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In old age we reflect on our life with a mixture of highs and low but with a profound sense of thankfulness. King David did not enjoy a happy retirement. David sinned and brought down a great plague on his people. He ended his days bed-ridden and powerless with plots afoot. There were elements of David’s experience that set the pattern for God’s ultimate king, Jesus. This song is cited by NT writers more than any other. In one way or another all of God’s people can expect to face similar challenges. This then becomes their song as the birthdays mount up.

Dan: [0:00] Hi everyone, and welcome to Training for Life Redeemed. I’m Dan, I’m here as always with my father, Dr. David Jackson.

He’s the one with all the brains and information who’s giving us lots and lots of great insights into the Bible as we go through.

We are continuing to look at Psalms at the moment. Dad, I think we’re up to Psalm 69, and we’re doing 70 as well, right? We’re doing both.

Yep, they’re a pair. They’re essentially paired together, that’s what I’m told.

And Dad says that in the Septuagint, they’re actually one Psalm.

So let’s listen to Dad read his translation for us and then we’ll dive into it Psalm 69.


Psalm 69

0 For the director according to crocuses,

Of David.

1 Save me, God, for waters are closing in on my life.

2 I sink in deep mud and there is no footing.

I have come into the depth of waters,

and the flow overwhelms me.

3 I am weary in my crying out.

My throat is parched.

My eyes are spent waiting for my God.

4 Those who hate me without cause are many;

More than the hairs of my head.

Those who would annihilate me are beyond counting.

My enemies are a lie.

I repaid what I didn’t steal.

5 O God, you, you know my foolishness;

My wrongdoings aren’t hidden from you.

6 Don’t let those who wait for you be shamed by me, Lord Yahweh of armies.

Don’t let those who seek you be humiliated by me, God of Israel.

7 For your sake I bear scorn.

Insult covers my face.

8 I’ve become a stranger to my brothers,

and an alien to the sons of my mother.

9 I am consumed because of jealousy for your house,

and the taunts that taunted you fall on me.

10 I wept with fasting.

My life became a taunt to me.

11 When I put sackcloth to my flesh

I became a proverb for them.

12 They who sit at the gate complain about me.

Those who drink beer make up songs.

13 But as for me my prayer is to you, Yahweh, in a time of grace.

God, in the abundance of your covenant faithfulness

Answer me with the reliability of your salvation.

14 Rescue me from the mud and I won’t sink.

I will be delivered from those who hate me,

and from the depths of the waters.

15 Don’t let a flow of water overwhelm me

or the deep swallow me

or the pit shut its mouth over me.

16 Answer me Yahweh for your covenant faithfulness is good.

Turn towards me according to the abundance of your compassions.

17 Don’t hide your face from your servant,

for I am in trouble.

Hurry. Answer me.

18 Come near to me.

Redeem me.

Ransom me on account of my enemies.

19 You, you know my scorn, my shame, and my insults.

All who are hostile to me are in front of you.

20 Scorn breaks my heart and I am sick.

I waited for someone to sympathise but there was none.

and for comforters but I found none.

21 They gave me poison for my food,

and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

22 Let their table be a trap before them,

and their peace offerings be like a lure.

23 Their eyes will be dark from seeing;

their thighs continually causing them to totter.

24 Pour your indignation on them,

and let the rage of your anger overtake them.

25 May their camp be desolate.

Let them not dwell in their tents.

26 For they go after the one whom you struck,

and they record the pain of your wounded.

27 Attribute guilt to their guilt.

Do not let them enter into your righteousness.

28 Let them be erased from the book of life.

Do not let them be written down among the righteous.

29 But I am afflicted and in pain.

Your salvation, O God, sets me up and out of reach.

30 I will praise the name of God in song.

I will cause it to expand with thanksgiving.

31 And it will be good for Yahweh,

better than a steer showing horns and split in two.

32 The afflicted see.

Those who seek God rejoice and their hearts come alive.

33 For Yahweh is listening to the poor.

He does not despise his imprisoned ones.

34 The heavens and the earth praise him;

The waters and all that move about in them.

35 For God saves Zion and builds the cities of Judah.

They dwell there and possess it.

36 The offspring of his servants inherit it.

Those who love his name settle in it.


Psalm 70

0 For the director. Of David. To remember.

1 God, to deliver me;

Yahweh, for my help;


2 Let them be ashamed and disgraced who seek my life.

Let them turn back.

Let them be humiliated who delight in my damage.

