Messianic Prophecies: The Righteous Sufferer

The concept of righteousness is introduced by Moses:

Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. Do what is right and good in the Lord's sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said. (Deut 6:17-19, NIV)

Righteousness is understood to mean doing what is "right and good in the sight of the Lord." It required knowledge of God's word, and the moral standard by which goodness was determined was whether one obeyed and followed God's word.

Psalms 69, the second most quoted psalm in the New Testament (after Psalms 22), is a psalm by David who is lamenting of his suffering to God. Obedient to God and following His word, David calls upon God's judgment for deliverance from his enemies. It is a psalm of a man, who God considers righteous, who is suffering for the sake of God.

1. The following tables provide a side by side comparison of the messianic prophecies in Psalms 69 with their corresponding New Testament quote. As you read portions of Psalms 69, observe how David is suffering. Fill in the chart and discover what the New Testament author was saying about David's descendant Jesus.

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. (Ps 69:4, NIV)

Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.' (John 15:20-25, NIV)

David laments of his personal distress with images of drowning and non-stop crying (Ps 69:1-4). The innumerable forces against him are so great that he is forced to unjustly repay what he did not steal.


Lord, the Lord Almighty,
may those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
may those who seek you
not be put to shame because of me.
For I endure scorn for your sake,
and shame covers my face.
I am a foreigner to my own family,
a stranger to my own mother's children;
for zeal for your house consumes me, (Ps 69:6-9a, NIV)

In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a market!" His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me." (John 2:14-17, NIV)

Observation: Hoping that the scorn he's been receiving will not bring shame and disgrace to fellow Believers (Ps 69:6-12), David's passion for God will continue without restraint.


and the insults of those who insult you fall on me. (Ps 69:9b, NIV)

For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." (Rom 15:3, NIV)

Oberservation: Because of his love of God, the insults people make of God are personally received as insults to David.


They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
May the table set before them become a snare;
may it become retribution and a trap.
May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.
Pour out your wrath on them;
let your fierce anger overtake them. (Ps 69:21-24, NIV)

What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, as it is written:
"God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that could not see
and ears that could not hear,
to this very day."
And David says:
"May their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever." (Rom 11:7-10, NIV)

Observation: Publicly scorned, disgraced, and shamed, David laments of those who mistreat him with impunity and calls on God to judge them.


May their place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
For they persecute those you wound
and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
Charge them with crime upon crime;
do not let them share in your salvation.
May they be blotted out of the book of life
and not be listed with the righteous. (Ps 69:25-28, NIV)

When he is tried, let him be found guilty,
and may his prayers condemn him.
May his days be few;
may another take his place of leadership. (Ps 109:7-8, NIV)

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) and said, "Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. He was one of our number and shared in our ministry." (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
"For," said Peter, "it is written in the Book of Psalms:
"'May his place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in it,' and,
"'May another take his place of leadership.' (Acts 1:15-20, NIV)

Observation: David calls on God to judge his enemies with complete and eternal consequences by blotting them out of the Book of Life (death and without salvation for their souls). For those in leadership, David's prayer is for their replacement.



1. The suffering Servant

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