4. Mature Christian Hope Psalm 71:14-18

Text: “But I will hope continually, and will yet praise Thee more and more.  My mouth shall show forth Thy righteousness and Thy Salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.”

Psalm 71:14-15.

Good morning, prevailing, mature Christian!  As your years have come and gone and multiplied from your youth until now - an age of senior maturity - not only in years, but in ‘grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ…’; your hope in Him has never waned, never been snuffed out, even after enduring many afflictions of age, and the ever-present attacks of your Christian warfare in the service of King Jesus.  Praise God for senior mature Christians!  You are the salt of the earth, and a credit to your Lord God.

Verse 14. “But I will hope continually, and will yet praise Thee more and more.  True Christian hope is not some vague notion that, ‘Well, something might occur that brings relief for me in the situation I, or my loved ones are in.’. No!  Christian hope is based, first on the sure promises of God contained in our KJV Bibles, which is the inspired (God-breathed) Word of the Living Lord God Jehovah, and God is not a man that He should lie, thus, Christian hope is based firmly in certainty of Divine fulfilment and Omnipotent help.

“God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent (say He will do, and not do it.): hath He said, and shall He not do it?  Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?  Behold (look, and fully understand), I have received commandment to bless: and He hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.”  (Numbers 23:19-20)

Secondly, Christian hope is based on the certainty of God’s past help in times of stress and dire troubles – this is what makes the mature, senior Christian a powerful prayer-warrior and perseverer in the ‘faith once delivered unto the saints…’! (Jude 3)

Having actually experienced many memorable times of God’s faithful help in the past, the mature Christian is blessed with that extra faith in God’s grace for present and future times of stress or troubles.  As the precious chorus instructs us: “Count your blessings, name them one by one…and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”  Past blessings and help from God’s Sovereign hand, enhances Christian faith in the believer who has received it.  Praise God for His matchless and ever-given grace!

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  (Hebrews 4:16)

“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My Name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24)

Verse 15.  “My mouth shall show forth Thy righteousness and Thy Salvation all the day.  Please take sure note, Reader, it is not the Psalmist’s righteousness that he is seeking to show forth for us – because, as Paul teaches us in Romans chapter three, we have no righteousness of our own to set forth to anyone! 

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…there is none doeth good, no, not one.”  (Romans 3:10-18)

Specifically, therefore, it is at all times the Supreme righteousness and Salvation of the Lord God alone that the Psalmist here is setting forth and exalting from his lips, for this is the only righteousness that grants access into Heaven, through the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary’s Cross for sinners.  Sinners like you and me can come no other way.

“Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)

“But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things (necessary things in life) shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Verse 16. “…I will make mention of Thy righteousness, even of Thine only.  Again, the Psalmist repeats this vital point of Salvation; this singular focus on the importance of Christ’s righteousness; the Father’s Holiness; the Spirit’s regenerational necessity – if sinner’s souls are to be born again and brought into God’s family through His great and Sovereign grace.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”                    (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The Scriptural way of Eternal Salvation in Christ Jesus is the only way for repentant sinners to access a Holy Heaven.  It’s God’s way, or the highway.  Heaven or Hell.  Glory to the Lamb Who was slain to make the true and only way to Heaven for sinners such as we! 

Verse 17. “O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth.  Such is the vital importance of sending our children to Sunday Schools, Christian Youth activities; Scripture Unions, etc. – the life-giving truth of God’s Word must be instilled early in our children’s hearts, if they are to be spared lives of sin and the misery it inevitably brings.  God’s Word is sheer truth. 

Teach God’s Word in the home, if we ever love our children enough to save their souls. A home with an open Bible will always be a home filled with the love of God.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  (Proverbs 22:6)

Verse 17. “…Hitherto have I declared Thy wondrous works.  “How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher? So, then faith cometh by hearing (reading), and hearing by the Word of God.”  (Romans 10:13-17)

Verse 18. “Now also when I am old and grey-headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come.”  Take note again, Reader, it is God’s strength and God’s power the Psalmist is inspired to show unto his generation.  The arm of our own strength/power will always fail us, we must go in and out in the strength and power of Omnipotent Lord God Jehovah.

