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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

Psalms 69

After the series of Psalms 61-68, which is more or less chronological, we now find a new series: Psalms 69-72. These psalms give a review of the time of the great tribulation, a summary of the sufferings, first of Christ and then of His people, that is, the faithful remnant.

Immediately following the psalm of return to heaven of the Lord Jesus (Psa 68:18) is the psalm that deals with the Lord Jesus in His sufferings (Psalm 69). The victor of Psalm 68 turns out to be the same Person Who, as Psalm 69 shows, suffered severely 2,000 years ago.

We also see this in Revelation 5, where first the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Victor, is presented, Who then turns out to be the same as the Lamb Who stands there as slain (Rev 5:5-6). Each climax is possible only because of Christ’s humiliation. All the blessings described in the preceding psalms are the result of the suffering of the Messiah described in this psalm.

The suffering of the Messiah is partly, that is, from the side of man, also the suffering of the faithful remnant in the end time. In all the psalms in which the suffering of the remnant is described, we hear the Spirit of Christ.

Here again we have clearly a Messianic psalm about the suffering of the Lord Jesus. This psalm is quoted several times in the New Testament:
Psa 69:5Jn 15:25
Psa 69:10Jn 2:17; Rom 15:3
Psa 69:22Mt 27:34; 48; Mk 15:23; Jn 19:28-29
Psa 69:23Rom 11:9
Psa 69:24Rom 11:10
Psa 69:26Acts 1:20
These quotes show that the book of Psalms speaks of the Lord Jesus (Lk 24:44; Jn 5:39).

We find four prayers in this psalm, namely in Psa 69:1b; 6; 13-18; 22-29. The psalm ends with a song of praise about prayer being answered. Despite all the suffering, the struggle of prayer ends in a declaration of trust in God (Psa 69:30-36) and becomes a song of trust in God that has been tested through suffering.

Verses 1-5

Prayer in Need


For “for the choir director” (Psa 69:1a) see at Psalm 4:1.

For “according to Shoshannim” or “upon lilies” see at Psalm 45:1.

It is a psalm “of David”. This is what Romans 11 is also saying. There Psa 69:22-23 of this psalm are quoted, with the quotation preceded by the statement “David says” (Rom 11:9-10). David is the speaker, but the words are from Him Who is so much greater than David, which is Christ. Christ is the Son of David and at the same time His Lord (Mt 22:42-45). David experienced these sufferings to some degree, but the wording that is used is beyond David’s experiences. As a prophet, David described the experiences of the Lord Jesus (Acts 2:29-31), and to a lesser extent, the experiences of the believing remnant.

The Messiah is in deep suffering and cries out to God to save Him (Psa 69:1b). He exclaims: “The waters have threatened my life [literally: have come to the soul]” This means that He is in danger of drowning. The need is exceedingly great. He sinks deeper and deeper into the mire, for there is no foothold (Psa 69:2; cf. Jer 38:6). He is in mortal danger. The mire is suffocating. Just a little while longer and it will be over and out with Him (cf. Jona 2:3; Psa 40:2). This is how the Lord Jesus experienced the enmity of men against Him. This is also the experience of the remnant in the end time. They suffer greatly because of the enemies from outside and the antichrist with his followers from inside.

His suffering is so intense that He cries out that He has “come into deep waters” and that “a flood overflows” Him (cf. Jona 2:5). The Hebrew word for flood, shibboleth, according to Jewish scholars, is best translated as ‘whirlpool’. Then the meaning of the phrase is: “A whirlpool drags me away” (cf. Psa 124:3-4). The whirlpool and the mire pit occur in the wadis when it has rained heavily in the wilderness.

Christ continually cried out to God (cf. Psa 22:2; Heb 5:7) and grew weary with it (Psa 69:3). This is not so much a physical weariness, but His throat is parched from praying and His eyes fail while waiting for His God. His throat is parched so that He can no longer cry out. He no longer has a voice. His eyes, too, “fail”. Always He is waiting for God, He looks imploringly to Him with in His eyes the cry for help.