3 Let them turn back on account of their shame who say “Aha! Aha!”

4 Let them celebrate and rejoice in you all the ones who seek you.

Let them say continually, “Let God be great,” those who love your salvation.

5 But I am afflicted and poor.

God hurry to me, my helper.

You are my deliverer, Yahweh.

Do not delay.


Dan: [5:01] Okay Dad so this says that it’s a Psalm of David give us some context is he a young lad run away from Saul still or is he an old old man dying on his deathbeds is he being chased off by his son at the moment lots of times in his life when are you thinking this Psalm is is most likely to have been written?

David: I think this is, if you look at book two, you’re following the life of David right through the whole book, not always in chronological order. But these last four Psalms look like the handover to Solomon. So Psalm 72 is Solomon’s song, and this 69-70 sounds desperately like the end of David’s life. There’s some lines in the Psalm that talk about that sort of a reflection back on everything.

[5:59] But my general impression is, this is the time when he’s not on his deathbed. So you’ve got that account at the beginning of 1 Kings.

Certainly, you’ve got Adonijah and all these other sons of his who want to take over the throne. Nobody loves him. He’s just done one of the stupidest things of his life.[6:25] By ordering conscription and then having a plague go through the whole people. So I don’t think too many people like him at the minute. Yeah.

And it’s the end of 40 years of ruling, and you get to that point and you look back on your life and you go, well, it’s a bit of a mixture of things and you would like to look forward to a retirement where you were well-respected, had lots of friends and you’d accomplished your life’s work.

I don’t think David felt that way. I think he really got to the end of his career, and like so many people do, and you look back on it and you go, can I have another go? You know, there’s things in here. And then you worry, you know, what have I done? What’s going to be the impact? [7:16] How am I going to finish this story?

Dan: Well, the start of the Psalm, Dad, Dave is going to talk about how God knows his sin. And I presume that’s going to refer to multiples of sins because he’s reflecting. Thing, but yet he’s wanting to make sure that he is not hindering others from coming to God. The last two lines, verse six, I think it is, talks about don’t let… People be ashamed of God because of me. Or don’t let people be humiliated about you because of me.

And, yeah, that’s partly because he represents Israel and therefore kind of represents God to other nations and stuff and to the people.

David: So you look at David and you say, here’s the king, here’s the man after God’s own heart. And you get to the end of his life and his big concern is, and I’ll read the thing, “don’t let those who wait for you be ashamed by me. Don’t let those who seek you be humiliated by me.” So there’s this sense of I’m an embarrassment to God’s people.

I think every believer has some moments like that. Sometimes if you stop and think about your life when you get to my age, you might look back and go, that is a major worry.

[8:39] But yeah, that sets the tone for the whole song.

[8:45] And you’ve got the beginning of it where, you know, I’m sinking in the mud. I’m going down here. So that emotional feeling like I’m in quicksand, which produces the link between this Psalm and Psalm 70.

Dan: Okay. Okay, well, he’s going to continue on then and talk about a bit about God’s reputation, but he’s also talking in here about the sacrifice that’s involved in actually following God. So he’s going to take a lot of scorn and people saying things about him, taunting him, et cetera, because he follows God.

Yeah. And that’s something that we see get caught up again in Jesus’ life when people scorn him and Jesus tells his disciples that people will scorn you because you are my disciples.

David: Yeah, and there’s an element in there that –, You know, when Jesus said, you know, father will betray son and it’ll divide families and all these things.

[9:51] This is a very special Psalm to me because many years ago, I visited a lady who was, after 29 years of marriage, her husband had walked out on her.

He didn’t just walk out on her. He negotiated his way out. So first of all, he started an affair with her sister-in-law. And then he proposed that because she was a Christian lady, she would understand that this is all about love, so she should let the other woman move into the front bedroom and he could share both women. That would be the loving thing to do.

Anyway, this story goes on. Here is a woman after 29 years of marriage thinking, you know, this is all good, and then you wake up one morning and suddenly you are dirt. And when she says no to something like that, you know, he turned on her and life got pretty nasty.

[10:52] So I went to visit her and the first thing she did was say, wait here.

She goes into a bedroom. She brings out a Bible. She opens it to this Psalm and this passage and she reads it to me.

[11:07] “I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to the sons of my mother. Scorn and shame cover my face” she reads this song and she says it’s like I wrote it and you think, moments in the life of a believer that could be like that, and then to so I sat down with her and we read the whole Psalm and the Psalm ends with I’m going to stand in the congregation of God’s people and sing, praises Yeah. This isn’t the end of the story. I’m in the mud and I’m drowning and I’m being scorned and I’m being told things about me that are disgusting.

