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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Psalms 69

Verses 1-36

Perhaps in no psalm in the whole psalter is the sense of sorrow profounder or more intense than in this. The soul of the singer pours itself out in unrestrained abandonment to the overwhelming and terrible grief which consumes it.

The first half is occupied wholly with a statement of the terrible consciousness. There is first a cry of distress, piercing and passionate (verses Psa 69:1-6 ). The circumstances described are of helpless whelming in waters and mire. Yet the chief agony is that God seems to be neglectful of the cry, and a fear fills the heart lest others should be harmed through what they see of the hopelessness and helplessness of his suffering.

In the next movement the singer declares that this suffering has come in the path of loyalty to God (verses Psa 69:7-12 ).

Following this declaration, the cry for succor is repeated with new emphasis and passion (verses Psa 69:13-18 ). This part of the psalm reveals the condition into which the men of faith sometimes are brought. Yet it contains suggestion of a sorrow profounder than any save One had experienced. Nothing can be conceived more overwhelming than the strange and inexplicable suffering resulting from loyalty to God and zeal for His honor. Undeserved reproach is the most stupendous grief possible to the sensitive soul. Yet even throughout this whole movement, expressive of such intense grief, there is an undertone of confidence in God.

In the presence of that God whose loving-kindness the singer has declared to be good he continues to pour out his complaint. Suddenly the song becomes a passionate cry for vengeance. It is a false view of things which criticises this cry as being unworthy of a man familiar with God. It is really the expression of a righteous desire for judgment against essential wrong. The method which he has described as being used by his adversaries violated the essential and fundamental order of the divine Kingdom. For the sake of that order, and the vindication of God, there must be a place for retribution and vengeance. The passion passes, and a prayer follows which merges into praise, and culminates in a great affirmation of confidence in God.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Psalms 69". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.