Scriptures

Psalm 71

Introduction

The author of this psalm is anonymous, although some commentators suggest it was David, but whoever it was, we find that they are a person who had depended upon God all the days of their life.

They had spent all their life serving God in some capacity and in their old age, they are thankful that God looked after them throughout it all.

‘In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel. For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.’ Psalm 71:1-6

The psalmist begins by telling us that they have put their trust in the LORD, and they are confident that they would never be put to shame, Psalm 22:4-5 / Psalm 25:2.

They ask God to act righteously on their behalf and that God’s righteousness would work in their favour, Psalm 31:1, that is, God would rescue them and protect them, Psalm 17:6.

The psalmist isn’t a person who wavered throughout their life, they remained consistently faithful to the Lord. As it is with many of us, the psalmist appears to have fallen, and even after being restored, they are left with the scars of guilt from their suffering. Psalm 18:2 / Psalm 31:2.

The psalmist knows the power of God’s commands and is fully confident that God is their rock and fortress. They now tells us the reason for their suffering, they were suffering because of the wicked, those who were evil and cruel. They wanted God to rescue them from their hands.

Their hope is in the Sovereign LORD, that is, Adonai Yahweh, the Master and God of Israel, Psalm 29:7 / Psalm 40:4.

Their hope has been in God since the days of their youth, since they were born, and based upon this fact the psalmist asks God to continue to help him, Psalm 22:9-10. Because God was the One who brought them from their mother’s womb, they will continually praise God, Psalm 22:25.

‘I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendour all day long. Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.” Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me. May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace. As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long—though I know not how to relate them all. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.’ Psalm 71:7-16

The past deliverances that God had provided for the psalmist were evidence that God would do the same in the future. God’s past protection of them was a sign to every one of the wondrous works of God in the lives of faithful believers, Isaiah 8:18 / Luke 2:34.

Despite what they were experiencing, God was still their strong refuge. Because God was still their strong refuge, the psalmist says that they will praise God with their words and speak of God’s splendour, Psalm 35:28.

As they are now old in age, and their strength is failing, the psalmist asks God to continue to be faithful towards them, Psalm 22:1 / Psalm 22:11 / Psalm 22:19 / Psalm 35:22 / Ecclesiastes 12:1-6.

Because of their old age, their enemies tried to take advantage of them by conspiring against them. The enemies had assumed that their age was a sign of weakness and that God was no longer with them, Psalm 41:7 / Psalm 41:9 / Psalm 35:4 / Psalm 40:14 / Psalm 70:2.

Their enemies thought that God wouldn’t rescue them, and so, this was the perfect time to plan their attacks against them, Psalm 41:7-8 / Luke 23:35-37. The psalmist is in desperate need of God’s help and asks God to come quickly to help them, Psalm 38:22 / Psalm 40:13.

The psalmist tells God the kind of help they want, they want God to strike their enemies with shame, scorn and disgrace. They want their enemies to be totally defeated and totally discredited.

As far as the psalmist is concerned, they will continue to put their hope in God. Despite all the pressure and accusations from their enemies, the continued to place their faith in God to recuse them, Psalm 42:5 / Psalm 42:11 / Psalm 43:5.

Despite all the pressure and accusations from their enemies, the psalmist will speak of God’s righteousness and salvation all day long, Romans 12:1-2, they know there are no limits to God’s mercy, Psalm 40:5 / Psalm 71:8.

Although the psalmist was old and their strength was going, they were confident in God’s strength, that is, God’s mighty acts, Deuteronomy 3:24 / Psalm 106:2 / Job 26:14 / 2 Corinthians 12:9.

They not only want to speak about God’s righteousness and salvation, but they are also determined to speak of God’s righteous deeds, and His righteous deeds alone, Psalm 9:1 / Psalm 26:7 / Isaiah 64:6.

‘Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvellous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honour and comfort me once more. I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I whom you have delivered. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.’ Psalm 71:17-24

The psalmist’s faithfulness started in their youth and because they allowed God to guide their life, they knew that God would bless them even in their old age and they would still speak about God’s marvellous deeds.

In their old age, when they have gray hair, they ask that God would continue to be present in their life. The reason for this was because they wanted to speak of God’s power to the next generation.

They now consider how great God is, God’s righteousness is so great it reaches the heavens, and what God has done is greater than anyone could ever do. No wonder they ask the question, ‘who is like you, God?’ they know that no one and nothing can compare to God, Exodus 15:11 / 2 Samuel 7:22 / Psalm 35:10 / Psalm 89:8 / Isaiah 40:18.

The psalmist totally understands that living a life that is faithful to the Lord doesn’t mean that they will have no troubles, 2 Timothy 3:12. They not only understand that being faithful wouldn’t take away their troubles, but they also know that God will help them through their troubles, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

They know that God has the power to restore their life, even from the depths of the earth, Psalm 130:1 / Ephesians 4:9. Despite being old in age, the psalmist is confident in asking God to increase their honour and continue to comfort them, John 5:21 / Romans 4:17 / 1 Corinthians 15:36 / Ephesians 2:1. They praise God with the harp, 1 Samuel 10:5 / 2 Samuel 6:5 / 1 Kings 10:12 / Isaiah 5:12, because of His faithfulness.

They will use the lyre to praise God, who is the Holy One of Israel, Psalm 78:41 / Psalm 89:18 / Isaiah 1:4 / Isaiah 5:19 / Isaiah 5:24 / Isaiah 10:20 / Isaiah 12:6.

They will also use their lips to sing praises to God because God delivered them from their enemies and have been to shame and confusion, Psalm 3:7-8 / Psalm 6:9-10 / Psalm 7:17 / Psalm 17:15 / Psalm 22:30-31 / Psalm 26:12 / Psalm 42:11 / Psalm 43:5 / Psalm 52:8-9 / Psalm 71:13.

Conclusion

The psalmist was blessed to have been brought up from a very young age to know God and to be taught by other about God. There is power and impact in a godly parent. When we think about Eunice, she had a little boy named Timothy.

She was a spiritually single married and her husband was a Greek, who didn’t care about the things of God, but Eunice was determined to give her boy a chance to know the Lord. And God saw her faith in the midst of ungodliness, in fact not only did God see it but little Timothy saw it too, 2 Timothy 1:5.

We must remember that faith isn’t hereditary, faith is learned through models and nobody knows if faith is sincere better than our kids. So we need to be the godliest adult our kids know, because what we’re doing is God’s work.

We don’t know if Timothy’s dad was a bad man but he wasn’t the man to make a spiritual deposit in his boys life and she is determined, her boy is going to know about the Lord even if dad won’t help. And she made a spiritual deposit on her son that blessed him the rest of her life, 2 Timothy 3:15.

Now I know that some are Christians today because of a grandmother like Lois. But remember what Solomon once said, ‘Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.’ Proverbs 22:6.

Raising our kids in the Lord doesn’t always turn out well for the parent or the child, raising a child in the Lord and teaching them about the Lord doesn’t guarantee they will become Christians or even stay faithful all the days of their lives.

Sometimes we need to let them make their own decisions, so that they can gain wisdom for themselves. Sometimes we need to allow our kids to go off the path so that they can develop their own faith.

Go To Psalm 72

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Romans 10:9

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