For zeal for Your house has consumed me, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.Psalm 69:9(NASB)
While Psalm 69 is not specifically identified as a messianic psalm, there is much in it that causes scholars to see indirect or incidental links to Jesus. The psalm, which was written by King David, is filled with the profound lamenting and deep sorrow of an individual who is being severely criticised by his enemies and those that hate him.
The psalmist is clearly a man of great sorrows who, while protesting his innocence, is facing rejection from those that seek his destruction. He is a man who is overwhelmed by the flood of condemnation he is receiving from those that oppress him and hate him. This is someone who is not only protesting his innocence loudly, but crying out to the Lord for help, relief, and vindication.
We hear him pleading with God to save him from the raging waters that are overwhelming his soul. He frets that he is sinking deep into the mire and complains bitterly that he is weary of his crying and exhausted by his circumstances. He laments that his throat is parched and that his eyes are failing as he waits for the Lord to act on his behalf.
The psalmist protested that he was hated without a cause, and bitterly pleaded his innocence. He grieved that his powerful enemies were more numerous than the hairs on his head, and he bemoaned the fact that his adversaries were intent on destroying him. David knew that he was a sinner in need of God's forgiveness, but he also knew that it was not his sins that caused his enemies to despise and abhor him, for he had done them no wrong.
While admitting that he was a sinner before the Lord, David knew his enemies were falsely accusing him and prayed that his wrongdoings would not bring disgrace upon the Lord and that God would not be demeaned because of his wrongdoings. David's desire was that his life would bring honour to the Lord and not shame.
Although not listed as a messianic psalm, there are certain verses that are highly evocative of Christ's suffering and pain, with particular parts being reminiscent of His rejection and grief, with others that demonstrate Christ's unsurpassed zeal for the Lord - events in this psalm that are clearly identifiable characteristics seen in Christ's earthly life.
In verse 9, the incredible reverence David had for the Temple of God, as well as the shocking castigation and disapproval he received at the hand of His enemies is depicted: "Zeal for Your house has consumed me," we read, "and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me." King David loved the Lord with a passion and was a man after God's own heart, and this devoted servant longed to build a house for the Lord. And although God denied his request because David was a man of war, the Lord had promised His faithful servant that HE - the Lord, would build David a house which would be an everlasting dynasty... and that Solomon, his son and heir, would be the one to build David's longed-for Temple of God.
The same all-engrossing fervour that David had for the house of God, is clearly exhibited in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ Who, on two occasions, zealously cleansed the Temple - once at the start of His ministry and once during the days immediately before He walked to the Cross. Each Gospel relates how Jesus found people in the Temple who were selling oxen and sheep and doves at inflated prices and piling up their profits at their money tables. Luke records how righteous anger welled up in the heart of Lord Jesus, Who made a scourge of cords and drove these mercenaries out of the temple, together with their sheep, oxen, doves, and filthy lucre.
We read how Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers, scattering their coins in many directions and that He commanded them to get out of His Father's House, calling this hive of mercenaries "a den of thieves." We also read that these actions of Christ caused His disciples to remember the verse David wrote in Psalm 69 and Luke records: "Then His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for Your house will consume me.'"
But written in the same verse we read: "And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me." Once again we see a real messianic link to this verse in Psalms... whereas in John Chapter 8, we read of the shocking contempt the Jewish leaders had for the Lord Jesus.
While the Jewish Temple was future in David's day and present in the time of Christ, during this current Church age we understand that the Church is the dwelling place of God. The Body of believers is the Temple of God in this Dispensation of Grace - a spiritual Temple in whom dwells the Holy Spirit of the living God.
Our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Should not we, in whom the Spirit of God dwells, display the same zeal for the House of God? Should not we ensure that our bodies are set apart for God and kept pure in this increasingly ungodly world? And should not we also remember that because Jesus, like David, was hated without a cause, we will also face rejection and reproach, persecution and pain for His sake? For blessed are those that are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the beautiful example of David whose zeal for your house consumed him, and thank You that the Church, today, is a spiritual Temple in whom dwells the Holy Spirit. I pray that You would instil in my heart a true and permanent passion to honour Your name through my life, and to present my body as a living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable to You. Thank You that in Christ I am a new creation, and I pray that I may be ready and wiling to fellowship in the suffering of Christ during my sojourn on earth so that His name may be exalted and lifted up, for Your praise and glory. In Jesus' name, AMEN.