MEDITATING ON THE PSALMS  – “A life-changing glimpse at God”
PSALM 69  – Save Me, O God (ESV) or A Man of Sorrows: Part I
                   A Plea for Help in Suffering (title and notes from James Montgomery Boice)
Let’s begin by reading the first 21 verses while contemplating Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross.  After your reading, could you picture Him there for you?
Psalm 69 is clearly about Jesus.  In fact, it is one of the most obviously messianic psalms in the psalter.  Arno C. Gaebelien captures something of this flavor when he says of Psalm 69, “What a precious psalm it is! It begins with the cry of the one who bore our sins in his body, who suffered for our sake.  It ends with the glorious results of his atoning work.” [pgs. 568-569 Boice]
The Original Setting
The setting of Palm 69 is the condition of a hurting man who is asking God for help against his many troubles and foes.  We must note this, because some of the psalm’s expressions fit this original situation and do not relate to Jesus, even though the psalm is messianic.  Verse 5 is an example. “You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you.” Obviously, that cannot have been said or thought by Jesus Christ. [p. 569 Boice]
The way to study the psalm is to keep three important and overlapping reference points in mind: (1) David’s situation, (2) the person and work of Jesus Christ, and (3) our own experiences and problems.  When we think of David, we will remind ourselves of how difficult life must have been for him, even though he was the powerful and esteemed king of Israel.  When we think of Jesus we will try to enter into his genuine humanity and realize more fully what he endured from sinful human beings for our sakes.  When we think of ourselves and our experiences we will be encouraged to endure and carry on faithfully for God, looking to Jesus as our great enabling example. [p. 569 Boice]
Please take a brief moment to read and ponder the passage: Hebrews 12:2-4… “looking to Jesus, the founder (author) and perfecter of our faith…” [ESV]
A Lament and Plea for Help
The tone of the psalm is set in the first four verses, which are at the same time both a lament about the psalmist’s sad plight and a plea to God to help him. The psalm is a classic lament [p. 570 Boice].
Well, what is a lament? It’s “a passionate expression of grief or sorrow; a song, piece of music, or poem expressing sorrow” [Dictionary].  Truly Psalm 69 would fit this description.
The best commentary on vs. 1-4 in terms of Jesus’ earthly experience is Hebrews 5:7-10: “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.  Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he because the source of eternal salvation…”  These verses tell us that in his humanity, Jesus was not exempt from those feeling of being almost overwhelmed that sometimes overtake us.  But Jesus prayed, was heard by the Father, and grew in the knowledge of God’s ways, and in obedience as a result of his suffering.  Obviously that is to be our pattern.  When we feel overwhelmed, we must pray and trust God to keep us and teach us too. [pgs. 570-571 Boice]
A Lifetime of Insults
Jesus bore a lifetime of insults for God and our sake.  When he spoke the truth about sin, the leaders were incensed.  Jesus showed them that they were children of their fathers, who had stoned the prophets and killed those who were sent to them (John 8:41) and “You belong to your father, the devil” (v. 44).  The first time that Jesus ever spoke in public, his message on salvation by the simple, electing grace of God aroused fury in the Pharisees.  He had not spoken twenty lines before they arose up and led him to the brow of the hill on which the city was built, intending to push him over the precipice (Luke 4:29).  When he cast out demons, his enemies reproached him for working by the power of the devil (Matt. 12:24).  When he was on the cross, they mocked him with the claims he had made: “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself.” Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” (Matt. 27:40). They flouted his claim to deity and more than implied that he was himself a great deceiver. [pgs. 573-574 Boice]
If there was ever an example of one who was willing to bear even the worst of abuses in order to please God the Father, it was Jesus Christ.  If there was ever one whose personal experiences in life reflected the words of this psalm, it was the Savior [p. 574 Boice].
Oh, what a precious Savior we have… who bore all our sorrows and died for all our sins.  Let’s remember to praise Him, love and obey Him and serve Him all the days of our lives.  He gave His life for us, shouldn’t we give our lives for Him?
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” [ESV ]   Wow!  That says it all.
Questions to consider in applying  this truth:
What has Christ endured for me? 
What has He given me?
What commitment have I made for him?
How will I live differently in light of this truth?


Personal notes by Lisa Patton
(Bible notes from Ryrie, MacArthur and/or Boice)