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Read Psalm 70

For the director of music. Of David. A petition.

1 Hasten, O God, to save me;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.

2 May those who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.

3 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
turn back because of their shame.

4 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”

5 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Lord, do not delay.

Go Deeper

If these five verses sound familiar, it’s because they are. Psalm 70 is almost a word-for-word repetition of Psalm 40:13-17. It is unknown what the time difference is between the writing of these two Psalms, but regardless, we can learn from the fact that at the time David wrote Psalm 70, he had unanswered prayers. So what was his response? He prayed them again.

The commentator Matthew Henry reminds us that “it may be of use sometimes to pray over the prayers we have formerly made to God upon similar occasions, which may be done with new affections.” So in these short five verses, David makes ten urgent pleas that he has formerly made to God. He asks for deliverance for himself and retribution for his enemies coupled with the reminder that there is great joy found in the Lord!

David also pleads to God with a tremendous note of urgency. In verse one, the phrase “make haste” is repeated twice. The same phrase is repeated again at the beginning of verse 5, and the chapter closes by saying “do not delay!” One commentary describes David as “short on time, but long on need.” We can learn from both the earnestness and honesty of David’s dire prayer. David is being honest with God that he longs for God to act quickly on his behalf. He fervently asks the Lord to help him and to please do it quickly!

Psalm 70 is an encouragement to our prayer lives as believers. It helps us understand we can communicate the deep yearnings of our hearts to God over and over again. In addition to that, we can be specific in asking God to answer us! It doesn’t necessarily mean that God will answer in our timing, but it is a reminder to us that God is sovereign over time, and we will begin to see the goodness of God’s timing. Pray that we may be a group of believers who learn to humbly and earnestly ask God to hurry, but for His Glory and our good.

Questions

  1. Is there a specific prayer that you find yourself repeating to God? Spend some time praying specifically for that prayer you feel has gone unanswered.
  2. Would you describe your prayers as honest and earnest? 
  3. Do you feel like God delays in answering your prayers? Communicate a specific request to God that you want Him to answer quickly…and take note of how He answers.

Try This

One way that you can keep track of prayers you have made to God that have been answered (or not) is by keeping a prayer journal. Read this info from gotquestions.org about journaling prayers. Start writing out your earnest pleas to God and then anticipate how He will answer!

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2 thoughts on “Psalm 70”

  1. “I am afflicted and needy…You are my help and deliverer.” (V5). Presently, I’m witnessing great need of deliverance in the life of a precious young lady. Day and night I plead her case before Sovereign God asking “Is this the day for a breakthrough, when the chains are broken?” In the wait I’m learning to rejoice as I seek His face knowing His rescue IS coming. I’m already witnessing glimpses of redemption in her life. Joseph Scriven penned these words: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” Deliverance is coming, PRAY ON!

  2. “But as for me, I am poor and needy.” When we first read that we might say “oh poor David- that’s a terrible situation to be in- glad I’m not that desperate.” But in reality 1- we are all poor and needy and 2- in God’s Kingdom, being poor and needy is a good thing. As Jp says often “if dependence is the goal, weakness is the advantage.” Being needy is GOOD because it allows us the humility to seek after God & to allow Him to work through us. Being needy is GOOD because it’s an acknowledgment that we can’t make it without God. Being needy is GOOD because it forces us to turn towards God. It’s also true of all of us whether or not we want to admit it. All of us need God- but it’s the ones who admit it & who seek after Him that find Him. I want to be one of those who know my depravity, my weakness, my neediness so that I have no choice but to turn to God & allow Him to move in my life. As Jesus says “blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” We are blessed by God with His presence when we are forced to depend on Him.

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