Saturday, February 24: For the waters have come up to my neck

Saturday in the PsalmsOn Saturdays we'll worship God through a selection from the Psalms.

Read Psalm 69:1-5

Save me, O God,

for the waters have come up to my neck.

I sink in the miry depths,

where there is no foothold.

I have come into the deep waters;

the floods engulf me.

I am worn out calling for help;

my throat is parched.

My eyes fail,

looking for my God.

Those who hate me without reason

outnumber the hairs of my head;

many are my enemies without cause,

those who seek to destroy me.

I am forced to restore

what I did not steal.

You, God, know my folly;

my guilt is not hidden from you.


The use of water as a symbol in the Psalms often hearkens back to some important story of God, his people, and water, most often creation, the Garden of Eden, the flood, and the Red Sea. Here the latter seems the most likely candidate, given the deep waters and danger of drowning, as well as—spoiler alert!—the rescue that's recounted later in this Psalm.


Can you relate to the desperation the psalmist describes here, of nearly drowning in the hate of others, yet failing to find God when you come up for air? Or to the plight of the Israelites, cornered by the Egyptians at the very edge of a great sea, where it appears your story is about to come to an end? In those times, there's little to do beyond continuing to call out, to ask, to seek God. Though we often can't understand why he's biding his time, he will come to us.

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