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Reading:                                     Psalm 69

Verses 19-28

You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
all my enemies are before you.
Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I found none.
They put gall in my food

and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

May the table set before them become a snare;
may it become retribution and a trap.
May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.
Pour out your wrath on them;
let your fierce anger overtake them.
May their place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
For they persecute those you wound
and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
Charge them with crime upon crime;
do not let them share in your salvation.
May they be blotted out of the book of life
and not be listed with the righteous
(NIV).

Reflection

Vinegar is not the first thing I would reach for, if I wanted to quench my thirst. Vinegar sets my teeth on edge. It curdles milk. It crinkles the stomach. Why? Because it’s acid, a naturally occurring acid.

fog 4

Photo by Robert S. Schemenauer

You don’t give your friend acid to drink. But at his crucifixion that’s what the soldiers gave Jesus to quench his thirst. The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar (Luke 23:36).

Like many of David’s psalms, there is a prophetic element in them and in this portion of Psalm 69; we see that prophetic element vividly portrayed. Jesus experienced the rejection described here. His friends deserted him. There were none to comfort him. He was scorned, disgraced and shamed. As he hung dying, he was given vinegar for his thirst.

The retribution that this psalm calls for fell on Judas. In Acts 1:20 Peter references this psalm as he speaks of the judgment that fell on Judas for his betrayal of Jesus. Yet in his moment of weakness even Peter denied knowing the Lord.

When our time of testing comes will we stand true to the Lord?

Response: Lord Jesus, you suffered rejection on my behalf. Help me be faithful to you when the world mocks you. Help me stand true. Give me your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you always stood true, aligning yourself with Jesus?