His enemies are people who “hate” Him “without a cause” (Psa 69:4). The Lord Jesus quotes this word in His teachings to the disciples about His rejection (Jn 15:25). The fulfillment of this word is further evidence that this psalm is primarily about Christ. It also makes it clear that His contemporaries deliberately rejected Him.

After all, there is no reason for hating Him. He has always been among them in love and grace and goodness. He has spoken words of grace and done acts of mercy. Yet they have hated Him. It demonstrates the wickedness of man’s heart and the truth of God’s Word.

He has always sought and done good for them, but He has received hatred for the love He has given. The number of enemies are “more than the hairs of my head”, He complains. The intention of His enemies is also clear: they want to kill Him. The reasons are false, made up because of their own benefit. How hardened is a man who rejects God, Who reveals Himself to him in grace and goodness.

His enemies are not only numerous, but they are also powerful. They are in control of Him. This is only possible because God’s time has come. However, this does not diminish the feelings of suffering of the Messiah. But what moves Him most is that He must give back what He did not steal.

By this the Lord Jesus means the honor which man has stolen from God through his sin. He must return that honor to God. He has done just that. He has completely honored God at the place where man has so deeply dishonored God, which is on earth (Jn 8:49).

He has also given back to God as the true Guilt offering more than man has robbed Him of (Lev 5:16). He paid the 20% extra on the cross as the true Guilt offering. This goes beyond just the removal of sins. This also allows God to give greater blessings to man than he has forfeited through sin.

He speaks to God that God knows His folly and that His wrongs are not hidden from Him (Psa 69:5). What the Lord Jesus says here refers to the fact that He takes upon Himself the sins of everyone who believes in Him. He identifies Himself here with their sins. He calls this “my wrongs”. He, Who is Himself the sinless and guiltless One, Who has committed no sin, speaks here of “my wrongs” which are not hidden from God.

This is really substitution. He does not pretend, but really makes the debts of repentant sinners His own. In doing so, He says that they are not hidden from God. This means that He confesses them before God and is judged by God for them.

He has not borne the sins of the whole world, He has not confessed the debts of all men. He has borne only the sins of those who believe in Him and confessed only the sins of those who acknowledge that they are guilty before God. God knows the sins of all for whom Christ suffered on the cross and has judged them there in Him, so that they are free from judgment.

It is true, though, that the work of the Lord Jesus on the cross is sufficiently great to offer salvation to all people. Everyone may come. No one will be able to say that it was not for him or her. No one is excluded from the offer of being saved through faith in Him: “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1Tim 2:3-4; cf. Acts 17:30-31; Mk 16:15).

Verses 6-12

Complaint


While the Lord Jesus is in the deepest suffering, He still thinks of others (Psa 69:6). This is characteristic of Him. In the night in which He was betrayed, knowing all that would come upon Him, He loved His own to the end (Jn 13:1) and instituted the Lord’s Supper (1Cor 11:23-25). On the cross He cared for Mary (Jn 19:26-27) and for the one repentant criminal (Lk 23:40-43). There He did pray for the people: “Father, forgive them” (Lk 23:34a).

In this psalm, He asks God that because of His suffering, others will not be ashamed of their trust in God after all. He has always expected His help from God and in spite of that He is now enduring great and deep suffering. How will this affect those who also expect their help from the “Lord, GOD of hosts”?

Because of the suffering that the Lord Jesus endures, it may seem that seeking the “God of Israel” is useless. He therefore asks God that through Him, through His suffering, those who seek God will not be dishonored. He asks this because despite His present suffering and the apparent absence of God, He still trusts in God completely.

His suffering is not useless, but provides an example of trust in God especially in the deepest suffering. The suffering He undergoes has a cause and a purpose. Its cause is the sin that has come into the world, dishonoring God. Its purpose is for God to regain the honor that has been stolen from Him by man’s sin. Only when we see this there is perseverance in trust in God. In that, God is glorified. The awareness of these two aspects will sustain the remnant in the end time.

