Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Preaching Series on Psalms
Psalm 69:1-16 Commentary
by Rolf Jacobson
[This is Week 3 of a 6-week preaching series on Psalms.]
Preaching text: Psalm 69:1-16; accompanying text: Matthew 7:7-11
Disorientation: When the Floods Rise
“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.”
No image better captured for the ancient Israelites what it feels like when the bottom drops out, than the image of flooding waters. That image is prevalent in the Psalter’s prayers of disorientation (also called “prayers for help” and “laments”), and not just in Psalm 69. For example, Psalm 130 begins with the famous cry, “Out of the depths, I cry to you.” Psalm 42/43 despair, “all your waves and your billows have passed over me” (42:7). And Psalm 88 cries out, “Your dread assaults ... enclose me like a flood” (verses 16b-17a).
The image still speaks with surprising force. When have you felt like you were “up to your neck” and couldn’t take any more? When have you felt like you were simply “drowning” ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL182: Preaching Series on Psalms
June 14, 2015
Narrative Lectionary podcast on the 6-week preaching series on Psalms (May 31 - July 5, 2015).