Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore? O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother’s sons. For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me. When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. I am the talk of those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me. (Psalm 69:1-12 ESV)
If you are reading this, I hope that you can never understand David’s deep feelings of abandonment, betrayal, and loneliness. The shepherd-turned-king was once the revered subject of the songs of the masses, after he killed the giant, Goliath. Now, something has happened to change the tune. For some reason, all his friends and family have left him and the only songs sung about him are songs of derision sung by drunks around the campfire (verse 12).
What amazes me about this Psalm is that David does not just cry out to God so he can be relieved of his pain. David is concerned about any dishonor that his actions may have brought to God’s house and God’s holy Name.
David’s phrase, “For zeal for your house has consumed me” is quoted by Jesus’ disciples in John chapter 2 to describe why Jesus cast the money-changers from the temple courts. Jesus had the same concern for the integrity and respect of the Father’s house and His Name. Jesus also experienced the adulation of the crowds and the abandonment and ridicule that followed. Unlike David, Jesus, the Son of David, did nothing wrong to deserve any of this. Instead, He experienced the betrayal by a friend’s kiss, the abandonment by all those closest to Him, and even execution between two criminals, for the crimes against God’s Name that you and I committed. He experienced the ultimate humiliation so I could experience His glory.