>Make Haste – Psalms 69 & 70

>Psalm 70 is like the Reader’s Digest condensed version of Psalm 69. Psalm 69 has 36 verses and Psalm 70 has 5, but each Psalm is a plea for God’s swift rescue.

Psalm 69 begins with a vivid metaphor:

Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God (1-3).

Those who hate the Psalmist without cause are more than the hairs of his head; they are mighty and attack him with lies (4).

But the Psalmist puts his trust in God in a confession that repeats the initial imagery:

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.
Deliver me
from sinking in the mire;
let me be delivered from my enemies
and from the deep waters.
Let not the flood sweep over me,
or the deep swallow me up,
or the pit close its mouth over me (13-15).

He knows that God will deliver him at a time that is “acceptable”; God’s deliverance may not always be as soon as we would like, but His timing is perfect.

God’s love does not fail and His mercy is not meager:

Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good;
according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
Hide not your face from your servant;
for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.
Draw near to my soul, redeem me;
ransom me because of my enemies! (16-18)

God knows exactly how we suffer and exactly who causes pain in our lives:

You know my reproach,
and my shame and my dishonor;
my foes are all known to you.
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 (19-20).

But even in the midst of pain and suffering, we can have hope in the salvation that comes from God alone:

But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your salvation, O God, set me on high! (29)

When we feel overwhelmed by situations or pain in our lives, we can remind ourselves of our high standing due to God’s salvation. But he not only saves us for eternity; he is with us now in our struggles. He will equip us to get through them and he will deliver us from them all in his perfect timing.

Praising and thanking God please him more than sacrificial work (verses 30-31). Our praises will help others rejoice and will revive their hearts (32).

Psalm 69 concludes with a resounding call to praise and an affirmation of God’s provision:

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

God hears our needy cries and delivers us from the chains of distressing circumstances. Let all creation praise God, for he saves his people and places them in his cities!

Psalm 70 is a pithy plea for deliverance from enemies:

Make haste, O God, to deliver me!
O LORD, make haste to help me!
Let them be put to shame and confusion
who seek my life!
Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor
who delight in my hurt!
Let them turn back because of their shame
who say, “Aha, Aha!”

May all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you!
May those who love your salvation
say evermore, “God is great!”
But I am poor and needy;
hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O LORD, do not delay!

There are times when others revel in our misfortune, plot against us, and undermine our efforts. No matter how bleak our situations seem, God is in control. And God is great. He will enable the suffering believer to rejoice.

The Psalmist emphasizes the contrast between God and himself. We are poor and we are needy. But God is our help and deliverer. Hasten to our aid, O God! Do not delay!


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