Reflection on Ps 69:14

Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink;
let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters.

Regardless of the human author of the psalm, who applied these words to himself, it is God’s word that applies to each of us to some degree. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink! We are confronted with the image of a man sinking in the mire. We know that the more he moves and tries to get out of it, the deeper he sinks. The only solution for him is to be saved by someone else. In a figurative sense, for each of us, the mire is our sin or addiction that enslaves us so much that we cannot get out of it by our own efforts. What is the solution? Call on the One who can save me. The soul cries to God, it cries for deliverance. “Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink!” It is already on the verge of death, on the verge of spiritual death. “Let me be delivered from those who hate me!” Human malice, behind which is often a demonic spirit, seeks to destroy an innocent soul. Lies and evil, when part of a system, receive a certain power for physical destruction, and even seek to destroy eternal life. How does God save? Sometimes He gives an ingenious idea that mediates liberation, sometimes He confuses the enemies so that they themselves fall into a trap. At other times, God suddenly, almost overnight, removes enemies or the whole enemy system. God has a thousand ways to deliver us. But we need to be aware of the danger. Therefore we need true self-criticism, to be aware of what is a trap for us, and to call on God for help. If we are spiritually blind and do not even know we are drowning, we will not even call on God for help and we will sink in the apparent good. But we will ultimately find ourselves in eternal suffering! We must therefore fight against self-deception and lies in time, but above all we must ask God for help and not rely only on our own strength just as one who is drowning in a swamp cannot rely on it.

Let us notice some other statements in this Psalm 69: “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. Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; they are mighty who would destroy me, being my enemies wrongfully; though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it.” (v.1-4)

In the next verses 5-9, the psalmist realizes his folly and prays that many not take offence or go far from God because of his faults and transgressions. Then he points out that it is because of his faithfulness to God that he is hated by those who hate God Himself: “O God, You know my foolishness; and my sins are not hidden from You. Let not those who wait for You, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed because of me; let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God of Israel. Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children; because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.”

The psalmist prays: “Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good; turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.” (v.16)

The Byzantine Catholic Patriarchate (BCP) is a community of monks, priests and bishops living in monasteries. The BCP is headed by Patriarch Elijah with two Secretary Bishops, +Timothy and +Methodius. The BCP arose from the need to defend the fundamental Christian truths against heresies and apostasy. It does not recognize pseudo Pope Bergoglio and is not subordinate to him.

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