[11:53] And in that whole process, there’s an element of truth which really hurts. And then how do you cry out to God in a moment like that?

And I thought watching her go through that and her sense of shame and degradation. [12:16] Because this other woman was obviously better in bed than she was, was just horrendous.

So this song, you look at Jesus.

Jesus is betrayed by his brothers didn’t believe in him. Judas hands him in for money. The crowd that said yay yahoo one day is “crucify, crucify” the next. How does that prepare me, how does that train me for a life redeemed? i think this this song is one of those things that rewards a lot of time and thought for that reason

Dan: yeah and David goes on to talk about the fact that that even though he’s sacrificing a lot for God, his salvation is assured.

[13:06] He talks about the security that he has in God’s covenant faithfulness, which is a word that doesn’t ever get translated well because there’s not really a good way to translate it. But that undying commitment, I actually really like the Jesus Storybook Bible. It’s the never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love or something.

[13:27] It’s this really clear.

David: It’s a great Hebrew word. We had lots of fun.

If you’ve got kids and you want to teach them the word of God, it’s fun to teach them a few Hebrew words.

I used to tell the kids at school, okay, if you read Hebrew, you’re allowed to spit.

So the word is chesed, which is great fun for kids to say, chesed, and it’s covenant faithfulness. It’s the fact that I can trust you to keep the covenant, the agreement that you made with me.

[14:01] And so you go back to all those covenants with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, And David even, and the new covenant, God commits himself to redeem his people, and he takes the oath.

He can’t swear by anybody else’s gods, like the pagans did when they made the covenants. So they called on their gods to punish them if they broke the covenant.

Who’s going to punish God?

There is only one God. So he swears by himself. I am the guarantee of this covenant.

It you know if I break my word I cease to be who i am and i am who i am so that just can’t happen and that’s the reliability that David’s trusting in and clinging to and calling on when the mud gets up to his neck

Dan: yeah and he’s going to talk about the kind of persecution that comes for people who follow God back then, same job God now, but we follow Jesus now.

[15:03] And Jesus is going to be singing, particularly these next few verses here, like verses 19 to 21, we focus in a lot on the kind of suffering that comes.

[15:15] And we find a lot of comfort in knowing that this is actually very much what Jesus went through. When they talk about the vinegar and that kind of stuff, it’s literally what happened to him while he was hanging on that cross.

David: There’s a reason why. This is the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament, and I think if that’s the case, it’s probably the most quoted text in the New Testament from the Old Testament.

And the reason is it resonates so loudly with Jesus and so clearly.

Really, “you know my scorn, my shame, my insults. All who are hostile to me are in front of you.” This is Jesus.

[15:57] And he ends up, “you know, they gave me poison for my food and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

When Jesus was on the cross, when they crucified people in Jesus’ day, I didn’t know this until I was working through Matthew.

So go read my book on Matthew. Plug, plug.

But when they crucified people, there were Jewish women who, out of an act of mercy, would bring a mixture of wine and myrrh and other things, I think, that were designed to help the guy cope with the pain.

And so they’re bringing along this drink and they’re going to put a sponge in it and pass it up to them.

Jesus’ enemies are there and someone, the text says, took the stuff away and dipped the sponge in vinegar.

[16:56] And people are crying out, don’t, don’t. And so this fellow takes the sponge and vinegar on a stick and sticks it to Jesus’ lips, and Jesus rejects it, as you would.

This is a way of taunting and mocking and adding, you know, just adding pain to what’s already there.

And so, you know, poison, they gave me vinegar. This is, I expect food, I get poison. and this is a betrayal.

And that’s Jesus and that’s what he says you can expect.

Dan: Yeah, and the next part of this Psalm, Dad, he’s going to talk a lot about judgment on those people to treat God’s people this way.

And so there’s an element of the judgment that’s on people who are having a go at David and having a go at Israel and who are essentially by mocking God’s people, mocking God.

David: Yes, that’s a dangerous place to be.

Dan: Same kind of thing here with Jesus.

He’s being mocked very much, and then the punishment that then comes on those who are doing that to him.

[18:02] And then today we can think about it the same way as us, as we follow Christ, those who mock us, the judgment that awaits.

[18:12] It’s harsh what’s there. People often forget that God is not just a loving God, he’s a righteous God.

