This past week has had five straight days of rain in my area.

Flash flooding alerts were prevalent.

Power outages occurred from the flash flooding in some cases.

In addition to the literal flash flooding of the past week there has been emotional flash flooding in my extended family.

  • What flash flooding have you been dealing with recently?
  • Emotional, spiritual, physical, or mental flash flooding?
  • Maybe several flash floods are occurring in your life or someone you know simultaneously?
  • How can Psalm 69 help us with the flash flooding that occurs in our lives?

Psalm 69 opens with the following words:

ESV  Psalm 69:1 To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. Of David. Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck.

Immediately we learn that the psalmist, or King David, needs deliverance.

We also learn that King David seeks his rescue from God specifically.

This is a plea for God to intervene in something that is occurring in David’s life that he is unable to recover from without divine assistance.

Now consider the first description of what is troubling Daivd:

ESV  Psalm 69:2-4 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. 3 I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. 4 More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore?

  • Can you sense how overwhelmed David feels in these verses?
  • Have you ever felt like you were sinking with no foundation to support you?
  • Do you sense David’s weariness that God has delayed rescuing him?
  • Yet, even as David describes his weariness in waiting for God to act, can you also sense that he still is expecting God to rescue him?

The next few verses express David’s humility before God:

ESV  Psalm 69:5-6 O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. 6 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.

David acknowledges that he has not served the Lord perfectly.

Furthermore, David expresses concern for other servants of God to not suffer harm because of his own past failures towards the Lord.

  • Can you sense the emotional flash flooding running through the heart of David?

The level of both responsibility and meekness is high in David.

He then continues:

ESV  Psalm 69:7-12 For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face. 8 I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother’s sons. 9 For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me. 10 When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. 11 When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. 12 I am the talk of those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me.

Now we learn that after David confessed his folly, he set about to serve the Lord with so much passion that people have ridiculed him. He is seen as overly extreme in his spiritual disciplines before the Lord.

  • Have you ever been ostracized because of your own faith practices?
  • Do others consider you as radical in your faith? Why or why not?
  • When is it important to be radical in one’s faith like David is expressing above?

David resumes seeking God’s assistance:

ESV  Psalm 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. 14 Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. 15 Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me. 16 Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. 17 Hide not your face from your servant; for I am in distress; make haste to answer me. 18 Draw near to my soul, redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies!

David displays not only confidence in God but trust that God’s timing of rescue will be at the most appropriate time.

Words he uses concerning God’s character and actions include abundant, steadfast, faithfulness, love, good and mercy.

  • When you go through a flash flood type situation have you considered taking time to remind yourself of God’s character traits?
  • How can you help someone you know who feels trapped lean into this same practice?

David again expresses again how overwhelmed he is:

ESV  Psalm 69:19-21 You know my reproach, and my shame and my dishonor; my foes are all known to you. 20 Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none. 21 They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.

  • Have you ever been to the point where no one could console you?
  • Have you ever had someone take advantage of you when you were down?
  • How can we help protect those experiencing a flash flood type situation from those who might harm them?

David now requests payback from the Lord on his enemies:

ESV  Psalm 69:22-28 Let their own table before them become a snare; and when they are at peace, let it become a trap. 23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see, and make their loins tremble continually. 24 Pour out your indignation upon them, and let your burning anger overtake them. 25 May their camp be a desolation; let no one dwell in their tents. 26 For they persecute him whom you have struck down, and they recount the pain of those you have wounded. 27 Add to them punishment upon punishment; may they have no acquittal from you. 28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous.

Every harm that David has experienced is requested to be given to those who harmed him.

The key to understanding this section of the Psalm is verse twenty-six.

ESV  Psalm 69:26 For they persecute him whom you have struck down, and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.

David once again recognizes God’s authority to strike down and wound him for his folly. The enemies then took advantage of the Lord’s punishment upon David.

David’s request for payback on his enemies is best understood as a call for the Lord’s righteousness to be extended to those who failed to humble themselves before the Lord but instead took unfair advantage of David.

  • Does David’s request for payback seem harsh to you? Why or why not?

Another request for rescue:

ESV  Psalm 69:29 But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high!

David is expressing great urgency for relief from his torment.

Again, he states that God is the one who can save him.

In response to being rescued:

ESV  Psalm 69:30-33 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the LORD more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. 32 When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 33 For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.

  • What situation in your life has the Lord rescued you from?
  • What did you do to celebrate the rescue?
  • If you are needing rescue, what will you do once the Lord removes the flash flooding?
  • Who else can you share this with so others will seek God for their own rescue?

Assurance of safety:

ESV  Psalm 69:34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. 35 For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it; 36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

David expresses great confidence in the creator of all things.

  • Do you share David’s confidence in the Lord? Why or why not?
  • How can this Psalm help you gain confidence in the Lord?

Look back one more time at verse 13:

ESV  Psalm 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.

This was the verse that drew me into studying this Psalm today.

It speaks so clearly about trusting in God’s timing.

When we are experiences a flash flood of any kind we struggle to understand and accept God’s timing for allowing the flash flood.

As my extended family struggled with a difficult decision this week, I will continue to echo David’s prayer for each of us to accept not only God’s timing of this flash flood but His timing in the resolution for it as well.

Peace from Jesus:

ESV  John 16:33-17-3 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.


Barbara Lynn


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