Read 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 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 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 honor
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.
In today’s psalm, the author, who is advanced in age (verse 9), begins by crying out for help, requesting God to deliver him, rescue him, and be his rock. He then pleads with God to intercept and subdue his enemies that are pursuing him in his older age. He ends by reflecting on times when God has protected and provided for him and praises God through song and instrument.
This psalm is a great template for us to follow when we experience heartaches, hardships, and headaches in this world. Note how the Psalmist declares who God is throughout the text. He declares how God is his rock, refuge, fortress, hope, and help. When we experience the pains of this world, let’s remind ourselves of who God is in the midst of the pain.
Then, the Psalmist expresses to God his needs and asks for His help in specific ways. When we experience the pains of this world, let’s not forget to acknowledge our needs to God and ask Him for help.
After he spends some time asking God for His help, he takes time to thank God and praises God for what He’s done thus far. When we experience the pains of this world, let’s follow the Psalmist’s example and take time to remember the ways God has provided and cared for us, and take the time to praise Him for those things.
The next time you find yourself experiencing heartaches, hardships, or the headaches that come with living in this world, remember the example set forth by this Psalmist: Take time to declare who God is, ask for His help, and spend time praising Him.
- Do you see God as your refuge, rock and fortress? If not, why do you think that is?
- It’s simple, but we often don’t take the time to ask God for help with whatever we are facing. Have you asked God to help you with the troubles you are facing?
- Take a moment and write down how God has provided for you this week. At the top of your list, write, “Thank you, God, for…” and pray to God, thanking Him for the items you listed.
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