. 20) and worn out in his attempts to call upon God for help (v. 3).
- Penitential– David is not afraid to admit that there was something in his life that he described as “folly” and that he was “guilty” (v. 5). As a result, God had apparently “wounded” and “hurt” him through divine discipline (v. 26).
- Acrostic– Some commentaries describe the Psalm as being comprised of 44 statements arranged in a “double blank alphabet acrostic” form. Sounds technical, but there are some acrostic parallels in these verses!
- Imprecatory– His enemies “hated him without reason” and sought “to destroy” him (v. 4). They “scorned, disgraced, and shamed” him (v. 19). If you have ever felt intense hatred like that, you can likely understand why David candidly prayed that his opponents might experience God’s wrath and retribution and not His salvation (vv. 22, 23, 27, 28).
But we must keep in mind that the Psalm is not only about David, his experiences and his writing style. Psalm 69 also contains “Messianic” elements that enable us to see Jesus in the Old Testament. Here are just a few:
- The Psalm describes “those who hate me without reason” (v. 4). That is a great description of those who opposed the sinless Son of God.
- The disciples later connected the line “zeal for your house consumes me” with Christ’s action of cleansing the temple (v. 9; cf. Jn. 2:17).
- The fact that they gave Jesus vinegar (Jn. 19:29, 30) while on the cross was a fulfillment of verse 21.
Indeed, Jesus came to fulfill all that the Old Testament said about Him. He will neither default on even one of His promises nor fail to fulfill a single prophecy.