The Evangelical Universalist Forum

JRP's Exegetical Compilation: Psalm 69

This is part of my Exegetical Compilation Project, which can be found here.

Psalm 69: this chapter, especially verses 22-28 (verse 22 having been applied to Judas Iscariot by Peter in Acts 1:20), are sometimes appealed to as testimony that God Who is Himself essentially righteousness will grant the prayer of a man who wishes for a persecutor to never enter into the righteousness of God.

Aside from the illogic of such a wish (emotionally understandable under the circumstances), it should be noted that David himself routinely bases his own hope for salvation on God’s mercy to penitent sinners precisely because (as he says in 69:33 for example) God does not despise His prisoners!

In fact, the general context of the Psalm is ironically instructive, because what David is complaining about are people who undermine his hope for salvation by claiming that God will not save David after punishing David! In other words, the people in view of being hopelessly punished are those who insist on hopeless punishment from God instead of God saving those He punishes! David in his emotional distress is asking for God to punish those people as those people want God to punish David. David might thus be being ironic and not really mean he expects God to hopelessly punish them; or David (in his emotional distress) may not yet perceive that seriously asking for them to be punished that way puts himself under the same judgment.

This is unfortunately complicated further by David prophesying the death of the Messiah Son of David by typological comparison with himself (verse 21 particularly), so then the question is whether the sinless Son of David would seriously pray for God to punish those with the hopeless punishment they think God is punishing the Son of David with, the way the sinful King David might inconsistently pray about his own enemies.

Fortunately, the sinless Son of David wails for pity on His betrayer (Matt 26:24 and parallels); still considers Judas His friend at the moment of betrayal (Matt 26:50); certainly chooses not to leave other traitors hopelessly excluded (all four Gospels in regard to the apostles and especially Simon Peter); and gives strong indications in His Final Discourse that He expects the apostles to love Judas despite his treachery. (See comments on John 17:1-7 and surrounding contexts.)

See also comments on Psalm 68, also attributed to David, which points strongly to post-mortem salvation and to the salvation of rebel angels. One way or another, the testimony of one Psalm must be interpreted in light of the other (or both in light of a third standard).

Members are encouraged to discuss this Psalm below, and to add links to other discussions elsewhere, whether off site or to other threads on this forum.

If you find my compilations helpful, feel free to tip me $5 here at Amazon, near or at the top of the list. You can tip me for multiple articles of course. (I get $2.50 of each single $5 tip.)