1 Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.
3 I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.
4 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.
5 You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you.
6 May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the LORD Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel.
7 For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face.
8 I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons;
9 for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
10 When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn;
11 when I put on sackcloth, people make sport of me.
12 Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards.
13 But I pray to you, O LORD, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters.
15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me.
16 Answer me, O LORD, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.
17 Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
18 Come near and rescue me; redeem me because of my foes.
19 You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies are before you.
20 Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.
21 They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
22 May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap.
23 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.
24 Pour out your wrath on them; let your fierce anger overtake them.
25 May their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute those you wound and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
27 Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation.
28 May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous.
29 I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me.
30 I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
31 This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs.
32 The poor will see and be glad you who seek God, may your hearts live!
33 The LORD hears the needy and does not despise his captive people.
34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them,
35 for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it;
36 the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.
As I read this psalm it points me to the suffering of Christ on the last day of his ministry on this earth. So many of these verses are tied to the New Testament account of this day. My I be like the poor in verse thirty-two and be glad. As Christ stated in Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” is alluded to here in verse thirty-six “those who love his name will dwell there”. So as you read this psalm reflect back on the cross, and then focus you praise to the one who is now seated on the right hand of God in heaven.
This psalm not only reflects the life of David in hid darkness times, or the final days of Christ; but it also reflects the battles that true Christians face when they stand against the ways of the world. Just as Christ’s final days on this earth lead to the cross instead of a throne, so too will the path of some believer’s lead down a path of uncertainty. In my youth I was blessed to have great hymns to remind me of this walk. One of these songs was “Follow Me” written in 1953 by Ira Stanphill which gave me a great picture of what the Christian’s walk on earth should be like today.
I traveled down a lonely road
And no one seemed to care
The burdens on my weary back
Had bowed me to despair
I oft complained to Jesus
How folks were treating me
And then I heard him say so tenderly
“My feet were also weary upon the Calvary Road
The cross became so heavy I fell beneath the load
Be faithful weary children the morning I can see
Just lift your cross and follow close to Me.’
I work so hard for Jesus, I often boast and say,
I’ve sacrificed a lot of things, to walk the narrow way.
I gave up fame and fortune, I’m worth a lot to Thee
And then I hear Him gently say to me:
“I left the throne of glory and counted it but loss,
My hands were nailed in anger upon the cruel cross.
But now we’ll make the journey with your hand close in mine
So lift your cross and follow close to Me.”
O Jesus, if I die someday upon a foreign field
T’would be no more than love demands no less could I repay.
No greater love hath mortal man than for a friend to die:
These are the words He gently spoke to me:
“If just a cup of water I place within your hand,
Then just a cup of water is all that I demand.
But if by death to living, they can thy glory see,
I’ll take my cross and follow close to Thee.