Daily Family Worship

Psalm 69: The Lily Among Thorns

by | May 17, 2024

psalm 69

This Psalm is a prayer full of those most deep and spiritual feelings that were experienced in the Person of our dear Lord Jesus. In the beginning of the Psalm, in the first three verses – how great is the fervency and weight of words with which the Psalmist describes those great terrors of death and hell, which Christ undertook and endured for our sins! By all the expressions and figures of speech, David shadows forth – with all his powers – that unspeakable agony of Jesus, which He endured for our sins, when He was groaning under the infinite weight of the wrath of God. In the 7th verse, Christ confesses Himself as bearing our sins; and He complains of those who crucified Him. “They gave me gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink,” He says in the 21st verse. So expressively and circumstantially does the Psalmist foretell the sufferings of Christ! And then, in the end of the Psalm, he shows that the Old Testament ceremonial system would be abolished, and that a new worship would be instituted without the animal sacrifices and circumcision. “I will praise the name of the Lord with a song,” he declares, “and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or a bullock that hath horns and hoofs” (verse 30). By these words, he shows that the ceremonial law would be abrogated, along with all its outward rituals; and that the worship of the New Testament would be established in its place – namely, the sacrifice of praise and the preaching of the Gospel. For it is by faith in Christ and obedience to His Gospel that we attain unto the true knowledge of God, and it is by truly keeping the First Commandment that God is truly worshiped – which, as it is written in Mark 12:33 – is “more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices!”

As we study the content of this Psalm, we should frequently consider the Person of the Sufferer Who is here spoken of; and we should ask why He suffered, as well as what He suffered. By meditating thereon, we shall become more humbled for our sins, and more convinced of our danger from them; and then we shall also feel more gratitude and love constraining us to live to His glory, since He died for our salvation. Here we also learn that when we are in affliction, we must commit the keeping of our souls to God so that we do not become soured with discontentment, nor sunken in despair. As this Psalm indicates, David was hated wrongfully by his enemies (verse 4); but the words far more fully apply to Christ. In a world where unrighteousness reigns so much, we must not be surprised when we meet with those who are our enemies without a cause. Let us take care that we never do wrong; and then, if we receive wrong, we shall be better able to bear it. By the satisfaction that Jesus made to God for our sins by His blood, He restored that which He took not away (verse 4); He paid our debt, and He suffered for our offences. Even when we can plead “not guilty” in regards to men’s unjust accusations; yet before God, we must acknowledge that we truly do deserve all that is brought upon us. All our sins take rise from our foolishness. But see also how David complains of the unkindness of his friends and relatives (verse 8). This was fulfilled in Christ; for His own brethren did not believe on Him, and He was forsaken by His disciples. Behold how Christ made satisfaction for us – not only by putting off the honors that were due to Him as God, but also by submitting to the greatest dishonors that could be done to any man! We must not become discouraged if we are treated as our dear Savior was; and if our zeal for the truths, precepts, and worship of the Lord should provoke some, and cause others to mock our Godly sorrow and deadness to the world.

It is important to note that the Psalmist concludes this composition with holy joy and praise, even though he began it with complaints of his grief. It is a great comfort to us to remember that humble and thankful praises are more pleasing to God than the most costly and pompous sacrifices. The humble shall look to the Lord, and be glad; those who seek Him, through Christ, shall live and be comforted! God will do great things for the Gospel-Church; therefore, let all who love that Church lift up their voices and rejoice! He Who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all – how can we doubt that He shall also freely give us all other things?

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being our glorious Surety, Who carried and atoned for all our iniquities! Amen.

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