For the director of music. A psalm of David to the tune of “Lilies.” 1 God, save me. My troubles are like a flood. I’m up to my neck in them. 2 I’m sinking in deep mud. I have no firm place to stand. I am out in deep water. The waves roll over me. 3 I’m worn out from calling for help. My throat is very dry. My eyes grow tired looking for my God. 4 Those who hate me without any reason are more than the hairs on my head. Many people who don’t have any reason to be my enemies are trying to destroy me. They force me to give back what I didn’t steal. 5 God, you know how foolish I’ve been. My guilt is not hidden from you. 6 Lord, you are the Lord who rules over all. May those who put their hope in you not be dishonored because of me. You are the God of Israel. May those who worship you not be put to shame because of me. 7 Because of you, people laugh at me. My face is covered with shame. 8 I’m an outsider to my own family. I’m a stranger to my own mother’s children. 9 My great love for your house destroys me. Those who make fun of you make fun of me also. 10 When I weep and go without eating, they laugh at me. 11 When I put on rough clothing to show how sad I am, people make jokes about me. 12 Those who gather in public places make fun of me. Those who get drunk make up songs about me. 13 But Lord, I pray to you. May this be the time you help me. God, answer me because you love me so much. Save me, as you always do. 14 Save me from the trouble I’m in. It’s like slippery mud, so don’t let me sink in it. Save me from those who hate me. Save me from the deep water I’m in. 15 Don’t let the floods cover me. Don’t let the deep water swallow me up. Don’t let the grave close its mouth over me. 16 Lord, answer me because your love is so good. Turn to me because you are so kind. 17 Don’t turn your face away from me. Answer me quickly. I’m in trouble. 18 Come near and save me. Set me free from my enemies. 19 You know how they make fun of me. They dishonor me and put me to shame. You know all about my enemies. 20 They have broken my heart by saying evil things about me. It has left me helpless. I looked for pity, but I didn’t find any. I looked for someone to comfort me, but I didn’t find anyone. 21 They put bitter spices in my food. They gave me vinegar when I was thirsty. 22 Let their feast be a trap and a snare. Let my enemies get what’s coming to them. 23 Let their eyes grow weak so they can’t see. Let their backs be bent forever. 24 Pour out your anger on them. Let them feel what it is like. 25 May their homes be deserted. May no one live in their tents. 26 They attack those you have wounded. They talk about the pain of those you have hurt. 27 Charge them with one crime after another. Don’t save them. 28 May their names be erased from the book of life. Don’t include them in the list of those who do right. 29 I’m in pain. I’m in deep trouble. God, save me and keep me safe. 30 I will praise God’s name by singing to him. I will bring him glory by giving him thanks. 31 That will please the Lord more than offering him an ox. It will please him more than offering him a bull with its horns and hooves. 32 Poor people will see it and be glad. The hearts of those who worship God will be strengthened. 33 The Lord hears those who are in need. He doesn’t forget his people in prison. 34 Let heaven and earth praise him. Let the oceans and everything that moves in them praise him. 35 God will save Zion. He will build the cities of Judah again. Then people will live in them and own the land. 36 The children of those who serve God will receive it. Those who love him will live there.
I just love the way David is able to express his emotional state with imagery. I picture him drowning in quick sand. He is up to his neck, exhausted, parched and overwhelmed.
David does not doubt God’s unfailing love and mercy and power to save him. With his mind on this he says in v.30-31: THEN I will praise His Name with singing and honour Him with thanksgiving, because this pleases Him more than ritual sacrifice. He longs to see God glorified to his people.
This pattern here of complaint, expression of faith and anticipation of praise and thanks giving for deliverance is one which I want to use in my times of trouble. Anticipation of Gods glorious saving grace.
Dear Lord when I am drowning please help me to look UP to you. And when I can’t do it on my own then please bring me back to this psalm, to pray it with David. Amen.
Written by Dimity Milne