Seeing Jesus in the Psalms

Scripture: Psalm 69:6, 'May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the Lord Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel.’


Observations: When I first read this verse my initial response was that the Psalmist had sinned and he was asking God that his sin would not cause disgrace and shame for God’s people. That is certainly the case in light of verse 5 which says, ‘You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you.’ The term ‘guilt’ is nearly always in connection with sin, and ‘folly’ would also suggest making a wrong choice. However, when you continue reading, the Psalmist talks about ‘how I endure scorn for God’s sake, (v7)’ and how ‘zeal for God’s house consumes me. (v9)’ It is also possible that it is his fervent faith in God that is alienating him from others. In fact, this Psalm describes people’s reaction to Jesus. The disciples recall verse 9a when Jesus cleanses the temple (Jn 2:17), and Paul also quotes verse 9b in connection with Jesus (Rom 15:3). And during his crucifixion Jesus fulfilled verse 21 when they gave him gall and vinegar to drink on the cross (Mt 27:34,48; Mk 15:36; Lk 23:36; Jn 19:29). Peter quotes verse 25 and uses it to refer to Judas who betrayed Christ (Act 1:20). While the Psalm reflects the circumstances of the writer, who knew both folly and guilt, as well as commitment and zeal for God, it also foreshadows Jesus, who was persecuted and eventually crucified even though he was without guilt.


Application: We ought to respond to this Psalm in two ways. Firstly, like the author, we should be concerned that neither our sin, nor our zeal for God, will bring disgrace or shame to God’s people or God’s name. It challenges us to live holy lives. But even more it reminds us that Jesus was crucified to take away our guilt. Jesus was scorned, disgraced and shamed (v19) in our place. He had to restore what he did not take (v4). He went down into the miry depths so that we could be rescued from the mire of our sin (v2,14).


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, like the Psalmist I struggle with the reality of my sin and guilt as well as my desire to serve You and give You glory. Lord, may my life not bring disgrace or shame to Your name or to Your church. Forgive me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit that like Jesus I might be zealous for Your glory. And Lord, I thank You that Jesus covered my sin and took away my guilt, that he went down into the grave and there defeated death, so that I might have eternal life. Lord, I give Him the praise and glorify Him with thanksgiving. In His name I pray. Amen.


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