The reproach that the Lord Jesus has borne, He has borne for the sake of God (Psa 69:7). He links everything that happens to Him to God. The reproach done to God, He bears. The dishonor done to God covers His face.

His complete identification with God in what sinful men do to Him has caused a deep separation between Him and His brothers after the flesh (Psa 69:8; cf. Mk 3:21; Jn 7:3-9). He has become an alien to them. He does not belong to His family. They do not even know Him anymore. He complains: “I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother’s sons.” This speaks of deep loneliness.

All the suffering the Lord has endured stems from His zeal for God’s house (Psa 69:9). He devoted Himself with all His energy to God’s dwelling place on earth. It is the place where God wants to gather with His people and have fellowship with them. That place must fully respond to His holiness. For this the Lord Jesus worked with a zeal that consumed Him, a zeal that cost Him everything (Jn 2:17).

God’s people made that house a place of business and a den of robbers (Jn 2:16; Mt 21:13). Thereby they have reproached God. The Lord Jesus speaks of “the reproaches” with which God has been reproached. This defamation has been inflicted on Him in many ways and countless times. It shows how deeply God has been grieved by it. All that libel has fallen on the Lord Jesus. It is again that identification of Him with God.

This also has a practical application for us. We learn this from Paul in the letter to the Romans, in a section where he tells us not to please ourselves, but our neighbor for his good (Rom 15:1-3). Thereby he sets Christ as an example for us and then quotes this verse (Psa 69:9b). Throughout His life, Christ had the honor of God in mind. That is what He lived for, and not for Himself. That is why He could say to His Father at the end of His life on earth: “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (Jn 17:4).

He was so fully in His dealings with God that He felt the reproach with which God was reproached as His own. His example gives us the strength to do what is required: to bear the weaknesses of others and to please our neighbor for his good.

Christ felt that reproach more deeply than we are ever capable of feeling. It moved Him to tears; He wept over it (Psa 69:10). The sorrow over that situation merged with the fasting of His soul. His tears and His fasting, however, did not evoke pity and even less self-judgment from the people, but instead it became His “reproach”.

The sackcloth which He put on as His clothing revealed the feelings of His heart (Psa 69:11). This, too, didn't win Him any acclaim for His sorrow for the dishonor done to God. On the contrary, in their scorn they made Him a byword because of His appearance in sackcloth.

Not only did the common people despise Him. He has been the talk of the day of those who “sit in the gate” (Psa 69:12). These are the dignitaries and judges of the people, the upper class of the population (Mt 27:41; Jos 20:4; Rth 4:1-2; Lam 5:14). The lower class of the people, the drunkards, the people who cannot control themselves, also feasted on Him (Mt 27:44). They have laudingly sung a song of derision about Him. All that He has done for His God, all that He has been burdened with, has been met with contempt and ridicule by the people, from high to low (cf. Lam 3:14).

Verses 13-18

Prayer for Salvation


The psalmist – and prophetically the Lord Jesus – in all his distress turns in prayer to the LORD his God (Psa 69:13). The whole life of the Lord Jesus was entirely “prayer” (Psa 109:4b), especially during His suffering. Literally it says here “but I, my prayer …” In Hebrew, “I” has emphasis. The psalmist, in his deep suffering of the preceding verses, seeks refuge in the God of the covenant, the “LORD”.

That he addresses God as “LORD” implies that he is counting on the “greatness” of God’s “lovingkindness” – that is, God’s faithfulness to the promises of His covenant – that assures him of God’s salvation. As we have seen earlier, in this second book of psalms the name LORD is mentioned rarely. However, at the moment when the faithfulness of God in connection with the covenant is in question, the name of the LORD comes up again.

He knows that there is “an acceptable time” (cf. Isa 49:8; 2Cor 6:2). He looks forward to that. We can read it as an observation, that is, that prayer is a time of acceptance. That is because the psalmist is completely assured of the lovingkindness and faithfulness of God.

That time of acceptance comes because of “the greatness of Your lovingkindness”. The Lord Jesus knows that lovingkindness and He trusts in it. He asks for the answer to His prayer because He knows “the saving truth” of God. We can think here of His prayer in Gethsemane (Heb 5:7). What He further says is also reminiscent of this.

