Weds 27th May - Psalm 71
1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
turn your ear to me and save me.
3 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.
4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.
5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth.
6 From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
7 I have become a sign to many;
you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendour all day long.
9 Do not cast me away when I am old;
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
those who wait to kill me conspire together.
11 They say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue him and seize him,
for no one will rescue him.”
12 Do not be far from me, my God;
come quickly, God, to help me.
13 May my accusers perish in shame;
may those who want to harm me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
18 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.
19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
you who have done great things.
Who is like you, God?
20 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.
21 You will increase my honour
and comfort me once more.
22 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.
23 My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you—
I whom you have delivered.
24 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.
- - -
Spurgeon describes this Psalm as ‘the prayer of the aged believer who, in holy confidence of faith, strengthened by a long and remarkable experience, pleads against his enemies and asks further blessings for himself.’
So, we are in good company!
This is the only Psalm in the second Book of Psalms that doesn’t have a title. Some commentators say that it is a continuation of Psalm 70, which is attributed to David.
There are also a number of references to other Psalms, many of which are also attributed to David.
Space will only permit some passing comments but read it through several times and you will be richly rewarded.
Verses 1-4 A statement of faith followed by a prayer of faith
The Psalmist knew that safety was found in the LORD – therefore he prayed to the LORD in confidence that He would hear and answer.
Verses 5-8 A statement of faith based on experience
“you have been my hope, my confidence, since my youth.”
And, because of God’s unchanging faithfulness in his life, the Psalmist is able to say, “I will ever praise you…… my mouth is filled with your praise.”
Verses 9-13 A prayer of confidence in God’s faithfulness
The Psalmist rejoices in the fact that God has never let him down and is not about to.
There is confidence in God’s commitment to him – therefore he prays…
- “do not cast me away”
- “do not forsake me”
- “help me”
Having testified that God has been his hope and his confidence since his youth – even from birth – he commits himself to God’s ongoing care.
Verse 14 is the focal point of this Psalm.
What an encouragement for today in the light of the global pandemic. Just dwell on this verse if all the other verses become a blur.
“As for me I WILL ALWAYS HAVE HOPE.”
For the Christian, we have the sure and certain living hope (1 Peter 1:3)
Verses 15-18 A proclamation of God’s character and mighty acts
“I will tell…” (v.15)
“I will proclaim…” (v.16)
“I will declare what you have taught me…” (v.17)
“I will still declare your power in my old age…” (v.18) Sorry, there’s no retirement in God’s service.
“I will let the next generation know of your mighty acts…” How exciting and challenging is that – remember, there’s no retirement! Whilst you may not be actively engaged with the next generation, you are when you pray for them.
Verses 19-21 A proclamation of God’s faithfulness
(v.20 is underlined in my Bible from personal experience but God is good.)
There is none like God.
Verses 22-24 A proclamation of praise
The theme of praise runs through this Psalm because of…
- God’s faithfulness
- God’s deliverance
- God’s righteousness
- God’s victory
‘Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
there is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
as Thou hast been Thou for ever wilt be.’
God bless you and encourage you as you read this Psalm.
Thursday 28 May - Psalm 72
Friday 29 May - Psalm 73
Saturday 30 May - Psalm 74
Sunday 31 May - Psalm 75
Monday 1 June - Psalm 76
Tuesday 2 June - Psalm 77