Another Psalm of David. I knew much of it sounded familiar, and here is why:
The most interesting thing about this psalm is that “More than any other in the whole Psalter, except Psalms 22, this psalm is quoted in the New Testament.”
“They hated me without a cause” (Psalms 69:4) was quoted by Jesus Christ in John 15:25.
“Zeal for thy house shall eat me up” (Psalms 69:9) is quoted in John 2:17.
“The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell upon me” (Psalms 69:9b), is quoted in Romans 15:3.
“Let their table before them become a snare; and when they are in peace, let it become a trap” (Psalms 69:22) is quoted in Romans 11:9.
“Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see” (Psalms 69:23) is quoted in Romans 11:10, where the apostle Paul applied it to the hardening of Israel.
“Let their habitation be desolate” (Psalms 69:25) is quoted in Acts 1:20, where it is applied to Judas Iscariot.
In Romans 11:9, the apostle Paul unequivocally recognized David as the author of this psalm; and our own opinion is that a single word from Paul is worth more than a whole library of critical denials that David wrote it.
“They gave me also gall for my food; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink” (Psalms 69:21). Although this verse is not quoted in the New Testament, it is significant that all four of the gospels recorded the giving of vinegar to Christ on the cross (Matthew 27:48-50; Mark 15:36; Luke 23:36; andJohn 19:29). It is evident that all of the Gospel writers considered that action of giving Jesus vinegar to drink was a fulfillment in the Anti-Type of what had happened in the Type. Apparently, the motive for giving Christ vinegar on Calvary was different from what seems to be the motive here against David. The action of the Roman soldier who offered Christ vinegar is cited by Dummelow as an act of mercy designed to allay Jesus’ sufferings, a view which this writer has often accepted, but Luke seems to deny this, writing that, “The soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, offering him vinegar” (Luke 23:36).
As I’m reading this and the Psalm, I was thinking about the time Jesus spent with the disciples post-resurrection. The very first thing he did with two of them on the road to Emmaus was say this:
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
In that same chapter after he’d appeared to the rest of the disciples and basically freaks them out, he takes a piece of fish, eats it and says:
This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.
Luke adds that “he” opened their minds so that “they could understand the Scriptures.” And it wasn’t just a time or two. Luke tells us in the first chapter of Acts:
3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
So not only did he spend a lot of time teaching them how the Scriptures, our OT, all pointed to him, but proving to them that he was indeed alive, that he was in fact Jesus of Nazareth risen from the Dead!
There is also a theme in the Psalms, and elsewhere I am sure, that thanksgiving is more honoring to God than sacrifice. We see it in this Psalm as well:
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 hooves.
If I bring a sacrifice for my sin, it is something I’m doing, whereas a heart, and lips, of gratitude are all about what God has done, does and will do. I need to think about this next time I’m tempted to let circumstances bum me out. Be thankful, speak praise to God in gratitude; bring glory to him, trust him, and the circumstances won’t appear so intimidating after all. After all forever is the context of our existence. As I was reminded Sunday at church, all men are like grass which withers and fades in mere moments, but the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40). We can be grateful because we know how the story ends, in a new, eternal beginning where all suffering, sickness and death will have finally be vanquished. Something indeed to look forward to.
Psalm 70 is a much shorter version of 69 with the same basic theme.