The Lord Jesus sees Himself in “the mire” by which He feels surrounded (Psa 69:14). The mire here is not a picture of sin. Here the principle of paralleling between the first and second line of the verse applies. Then it appears that by “the mire” in the first line the “foes” are meant and that “the deep waters” in the second line refer to the same thing. The hatred, in word and deed, of these hostile persons can pull you down so much that it stifles your spiritual life. It can make your heart bitter, bringing you down spiritually. The Lord Jesus asks God to deliver Him from that.

The deliverance He asks for concerns two forms of suffering He underwent. Firstly, He asked to be delivered from His foes. Secondly, He asks to be delivered from a second suffering, a suffering greater than the first. He expresses in three forms of imagery the enormous severity and depth of that suffering (Psa 69:15). Firstly, He speaks of “the flood of water” – that is a whirlpool – that it will not “overflow” Him – meaning that the whirlpool pulls Him down. Secondly, He speaks of “the deep” that it will not “swallow” Him “up”. Finally, about “the pit” that it will not “shut its mouth” on Him, shutting Him off from light and life.

The pit is a subsurface, pear-shaped, water tank that can be closed with a stone to prevent an animal from falling into it and rendering the water unusable. It is a hewn pit that, when dry, can be used as a prison (Gen 37:23-24; cf. Jer 38:6). If the opening is closed, it is impossible to escape. The pit is often a picture of the danger of the realm of the dead (cf. Psa 55:23; Psa 88:6).

These three expressions – the flood of water, the deep and the pit – indicate how severe He sees the judgment that God will bring on Him because of the sins He takes upon Himself. He is drowning in it, devoured by it and cut off from fellowship with God. He sees the end of His life on earth before Him, cast out from living in the presence of God. As a faithful God-fearing Jew, this thought is horrible to Him. His only desire has always been to live with and for God. That this should come to an end and in such a dramatic way, fills him with horror.

This leads Him to ask again for the answer to His prayer (Psa 69:16). He asks for it on the basis of God’s “lovingkindness” which is “good”. Likewise, He asks that God turns to Him because He understands the “greatness” of God’s “compassion”. God’s good lovingkindness and the greatness of His compassion are the basis of His prayer.

He reminds God that He is His “servant” (Psa 69:17). David is called the servant of the LORD several times (Psa 18:1; Psa 36:1; Isa 37:35). The Lord Jesus is also called “the servant of the LORD” in the second half of the book of Isaiah. David prays to the LORD on the basis of the covenant – the lovingkindness of the LORD – and on the basis of having a special relationship with the LORD as His servant. The latter applies in a surpassing way to the Lord Jesus.

He has always served Him unconditionally and with unfailing faithfulness. Then God cannot hide His face from Him, can He? The fear of it oppresses Him. He cannot live without the presence of God. Therefore he begs God to answer him quickly.

The psalmist’s prayer is the question to the LORD to act actually and immediately by drawing near to him (Psa 69:18; cf. Mal 3:5). When he experiences that, when God comes to him, redemption takes place. No power can stand in the presence of God. He asks to ransom him for the sake of his enemies. He does not want them to think that God is incapable to ransom him from impending doom. He is also thinking of the honor of God here.

Verses 19-21

Broken and Sick


The psalmist appeals to God’s omniscience, “You know” and “are before You” (Psa 69:19; cf. Heb 4:13). As a result, God is also familiar with the evil deeds of his enemies. His enemies persecute him, oppress him, and cause all this reproach, shame and disgrace to him. Again, this applies to the Lord Jesus in particular.

God knows that His standing up for the honor of God is what causes all this suffering. God also knows exactly who it is that is distressing Him by falsely accusing and mocking Him. This gives Him peace in His relationship with God. He can entrust it to Him Who judges righteously (1Pet 2:23).

Nevertheless, all that people have done to Him has broken His heart and made Him so sick (Psa 69:20). He is not insensitive to what men do to Him. Nor is He insensitive to what people fail to give Him. Thus, He has looked “for sympathy” and “for comforters”. His conclusion is moving: sympathy “there was none” and comforters He “found none”.

