Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary with my crying; my throat is dry; my eyes fail while I wait for my God. (Psalm 69:1-3; To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Lilies.” A Psalm of David.)
David is one of the great characters of holy writ but David was as common a man as anyone. Defeating the giant Goliath, killing his ten thousands and ruling with great wisdom is the hallmark of the son of Jesse but he had demons that tormented him from the constant battle with sin. His heart was deeply devoted to God and his weaknesses were a struggle for him to bring under control. As the sweet psalmist of Israel David used his prose to describe the powerful journey of battling sin that brought such misery and sorrow to his life. He acted foolishly at times. The women may have sung how he slew his tens of thousands but the drunkards sang of his failings. He admitted freely his reproach, his shame and his dishonor brought about by his actions. His heart was broken from his failings. David was sorrowful for failing his Lord and God. It grieved him the power sin had over his life with the daily struggle to keep the heart pure. More than anything the king knew that by his example of sin he may have caused others to fall. His psalm is one of the most emotional pleas of godly sorrow in scripture. What made matters worse for David is when he realized how his adversaries used his failings against him with hypocrisy and hatred. He admitted his sin but the ungodly continued to scourge him with words of reproachful persecution. His plea was for the Lord to bring righteous judgment upon those who condemned him.
Sin is the common lot of all men. No one is exempt from its tentacles. David writes about his troubles and his plea for the deliverance of God because he has a heart that is broken by the stain of sin. He admits his own failings with no reservations of conscience. His sin is before the throne of God to whom he pleads for deliverance, mercy, help, forgiveness and righteous justice on his enemies. David’s heart is laid bare before the Lord as he begs his God to save him. Godly sorrow is clearly defined in his psalm as his heart is wracked with the deep wounds of sin. David did not ignore his sin or think since he was a mortal man God should understand he makes a mistake once in a while. Not so in the life of David. He is greatly disturbed that he failed his Lord and God and seeks in every part of his soul to beg forgiveness. Trouble surrounds him and without God there is no hope. Through eyes stained with tears and a voice dry from crying to his Savior, David pleads for the mercy of God. Salvation comes and soothes the heart of David in the grace of his Deliverer.
David reminds us of the struggle with sin. It is the same challenge today as it was so long ago with the king of Israel. Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and he is very good at what he does. The godly are the most tempting target of his wrath. David does not suggest that anyone is to blame but himself taking on the responsibility for his sin begging mercy from God. He knows the effect his life has on others and it bothers him how his failures could influence others. Through the prayer of forgiveness we see the lovingkindness of God is good and the multitude of the tender mercies can redeem the heart from trials. David knew he was in trouble. He went to the only source of salvation. His words are remarkable in the beginning: Save me, O God. That is where sin must be dealt with. There must be recognition of being lost and knowing the only one who can save is the Lord God. Without this nothing else matters. Sin is not a small slight of offense to righteousness; it is the putridity of rebellion before the Lord God Almighty and His wrath. The reproach of sin broke the heart of David and he was filled with shame and dishonor. That is how sin must be viewed.