David used the imagery of drowning to bring home the point that he was on the brink of death and would have died had the Lord not saved Him. This distress was brought on by those who hated him without cause and sought to destroy him. Some commentators believe he was speaking of Saul and that this Psalm was writtten sometime before Saul's death, in anticipation of the Lord's promises being fulfilled. It is filled with fear but also his overall trust in the Lord.
Observe David's pattern of prayer:
I. Distressed (69:1-12)
He was to the point of grief. In grief, David fasted, a sign of mourning that we see demonstrated by the people of Jabesh-gilead at the close of 1 Samuel (31:13). I love how David just let his desperation be known to God. He did not hold back.
II. Dependent (69:13-28)
"But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD . . ."
I love the "but" at the beginning of this section. In spite of drowning, he looked beyond his desperate circumstances to His God who stood at the edge of the boat ready to send out the life ring.
III. Delivered (69:29-36)
He knew God would deliver him even before He actually did. So, David acted in faith and praised God ahead of time for His deliverance. I call this "preemptive praise"!
Scarlet Thread of RedemptionThe humble have seen it and are glad;You who seek God, let your heart revive (literally, "You will feel glad and joyful").For the Lord hears the needy
And does not despise His who are prisoners.
This is one of the most quoted psalms in the New Testament, and part of it was applied to the ministry and suffering of Jesus:
Verse 4 - John 15:25: Jesus' enemies
Verse 8 - John 7:5: Jesus scorned by his brothers
Verse 9 - John 2:14-17: Christ's zeal when he threw out the money changers at the temple
Verse 20 - John 19:28-30: Christ's suffering
Verse 25 - Acts 1:20: Judas
Jesus was the perfect example of a righteous person who is persecuted for being zealous for the will of God.
I was drowning last week. I even used this analogy when asking friends for prayer. I said, "I need a life ring!" Thankfully, they prayed, and I was able to get some prayer time with God in my distress, and I was delivered. Praise God!
David needed a life ring, and He found it in God.
Are you drowning? Do you need a life ring thrown to you? Carve out some time with God in your distress and send out the SOS! I guarantee that you will find He will buoy you up.
Lord, I want to be early in asking for Your life ring! Sometimes I forget that You are on the edge of the boat ready to throw it in the water and pull me toward You. Lord, help me to see You! I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.