1 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. 2 I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. 3 I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. 4 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.
5 You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you 6 May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the LORD Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel.
7 For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face. 8 I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons; 9 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, O LORD, in the time of your favour; 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, O 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; redeem 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 a trap. 23 May their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and their backs be bent for ever. 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 I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O 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 hoofs. 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.
Loving your bitter enemies
(Verses 1-4) David is being picked on and maligned without cause by countless enemies. He feels he is out of his depth and drowning. Falsely accused of theft, it seems as a good-will token he feels he must restore what he never took anyhow. If you have ever been picked on, you know how he feels. But he very wisely shares it with God. He asks God to save him.
(Verses 5-6) David has sinned in the past, confessed it, and been forgiven by God. Read and pray through Psalm 51. We too have sinned, but we are forgiven, if we confess our sins to God, believe Jesus was punished in our place for them, and trust Him. His concern now is the apparently bad witness to others who seek God who are deceived into thinking he is a thief. Keen Christians try to be a good example.
(Verses 7-12) David is scorned, shamed, shunned, insulted and mocked by many.
(Verses 13-29) Troubled David shares his heart with God in real prayer. He seeks God’s mercy, deliverance, and salvation. Do you do that when troubled or worried?
Although he then prays for God to judge his foes, he does commit them to God, rather than retaliate. Born-again sinners do that and ask for foes to repent, trust in Jesus, and so be blessed and changed. Is this thought new to you? Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven.’ It comes by God’s grace and enabling when Jesus is your Lord and Saviour. (Matthew 6:44-45)
(Verses 30-36) Here is a lesson for us all! David is so confident in God, despite his anguish caused by others, that he concludes by praising and worshipping God and encouraging others to do so!