Psalms  ◦   Chapter 69

1Save me, O God!
For I’m drowning in fear and sorrow, overwhelmed by anguish;

2I’m sinking — it’s like I’m in quicksand,
with no solid footing.
I’m in deep water —
the waves of heartache engulf me.

3I’m exhausted, worn out from crying for help;
my throat is raw,
my eyes are swollen from weeping —
I’m waiting for my God to help.

4Those who hate me without cause or reason
outnumber the hairs on my head;
powerful are my enemies
who, without cause, want to destroy me with their lies.
That which I did not take
I must now restore.

5O God, you know when I have been foolish —
my deviations from your design for life are not hidden from you.

6Do not let those who trust in you
be disgraced because of me,
O Lord God Almighty;
do not let those who seek you
be ashamed because of me,
O God of the victorious.

7I bear scorn for your cause
in order to overcome the shame that lies before me.

8I am like a stranger to my own family,
an alien to my own siblings.

9A passionate desire to complete God’s healing plan
and restore God’s house consumes me;
I accept the abuse meant for you,
in order to protect and heal you.

10My heartache and fasting
are mocked and ridiculed;

11when I put on ashes — my clothes of mourning —
they made jokes about me.

12Church and city leaders make fun of me,
and drunkards jeer me in song.

13But I pray to you, O Lord,
for the time of acceptance;
O God of love and goodness,
answer me with your saving remedy.

14Rescue me from the miry pit,
do not let me sink into despair;
deliver me from those who hate me,
don’t let me drown in the flood of sorrows.

15Do not let the waves of anguish engulf me
or the depths of darkness devour me;
don’t let the grave consume me.

16O Lord, respond with your glorious goodness and love;
with your infinite mercy and tenderness, take care of me.

17Please don’t put me on hold — don’t make me wait to see you;
answer my call quickly, for I am in real trouble.

18Touch me and heal me,
rescue me from my enemies.

19You know how I am mocked, shamed and humiliated;
you see all my enemies and how they mistreat me.

20Slander, scorn and rejection have broken my heart;
such animosity and callousness sicken me.
I look for sympathy, but there is none,
for someone to comfort me, but found no one.

21They gave me poison for food
and vinegar to quench my thirst.

22May what they rely on for strength and sustenance
be revealed as a snare and a trap —
the actual cause of their stumbling and the source of their pain.

23May their rejection of truth damage their minds so they no longer comprehend,
and may their characters be so twisted by persistent rebellion that they will not reform.

24Pour out your heartbreaking disappointment in them;
may they know how losing them eternally angers you.

25Allow them to have what they have chosen — may their land be empty
and their homes lifeless.

26For they injure those you are working to heal
and make fun of the pain of those who follow your treatment plan.

27Let their terminal condition confirm that they persist in deviating from your design —
that they refuse your healing remedy.

28Their individualities will be erased from the heavenly archive of life —
they will not be found among the eternally healed.

29I am suffering and hurting;
may your perfect remedy, O God, restore me.

30My life will be a song of praise to God’s character of love;
I will magnify his character of love with thanksgiving.

31Transformed lives please the Lord more than ritual offering —
much more than any ceremonial sacrifices.

32When the meek see this reality, they will rejoice,
for those who seek God will have their hearts healed!

33The Lord responds to those who know their need and call to him;
he does not reject people born captive in sin.

34Let heaven and earth praise him,
and the sea and all creatures in them,

35for God will save his creation
and rebuild the earth into perfection.
Then human beings will live on the new earth and possess it;

36the children of his loyal followers will inherit it,
and those who love his character and methods of love will dwell there forever.