There is no sympathy with His enemies, but neither is there is with His disciples. When He speaks of His impending suffering at the institution of Supper, they dispute among them as to which one of them is regarded to be greatest (Lk 22:19-24). In Gethsemane, His soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death because of the work that lies ahead of Him. He has asked the three disciples who are with Him to watch with Him. But they fall asleep (Mt 26:37-40). What a deep disappointment to Him! When the Shepherd was smitten, the sheep were scattered (Zec 13:7; Mt 26:31).

His enemies gave Him something else: gall (Psa 69:21; Mt 27:34; 48). To give bitter gall – Hebrew: poison – as food to someone is a very mean way to satisfy someone’s hunger. The same goes for giving vinegar to someone who suffers from thirst. Thus, instead of offering sympathy and compassion, they offered a kind of food and drink that added to His suffering. This is what we call sadism: taking pleasure in intentionally hurting or humiliating another. The Lord was spared nothing.

Verses 22-29

Prayer for Judgment


The suffering that people, and especially God’s people, inflicted on the Lord Jesus raised their sins to heaven. It demonstrates the utter hardening of man (cf. Gen 6:11). They fill up the measure of the sin of their fathers (Mt 23:32). Then there is nothing left for God to do but let the righteous retribution of His judgment come. That is what the Lord Jesus asks for (Psa 69:22).

Here, in particular, it concerns the judgment on the earthly people of God. We learn this from Paul who applies Psa 69:22-23 to God’s people as evidence of the judgment of hardening that God will bring on “the rest” of the people (Rom 11:7-10). ‘The rest’ is the apostate mass of God’s people.

That the Lord Jesus asks this is not inconsistent with His prayer to His Father on the cross to forgive them the sin of His rejection. He thereby asks the Father not to impute that sin to them as an unforgivable sin (Lk 23:34). They are thereby given the opportunity still to flee to the city of refuge, i.e. to repent (Acts 2:38). In this psalm it concerns hardened enemies, people who do not want to know about repentance. In the end time these are the antichrist and his followers, that is, the apostate Israel.

These people have “their table”. From it they have given David spoiled food and drink. About that food and drink he has spoken in Psa 69:21. Now he asks – according to the principle: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (Exo 21:24) – that God will do to them what they have done to him.

We can also say that by “their table” is meant the altar in the temple, which is called “the table of the LORD” (Mal 1:7; 12). However, that table is called “their table” here. It is with it as with the feasts of the LORD that are later called feasts of the Jews (Jn 6:4; Jn 7:2). The table is a symbol of fellowship (1Cor 10:18-21). The Lord’s Table is the symbol of fellowship of believers with Him and with one another. ‘Their table’ is the symbol of a community of apostates. It is a table of demons, with demons in charge.

That fellowship will “before them become a snare”. “Them” are all those who join in their rebellion against God and His Christ. To them that table, where they feel themselves at peace, will become “a trap”. This happened historically in the year 70, at the destruction of the temple. Then hundreds of thousands of Jews were slaughtered by the Romans. This will happen again in the end time when the Assyrians conquer Jerusalem and massacre the apostate mass (Zec 13:8). We can also think of the alliance of the two beasts of Revelation 13, the beast coming out of the sea and the beast coming out of the earth (Rev 13:11-15). Their fellowship leads to their common fall (Rev 19:20).

Those who persistently oppose God and His Christ will be deprived of all light on the things of God (Psa 69:23). They will never see the light again. “Their loins” will be deprived of strength, resulting in their continual shaking. They will waddle their way like drunken people. Spiritually, Israel is blind and without strength. Only Christ can heal them. When a remnant of the people shall “turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2Cor 3:16).

In clear and powerful terms, the psalmist asks God to pour out His indignation on them and that His burning anger overtakes them (Psa 69:24). This is what they deserve because of their posture and attitude against all that is of God.

