Psalm 71

Psalm 71

Forsake Me Not When My Strength Is Spent

71   In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
    let me never be put to shame!
  In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
    incline your ear to me, and save me!
  Be to me a rock of refuge,
    to which I may continually come;
  you have given the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
  Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
    from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
  For you, O Lord, are my hope,
    my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
  Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
    you are he who took me from my mother’s womb.
  My praise is continually of you.
  I have been as a portent to many,
    but you are my strong refuge.
  My mouth is filled with your praise,
    and with your glory all the day.
  Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
    forsake me not when my strength is spent.
  For my enemies speak concerning me;
    those who watch for my life consult together
  and say, “God has forsaken him;
    pursue and seize him,
    for there is none to deliver him.”
  O God, be not far from me;
    O my God, make haste to help me!
  May my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
    with scorn and disgrace may they be covered
    who seek my hurt.
  But I will hope continually
    and will praise you yet more and more.
  My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
    of your deeds of salvation all the day,
    for their number is past my knowledge.
  With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come;
    I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
  O God, from my youth you have taught me,
    and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
  So even to old age and gray hairs,
    O God, do not forsake me,
  until I proclaim your might to another generation,
    your power to all those to come.
  Your righteousness, O God,
    reaches the high heavens.
  You who have done great things,
    O God, who is like you?
  You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
    will revive me again;
  from the depths of the earth
    you will bring me up again.
  You will increase my greatness
    and comfort me again.
  I will also praise you with the harp
    for your faithfulness, O my God;
  I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
    O Holy One of Israel.
  My lips will shout for joy,
    when I sing praises to you;
    my soul also, which you have redeemed.
  And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long,
  for they have been put to shame and disappointed
    who sought to do me hurt.


Psalm 71 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

As an older man, David’s primary concern in this Psalm is that he is protected and never forsaken. The basis of this belief is rooted in a supernatural trust. Protection from worldly forces may come and go. Armies will gain and lose strength. Nations will rise and fall. The Lord, however, is a constant source of protection and worthy of our total trust.

Be a rock of refuge for me, where I can always go. Give the command to save me, for You are my rock and fortress.  4  Deliver me, my God, from the power of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and oppressive.

Psalms 71:3-4 HCSB

Deliverance is an interesting theme. From David’s perspective, he was concerned with physical and emotional deliverance. He was asking for practical intervention and there is nothing wrong with that. However, today we know that true deliverance came in the physical form (Jesus) to conquer the eternal consequences of sin and death. Though David’s predicament was very serious, it was not nearly as deadly as his sin struggle. The words here foreshadow a much larger type of deliverance yet to come.

Many times, the practical and tangible gifts that are offered by Jesus on a daily basis build our spiritual trust of His sacrifice for eternal consequences. In other words, seeing evidence of His faithfulness in our lives gives us assurance through faith that we are saved by His blood. If we believe that God is capable of providing for us financially, and we actually see Him do it, we can be assured that His blood covers our sin. We can know, with certainty, that we will reign with Him in Heaven one day. Even though we know this, sometimes we act like He can only handle the “smaller issues” of our life.

The supernatural trust David exhibited was not rooted in himself. He didn’t spread a message of “trusting your heart” as so many do today. He wrote of trusting God in horrendous conditions because God’s track record speaks for itself. God had always been David’s hope; his confidence from his youth. If we can trust Him with the small things, we can trust Him with the matters that seem far above our knowledge or understanding as well. Let’s trust Him in all things.

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