In Buffalo, New York, a young woman drove her car into a flooded viaduct not realizing the depth of the water. As water rushed into her vehicle, she escaped out of the window and climbed onto the roof. News cameras captured the dramatic scene as emergency crews used a rescue boat to reach the stranded woman, safely rescuing her from atop the submerging vehicle.
Sometimes life feels like that news story. When things go wrong or people attack us, we may feel like we are sinking under the pressure. David gets right to the point in his lament. He describes himself as being engulfed by deep waters, his throat is hoarse from crying out to God, and his eyes are tired from looking for God’s answer (vv. 1–3). There are many reasons why he was suffering. He was threatened by enemies (v. 4), slandered and disgraced (vv. 4, 7), and scorned even by his family (v. 8).
In the depth of his suffering, David lashes out and prays that his enemies will be paid back for what they had done (vv. 22–28). This may sound harsh to our modern ears. But, as one commentator said, “We live in a culture that seeks to deny pain and death. The Psalms...saw that the way to hope is through fear; the way to real joy is through depression; the way to loving one’s enemies is through hostility. Not around these realities but through them.” God does not want us to pretend like everything is okay when it is not. This psalm models a way to give our anger and desire for vengeance over to Him.
>> Do you feel up to your neck with difficult situations? If so, this psalm provides language we can use to talk to God. The Psalmist also describes the suffering of Jesus. It’s because of His victory over sin and death that we can have hope, even in dark times.