Not only should they be personally affected by judgment, but also their entire living environment (Psa 69:25). “Their camp” refers to the environment to which they belong, we would say the neighborhood where they grew up and live. “Their tents” refers to their own homes (cf. Num 16:26). It is all poisoned, for the devil is in control and they allow themselves to be swayed by him in every area of their lives. They are bitten by the poisonous snakes, a picture of satan and his demons (Num 21:6)

Moses, in response to the rebellion of Korah and his followers, says: “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, or you will be swept away in all their sin” (Num 16:26). The psalmist’s wish is for these wicked men to be totally eradicated, root and branch, so that they will never, ever return.

In this verse we recognize Judas, the betrayer of the Lord. This verse is applied to him by Peter under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:16; 20) in choosing someone to take the vacant place of Judas in the midst of the twelve apostles. Judas is a type of the antichrist and the leader of the apostate crowd who took the Lord Jesus captive. This once again makes it clear that the enemies of whom the Lord speaks in this psalm are truly hardened people.

This is further evidenced by their persecution of the Man Who was smitten by God (Psa 69:26; cf. Isa 53:4b; 10). In the suffering of Christ inflicted on Him by God, they see cause to mock Him. The remnant will also confess that as sin (Isa 53:4b) and recognize that He was wounded for their transgressions and crushed for their iniquities (Isa 53:5a). The apostates, however, know of no repentance. They speak mockingly of the sorrow of Him Who was wounded by God. It recalls what David experienced through the curses of Simei (2Sam 16:5-8).

By every crime they did to Christ, they added one iniquity to another (Psa 69:27). God must put those iniquities together and judge them therefore (cf. Isa 40:2). These apostates must not and will not come to God’s righteousness, that is, to God’s salvation, for they will never be released from criminal prosecution. They will never be able to escape God’s righteous judgment.

Their portion must be to be “blotted out of the book of life” (Psa 69:28). This means, first, that they must die, and second, that they will not stand in the final judgment (Psa 1:5). God, of course, does not need a book, but it is said in this way to help us understand His purpose with life. The book of life here is the book in which every human being who has ever been born is written.

God “takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live“ (Eze 33:11). If the ungodly does not do so, God removes him from this book of life (cf. Rev 3:5; Rev 22:19). Before the great white throne, this book will be opened. Then it turns out that it is not their names that are in it, but their wicked works (Rev 20:12). Because their names are not in it, they will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:15).

The names that remain in the book of life are the names of all those who are associated with the Lamb. Their names are also in another book: “the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain” (Rev 13:8; Rev 17:8; Rev 21:27). The Lamb is the name of Christ specifically associated with His humiliation. The names of all who followed Him in His humiliation have been written since the foundation of the world in the book that bears His Name. The names of those who have been erased from the general book of life are missing from that book. They are not written down in it.

In his deep suffering, the psalmist continues to place his trust in God’s salvation. Prophetically, the Messiah speaks one more time of the affliction and pain in which He is (Psa 69:29). It is a reassurance that God will punish injustice righteously. With a pleading “O God” He asks God to put Him securely “on high” through His salvation. Then He will be delivered from His affliction and pain. God has done this by raising Him from the dead.

Verses 30-36

Praise to the Name of God


Up to four times the psalmist has prayed for salvation (Psa 69:1b; 6; 13-18; 22-29). The first three times his prayer is followed by a complaint. In Psa 69:22-29 we have the fourth prayer. This is followed in Psa 69:30-36 not by a complaint, but by a song of praise. He has prayed at the end of the prayer in Psa 69:29b that the salvation of God will protect him. The psalmist is so sure of the answer to this prayer that he then breaks out into songs of praise. For us, it is the Lord Jesus, Whose Name means ‘the LORD saves’ or ‘the LORD gives salvation’.

The Messiah praises the Name of God with song (Psa 69:30). He is heard because of His piety (Heb 5:7) and for that He honors God. He magnifies Him with thanksgiving. He has always magnified God with thanksgiving, even at a time when His rejection by the people is evident (Mt 11:25a). Having been delivered from the dead, He also glorifies God for what He has done in His raising from the dead.