David: Yeah, well, righteousness and love go together. If God loves himself and his name and loves himself above all else, which is his right, it’s not our right to love ourselves above all else, but it’s his alone, and our obligation is to do that with him.

So this exercise here, you remember Jesus on the cross says, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.” And we go, oh, yeah, that’s our response to all these enemies. But you know what? In the heat of the moment, that’s not our response.

We reflect the character of God in all aspects of that, and God’s character is to bring down judgment.

[19:04] And Jesus’ plea as our representative head, as our saviour, is really taking the part of this Psalm that says, “rescue me, redeem me, help me,” from the lips of his people, to the Father so that that judgment doesn’t fall on them.

But in this passage, David reflects the justice of God that says, let ‘em have it.

And if we read the Gospels faithfully and not just sort of smooth over the unpleasant bits, Jesus says, this city is going to be wiped off the face of the earth because of what you did to me.

You rejected God and his covenant therefore this is not the holy land therefore God is not taking up residence in that building on that hill in Zion, the Romans are going to come and wipe it all out and if you’re one of my people get the heck out of here which they did and so 40 years you had to heed the warning, and then bang but in the meantime he’s redeeming his people so that this doesn’t happen to them So you’ve got that love and that justice together.

Dan: [20:15] Yeah, and then ultimately that’s going to bring about the rejoicing of God’s people.

It’s going to bring about those of us who are, if you’re being persecuted and scorned and taunted because of Jesus, you’ve lost family, friends, neighbours, et cetera, because of Jesus.

[20:32] We also have the salvation that comes in Jesus and the judgment on those who don’t follow Jesus, essentially. eventually, but that then brings about our rejoicing as ultimately it brings praise and glory to God.

David: It does. And when you get to retirement, when you get to your old age and you look back on your life, no matter what the, I was going to say, crap that has come down the pipeline, and And it really is that, and the Bible sometimes calls it worse.

[21:07] It’s horrendous when you look at it, but when you get to the end of your life and you are redeemed, lying on his deathbed with his son trying to take over the kingdom and everything else, the guy who knows the Lord can still sing, “because your salvation, O God, set me up and out of reach.”

That’s a great line in verse 29.

God has taken my life out of the mud.

[21:37] He’s given me an inheritance in heaven that nobody can touch and it’s all as reliable as the existence of God himself.

[21:44] So that’s the end of the story and I vividly remember a baptism at a church that I used to go to and they baptized an 80 year old couple and the 80 year old couple had just been converted and they were ex-Mormons they’d lived their whole life as devoted Mormons they’d raised their children sent them to Mormon schools and colleges paid for.

[22:11] Them to go on Mormon mission trips and they get to the turn 80 and realize oops my i had one shot at life and look what i did with it and yet there’s a rejoicing that at 80 it’s not too late yeah

Dan: Dad Psalm 70 yeah you told me Septuagint it’s the same Psalm yeah and when we look at it here you were talking to me a little bit earlier saying it’s kind of like a mini summary or a jingle type thing of the Psalm beforehand it does repeat some of the same phrases yeah that are in 69 but it’s just nice kind of summary of the main points that we get from Psalm 69 yeah it’s sort of the difference between the hymns that we sang in the 1960s and the songs that we sing now you know some you know you’ve got amazing grace with 27 verses and all those old hymn books that’s Psalm 69 and then you could pull your leg and think this is the version for the young people.

[23:18] You know, I won’t mention any particular church traditions of music, but this is the shortened version that says, you know, here I am. I’ve only got a few lines. I can sing. God deliver me. Yahweh, my help. Hurry.

Yeah. And this idea of, yeah, God hurry to me, my helper. You are my deliverer. Don’t delay. Just take all of that stuff that was going on in Psalm 69 and just bring it down to what I can spit out before I go under the mud.

Dan: [23:50] Sounds very similar to how Revelation ends.

David: Yeah, it does a bit, you know. Come Lord Jesus.

But that’s, it’s, in the book of Psalms you find this all the time.

They’ll take one, David’s Psalm, or David will take one of David’s Psalms, grab a few lines out of it and make another song.

For a different occasion, for a different, I don’t know, community even.

But it’s so adaptable because it’s the same story and we’re going to stand there and sing this stuff.

Dan: Well, that brings us to the end of this episode. If you would like to come and get the study notes to go along with this, or these two Psalms, you can head over to slash…

David: 132.

Dan: Thank you, Dad, 132. Grab the study notes there, hit the subscribe button, come back and join us again next week.