1. They relate to David’s experience of this mortal life.
2. They are Messianic and relate to Christ’s experience of mortal life.
3. They relate to the experiences of this life in all Godly men and women who read his words and provide a pattern, comfort and incentive in the shared experience.
1 A Prayer of David. Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
"Bow down thine ear": As one might do to hear the feeble words of the sick or dying (comp. Psalm 31:2).
I am poor and needy: Psa 40:17. Here is "the poor in spirit", whom Christ blessed (Matthew 5:3; Luke 6:20,24). The man who is truly poor in spirit is the man who has learned his need of God. He does not have to be taught that he is in need of a physician; he knows that only too well.
Psalms 72:13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
2 Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.
Recognition that God alone can save our lives.
Psalms 22:29... none can keep alive his own soul.
And that we should be holy – separate from sinners.
1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.
All require the undeserved kindness of God and pray for it daily.
4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
The offering of one’s life to God – completely fulfilled by Christ, inadequately fulfilled in David and ourselves. Prefigured by the ‘heave offering’ in the Law of Moses.
5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
The gracious attributes of God’s character
Mark 10:18... there is none good but one, that is, God.
Exodus 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin...
6 Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
God hears all so the request here is that he would take special notice of this prayer.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.
God hears the righteous and will deliver them to eternal life.
Jesus is the firstfruits – he was not delivered from trouble and death in this life, which is temporary, but raised to a newness of life by resurrection.
Psalms 91:14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
Psalms 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.
This can be understood in two ways depending on what we think ‘the gods’ to be in context.
1. The Gods of the nations were idols of their own making, and of no value.
Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
1 Chronicles 16:25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
2. The elders and Judges of Israel were referred to as gods (elohim).
Psalm 82:1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. 2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. 7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.
John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
In either case there is none like the true God.
9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
This is a prophecy of the kingdom of God to be set up on the earth when all nations will recognise the true God and give glory to him.
Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
Isaiah 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
See Ezekiel 40 onwards for the reinstitution of the service of the new Sanctuary to the north of a rebuilt Jerusalem.
Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.
The scriptures bear testimony to the wonderful works of God.
1 Corinthians 8:4... there is none other God but one.
Psalms 72:18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.
11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
This verse underlines the importance of requesting God’s help in understanding the way of God in truth and walking in it with singleness of heart.
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
The scriptures were written that we might know the truth and how to live it.
2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
Praising God and glorifying his name for evermore is possible because the gift of God is eternal life.
Jesus glorified his father by obedience to his will even unto death and in consequence God glorified his son by raising him from the dead to eternal life.
John 13:31... when he (Judas) was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.
God’s purpose is to fill this earth with his glory manifested in men and women glorified with the divine nature.
Numbers 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
1 Corinthians 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.... 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
NKJV13... You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
Hell (Hebrew – sheol) is the grave.
Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (Greek - Hades-the grave), neither his flesh did see corruption.
The hope of the Gospel is the resurrection of the dead (not, as is falsely preached by some, the entering of an ‘immortal soul’ into heaven)
God in his mercy will resurrect those who are in Christ (or in the case of Abraham, David and other worthies of old, those who with the eye of faith ‘saw him afar off’) from the dead.
Luke 20:35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
14 O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.
Both David and Christ suffered at the hands of proud and violent men who sought to kill them. David survived the attempts but Christ died to fulfil the purpose of God. Many Godly men since who have been in a similar position would find comfort from this verse in that they were fellowshipping Christ’s sufferings.
Psalm 22 which describes the crucifixion speaks in similar vein.
Psalm 22:11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. 12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
Many were required to jeopardise their lives.
John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
The character and attributes of God, manifested in Jesus Christ for our emulation.
John 1:14 And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
16 O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.
Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
In his hour of trial in Gethsemane God sent an angel to strengthen Jesus for the ordeal ahead.
Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
In the mercy of God strength is perfected in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
By saving the son of his handmaid God made him the saviour of many.
17 Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.
The sign for Jesus on the cross was darkness over the land from 12 noon for 3 hours until his death accompanied with an earthquake. Darkness on Sinai accompanied with an earthquake at the giving of the Law was the visible sign of God’s presence.
Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.... 54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
Peter alludes to it at Pentecost.
Acts 2:19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
His disciples were also a sign and would continue as a sign to that and succeeding generations.
Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
Hebrews 2:13...And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
This is by no means exhaustive but I hope it helps.