His thanksgiving is to the LORD more pleasing “than an ox” or “a young bull with horns and hoofs” (Psa 69:31). We see here that even in the Old Testament, thanksgiving is more pleasing to the LORD than animal sacrifices, which is not to say that animal sacrifices were not necessary. From the New Testament we know that these animal sacrifices are only shadows of the reality, that is, of the sacrifice of Christ.

The answer to the prayer of the Messiah causes gladness with the humble when they see what God has done to Him (Psa 69:32). The humble are the faithful remnant. They have suffered much, including the despair they have felt because of the humiliation done to them. Their humiliation is like the humiliation that was inflicted on the Messiah. Yet they too have continued to seek God. Because of what they see, their hearts are revived. They will inherit the earth with the Messiah (Mt 5:5), the true Humble One (Mt 11:29).

They recognize in the deliverance from need, which is the part of Messiah, that “the LORD hears the needy” (Psa 69:33). These needy are also the faithful remnant. They are those poor in spirit who have been oppressed. Now they may enter the kingdom, in the wake of the Messiah, the true Poor in spirit, for the kingdom is theirs (Mt 5:3).

The humble of Psa 69:32 are here called “the needy”. They are poor and oppressed and unable to offer great sacrifices such as an ox or a young bull, not even small livestock, but perhaps a dove. In any case, the remnant can offer a song of praise. That is more precious to the LORD than great sacrifices like an ox or a young bull.

They are also “His prisoners”. They will be taken away into captivity, but He will never lose sight of them or let them go. They may have been captives of the nations, but have remained first and foremost His captives. In His time He will bring a turn in their fate. He will work repentance in their hearts. Then they will experience that He does not despise them.

This great work of deliverance results in “heaven and earth praise Him” (Psa 69:34). The book of Psalms ends with the words: “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Hallelujah!” (Psa 150:6). Even “the seas and everything that moves in them” are called upon to do so. What God has done for the benefit of His Messiah and the believing remnant has beneficial consequences for all creation. Creation is then freed from the curse that has come upon it through man’s sin (Rom 8:21). For this, praise and honor are given to God and His Son, the Lamb, for all eternity (Rev 5:13).

Through the salvation of Zion, there is a center of blessing on earth (Psa 69:35). From Zion, blessing will flow to the ends of the earth. That blessing will be seen first and foremost in the rebuilding of the cities of Judah. The LORD will rebuild Jerusalem (Psa 147:2). Thereby the remnant will also go to work, causing them to be called: “The repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets” (Isa 58:12). And also the nations will participate, for “foreigners will rebuild your walls” (Isa 60:10; Isa 61:4).

God’s people will dwell there and possess it. There is no longer an enemy in sight who is a threat of them losing the blessing again. They will inherit the land and live quietly and carefree in their cities. It is clear that in Israel’s history this has never been fulfilled. Since not the smallest letter or stroke [Lit one iota (Heb yodh) or one projection of a letter (serif)] shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished, this portion is prophetic, which means it is yet to come.

Their inheritance will no longer fall into enemy hands, but will remain in the possession of the family (Psa 69:36). The people here are called “His servants”. This emphasizes that they and also their descendants will receive the inheritance because they have served Him faithfully. They have not served Him as submissive slaves, however they are, but out of love. They live there because they “love His Name”. This is in all future generations the portion of everyone who loves His Name (Isa 45:25; Isa 60:21-22).

Thus, this psalm that describes an extraordinary suffering of the Anointed of God and of the believing remnant ends with a great song of praise to God. The suffering and bitterness will give way to eternal peace and never-ending joy for Christ and His redeemed. This peace and joy at the end of creation, that is, in the realm of peace, are better than the beginning, at its origin (Ecc 7:8a; cf. Job 42:12).

The joy of salvation here is the “joy set before” (cf. Heb 12:2). Through this they receive strength to endure the cross and to despise the shame. This is perfectly fulfilled by the Lord Jesus. It also applies to the remnant and also to us.

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Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 69". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/psalms-69.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.