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Bible: What Does Psalms 69-72 Teach Us About Prayer and Messiah's Reign?

Updated on September 8, 2016

King David


Messianic Psalms

Do you believe many Psalms prophesy about Messiah's future kingdom?

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Psalms 69-72: Prayer for Salvation From Enemies; Messiah's Reign

David Cries Out to God

David cries out to God for salvation from a troubling time (which he compares to a possible drowning circumstance: “waters . . . up to my neck,” “deep mire,” “deep waters,” “floods”), entreating Him to the point of exhaustion (vv. 1-3).

His many powerful enemies overwhelm him with hatred and wrongful accusation (v. 4; cf. John 15:25).

Perceiving that his own folly may cause shame to other believers, he addresses God directly in prayer (“O Lord God of hosts,” “O God of Israel”), asking Him to prevent this embarrassment (vv. 5-6).

His stand for God has brought him alienation from his family (vv. 7-8; cf. John 7:3-5).

He has also suffered reproach meant for the LORD, because he cared so deeply about the honor of His dwelling place (v. 9; cf. John 2:17; Rom. 15:3).

[Although the evangelists often qualify this psalm as Messianic, David’s mention of his foolishness because of sin finds no parallel with Jesus].

Others continue to ridicule him for his concern for godliness (vv. 10-12).

[How can we relate David’s foolishness and sins with his admirable faithfulness and stand for righteousness here?]

Putting aside all the mistreatment for the moment, David addresses Yahweh, expecting His mercy to save him out of these deep waters (vv. 13-15).

He waits patiently for God's chesed to rescue him (vv. 16-18).

In the meantime, however, the psalmist finds no one to help him in the face of his enemies' attacks (vv. 19-21; cf. Matt. 27:34, 48).

[Verse 21 directly refers to an episode during Jesus’ crucifixion].

David's Imprecations

A series of imprecations against David's foes follows.

He calls upon God to trap them in their self-will (v. 22), blind them spiritually and make them afraid (v. 23), and pour out His wrath upon them (v. 24), so that they are no more (v. 25; cf. Acts 1:20).

He wishes their demise because they persecute those whom God has chastened (v. 26); David plainly desires that these enemies perish, and their names removed from “the book of the living” (vv. 27-28; cf. Rev. 3:5).

[Paul borrows verse 22 to refer to Jews of his day, and Luke sees Judas in verse 25. “Those whom God has chastened” seem to be faithful believers who suffer for righteousness’ sake].

David's Pleas for Salvation From Enemies

On the other hand, as a poor, humble servant, he pleads for God's salvation for himself (v. 29), vowing to praise Him with thanks rather than with mere animal sacrifices (vv. 30-31).

When the humble see his rescue, they will rejoice at this answer to prayer (vv. 32-33).

Universal praise should sound forth because of God's salvation and the restoration of the people to Jerusalem and all of Judah (vv. 34-36).

[An indirectly Messianic psalm, Psalm 69 speaks about David enduring the hatred of his enemies.

He knows that God will eventually rescue him and make Judah safe for his descendants].

Psalm 70

David again desires deliverance quickly (v. 1).

For his ubiquitous adversaries he craves shame and confusion (vv. 2-3), but for all who love God and His salvation the king commands praise for the LORD (v. 4).

After reiterating his urgent need for His Helper to deliver him, he concludes his prayer (v. 5).

[David always seemed on the verge of a breakdown or on the precipice of death; so many of his psalms emphasize his emotional distress and constant need for a speedy salvation].

Psalm 71

The psalmist voices what to him was a legitimate concern: that, once he puts his trust in the LORD, He would not let him down by allowing others to shame him (v. 1)

[Would God ever allow enemies to shame us?

Yes, He would permit this event to occur if shame is what we needed to get us back on the right track]!

Instead, he wants and expects deliverance and safety from his Rock (vv. 2-3).

Yahweh is also his hope (v. 5a), his trust (v. 5b), and his protector from birth (v. 6).

Now he asks Him for deliverance from the wicked (v. 4).

Although considered an "oddball" (“a wonder”) by many, he still vows to praise his Refuge continually (vv. 6b-8).

Under great duress from these enemies, the writer begins to believe their propaganda, feeling somewhat forsaken as he grows older (vv. 9-11).

Still, he prays for God's help, requesting that they be dishonored (vv. 12-13).

Despite his circumstances, he confesses hope in the LORD, and trusts alone in His strength and righteousness (vv. 14-16).

A good witness for Yahweh from his youth, the psalmist wishes to carry on this testimony to the present generation (vv. 17-18).

He recalls the many trials that the LORD had taken him through in life, and believes that He will yet again bring him refreshment by His righteousness (vv. 19-21).

He vows to praise Him on lute and harp, and sing to Him with his lips, soul, and tongue, because He has confounded his enemies (vv. 22-24).

[In times of trouble, those who have known the LORD for a long time crave an even closer sense of His presence].

Solomon the King


The Transfiguration of the Messiah


Transfiguration and the Kingdom

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Psalm 72

Characteristics of the Messiah's Reign

Written by Solomon, this psalm delineates some of the characteristics of the future Messiah's reign.

Verse one suggests that the author may have had himself in mind as the king who needed divine wisdom to dispense justice in Israel; however, he ultimately points to the Son of God, Christ.

This king's special objects of grace (the poor) will receive His justice, and they will greatly fear the LORD throughout eternity (vv. 2-5; cf. Rev. 21:23).

Messiah's blessings will revive them and cause them to prosper (vv. 6-7).

Worldwide in scope, His kingdom will command the obedience of all smaller kingdoms (vv. 8-11).

Again, the text reiterates His concern for the needy, as He provides deliverance for them (vv. 12-14).

[Verse 15 presents the puzzling statement that the people will pray for Him. How shall this be understood?

Surely all the works and the people's prayers can fit into Solomon's early reign, but where does that leave the divine Messiah?

Will He need prayer? Or does only part of the psalm pertain to Him?]

The earth will bring forth bountiful harvests, and the people will praise the name of the Messiah, even of the LORD, forever (vv. 16-19).

Book Two concludes with an abrupt declaration that David's prayers are ended (v. 20).

[Solomon is a type of Christ.

Not everything mentioned above (for instance, prayer for Him) can apply to the Messiah, or our high Christology would be destroyed.

Since the latter is unthinkable, the former explanation must stand].

Summary Questions of Book Two

1. What are some ways the psalmists try to deal with suffering/times of distress?

2. What are the Messianic psalms in this book?

3. Psalm 50 emphasizes what prominent theme in Scripture?

4. Why cannot man initiate any movement toward repentance before God?

5. Name and discuss two psalms that deal with Solomon.

6. What should be the believer’s attitude toward the wicked rich?

7. Examine Paul’s use of Psalm 68:18 in Ephesians 4:8.

8. Using Book Two psalms, describe different aspects of the millennial kingdom.

9. Discuss the Messiah’s concern for the poor.

© 2013 glynch1


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