Day 42: Psalm 71:1-14
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
turn your ear to me and save me.
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.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.
For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long.
Do not cast me away when I am old;
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
For my enemies speak against me;
those who wait to kill me conspire together.
They say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue him and seize him,
for no one will rescue him.”
Do not be far from me, my God;
come quickly, God, to help me.
May my accusers perish in shame;
may those who want to harm me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
Psalm 71:1-14 (NIV)
Although the authorship of this psalm is uncertain, many believe King David wrote it during the time when his son, Absalom, had mounted an insurrection to kill him and take his throne. Whether or not this is the case, two things are apparent. This writer is not young and he is in the middle of a life and death struggle. When broken down, this psalm is not unlike our prayers today. We would take the sentiment of this Hebrew prayer/poem and in our words pray something like this:
God, I’m in a terrible mess.
I don’t see a way out of what I have gotten myself into.
Only you can help me.
Please come to my rescue.
Please save me.
Oh God, please protect me.
I need you to be the solid ground beneath my feet because everything is shaking unpredictably.
I need your wisdom because I can’t make sense of what is going on.
I have followed you all my life.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know you.
From birth throughout my youth you have been there for me as solid as a rock.
But, I am no longer young and my strength is fading fast.
My arms, my back, my heart, my resilience, are not what they were.
You, who showed yourself strong in my youth, please don’t abandon me now that I am old.
I need you now even more than I did then.
Or perhaps I am just more aware now, than I was then, of just how much I need you.
You are my only hope.
And in you I do hope.
You’ve never failed me.
And, even though I’m frightened,
I know in my heart of hearts you will not fail me now.
Doug Boquist, Lead Pastor