For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies.” Of David. 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, God, know my folly; my guilt is not hidden from you. 6 Lord, the Lord Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel, may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me. 7 For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face. 8 I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children; 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, 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, 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; deliver 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 But as for me, afflicted and in pain— may your salvation, 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 hooves. 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, I can’t help but notice how David writes down all his emotions. He pours his heart out. Every last drop.
It’s actually a good practice. Too often we either ignore, bury or minimise our emotions. But here we see David take the time to slow down and let it all out before God in prayer.
I’m imagining that he is in a quiet space somewhere, where he has the freedom to express what he is truly feeling. He is totally overwhelmed. He’s sinking and he’s calling out for help. He wants revenge, he wants God to punish his enemies. Blot them out Lord! There. He said it. He said what was really on his heart.
Do you know what’s interesting?
This psalm is written down but it’s written to a tune. David is singing this. It seems strange to consider his heart ache as an offering to the Lord.
Have you ever considered the same could be said for you? That as you express your true emotions before the Lord, He doesn’t despise them or reject them but receives them. He receives your emotions. He receives your heart.
And look what happens after the Lord receives David’s heart: there’s a noticeable change. We can see in the last part of this Psalm, from verses 30-36, David is now praising God. He knows that God has heard him and his heart is filled with hope again.
Lord, I thank you that we can come to You. May we be honest with ourselves and You about our emotions, even the ones that are uncomfortable. As You take my emotions, fill my heart with Your hope and peace again.
Written by Gab Martin