Psalm 71


1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.
2 Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; 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, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men.
5 For you have been my hope, O 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 like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor 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 Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my 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 But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, O 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, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.
19 Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you?
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 honor and comfort me once again.
22 I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you I, whom you have redeemed.
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.

Charles Spurgeon sums up this Psalm by calling it “THE PRAYER OF THE AGED BELIEVER”. He sums up this Psalm asbeing written by one “who, in holy confidence of faith, strengthened by a long and remarkable experience, pleads against his enemies, and asks further blessings for himself. Anticipating a gracious reply, he promises to magnify the Lord exceedingly.” As I read this Psalm, I picture the walk of a righteous person as he makes his journey of life on this earth. Verse one set the stage for having a righteous walk on our journey through life on this earth. We must learn that it is only in God we can find a refuge, a place to retreat in times of trouble.

As I read this Psalm, I realize that one of the main purposes of a believer is to tell of the mighty acts of God in our life and to proclaim his righteousness to others. In this Psalm the Psalmist declares to others God’s splendor all day long as he praises the Lord more and more. He proclaims God’s righteous and his salvation all day long. He daily conversation centers on God’s righteousness both in times of trouble as well as seasons of great abundant of blessings in one’s life. However, the Psalmist recognizes that there are those who want to harm him, who are characterized as wicked, evil and cruel man. In light of this Psalm believers today should put forth the same example in their lives as the Psalmist does in this Psalm. So as you walk daily in this world walk it in the same light as the Psalmist does: taking refuge in the Lord, knowing it is He who rescues you from the wicked, praising God all the daily long, knowing that he is the one that has created the splendor that we see daily and finally realizing that it is Him who teaches us to walk in the way.

I have realized that the more I study the Psalms the more my daily conversations centered on how great God’s righteous acts are toward those whom pursue a life pleasing to Him. As having a blessed life of knowing Christ from an early age I reflect on my youth and recall how truly this greatness of His goodness has been in my life. As we age, we begin to realize the true pressures of this life and how we are in a battle against the spiritual wickedness that Paul writes about in Ephesians chapter six. So as we face these battles we must approach it in the same manner as Paul outlines in Philippians chapter three: “Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection from the dead.” So, as I go about today’s journey may my song be reflective of that great hymn “and the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace”.

As I read and reflect upon these words of David and study his life, I realize that the path God had for David was not always the path that David had for himself. In Revelation three verses seven and eight John writes “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things said he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that opened, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opened; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”. As I look at this verse and also study the only other reference to the key of David found in Isaiah 22:22 I noticed three characteristics that the church of Philadelphia had that David also possessed: little strength, kept God’s ways and did not deny God’s name. David’s strength was in his trust of God strength and not the strength that David possessed. David knew that the events and daily happenings in his life was for God’s purpose and not the path that David had planned for that day. Did David realize this from his youth? I believe not, He grew in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord just as we all do. However, this one thing was true in David’s life as they must be in the believer’s life; he did not deny God or God’s way.

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