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. When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn; when I put on sackcloth, people make sport of me. Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards. But I pray to you, Lord , in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters. Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, Lord , out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me. Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble. Come near and rescue me; deliver me because of my foes. You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies are before you. Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst. – Psalm 69:1-21
Miry depths and water up to one’s neck with no foot hold — sounds like a very scary place to be. This passage feels a bit like the deep waters it is describing. The person that this psalm is describing also sounds a lot like David. He seemed to excel at getting into deep water….from the very beginning when he took on Goliath with five smooth stones to his fateful decisions regarding Bathsheba and all the collateral damage that wrought.
The subject of this psalm is deliverance from deep water. What is it that is so scary about deep water? I think it is the idea that in deep water we must tread water or drown. We know in our soul that we cannot tread water forever so we picture a fateful end to our struggle by drowning — we lose hope of rescue. God is all about rescuing us from the deep waters of this earth. He wants to take us to the undiscovered country.
This passage contains several reflections of Him, Jesus. The first place where He shows up is in the phrase “I am a foreigner to my own family” (Matthew 12:48). He was rejected and scorned, “I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none” The last reference is really striking…”They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst”. This is what happened in the last part of Jesus’ life here on earth when they gave him vinegar laden water and he uttered that amazing set of words…”it is finished” (John 19:30).
God has entered the miry depths to save us. We are in water up to our necks and we have no foothold except that which God has provided through his prophets and through His son Jesus. We can be confident that we will not grow tired and drown as long as God has our backs.
Prayer: Thank You God for rescuing us from the miry depths and floodwaters, and giving us a foothold while we are here on this earth.