“But ye (God’s people) shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

True Christian hope has been inspired as true Christian strength from God has been given – time and time again, to the mature Christian believer.  This is what makes him/her ‘prevailing, mature Christians’; seeing God’s hope fulfilled, and His power exercised in His own Cause of Christ and Him Crucified for the Salvation of gross sinners.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour Lord God we have in the risen Christ Jesus.

Thought:  Lord God, enable me to show forth Thy power, to the Salvation of many.

3. From Persecution to Victory! Psalm 71:10-13

Text: “Oh God, Thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared Thy wonderous works.  Now also when I am old and grey-headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come.”

Psalm 71:17-18.

Good morning, grey-headed Christian!  You fully realise that the years of time that our Sovereign Lord God has ordained us, His creatures, to live, has an average of ‘three-score years and ten’, that is seventy years approximately, of life expectancy.  Praise God!  If He has ordained that some of us live longer than this, with the added years, may well come the added ailments and infirmities of our human bodies.  Yet, all is well, when we know our times are in the hands of a truly Sovereign and all-gracious Lord God.

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten (70); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”  (Psalm 90:10)

The author can quickly affirm the veracity of the above quoted Bible verse, because I am living the realities of it at 76 years of age.  Sometimes ‘seeing IS believing’, my friend.  I have overreached my ‘three score years and ten’ - and my frequent trips to the bathroom in the night seasons alone, confirms the attendant ’labour and sorrow’ promised in God’s Word.  God’s Word is truth.

“So, teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”    (Psalm 90:12)

“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.”  (John 17:17)

“Psalm 71 has been called “The Prayer of the Aged Believer”.

“We have here “The Prayer of the Aged Believer”, 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.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 305)

“It is not unnatural or improper for a man who sees old age coming upon him to pray for special grace, and special strength, to enable him to meet what he cannot ward off, and what he cannot but dread; for, who can look upon the infirmities of old age, as coming upon himself, but with sad and pensive feelings.

“Who would wish to be an old man?  Who can look upon a man tottering with years, and broken down with infirmities; a man whose sight and hearing are gone; a man who is alone amidst the graves of all the friends that he had in early life; a man who is a burden to himself, unto the world; a man who has reached the ‘last scene of all that ends in strange, eventful history’ – that scene of ‘Second childishness, and mere oblivion…’” (C.H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, page 306)

At 76 years of age, I, the author, can relate very closely to what is here written on the subject of ‘old age’, in relative human experience, and as a mature senior Christian of over 44 years on the road of Christ’s Salvation.  Special grace has been my personal plea, and special grace has been granted by our truly Sovereign and gracious Lord God.  Ask for it, fellow mature senior Christian, it will be given you, according to the Sovereign will of God.

Hear what John Wesley says on this vital subject: 

Verse 9. “Forsake me not when my strength faileth. “June 28.  This day I enter on my eighty-sixth year.  I now find I grow old: 1. My sight is decayed, so that I cannot read small print, unless in a strong light. 2. My strength is decayed, so that I walk much slower that I did some years since.  3. My memory of names, whether persons or places, is decayed, till I stop a little to recollect them.

“What I should be afraid of, is, if I took thought for the morrow, that my body should weigh down my mind, and create either stubbornness, by the decrease of my understanding, or peevishness, by the increase of bodily infirmities; but Thou shalt answer for me, O Lord, my God.”  (John Wesley 1703-1791) 

Verse 10. “For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together.  No change here, then!  If a Christian man or woman is seeking to be faithful and obedient to the Lord God Jehovah, in Christ Jesus, he/she shall endure this treatment from the world, the flesh, the Devil – and in my own experience – even from other’s professing Christ as their Saviour. Fact.

Verse 11. “Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver.  Oh, bitter taunt!  There is no worse arrow in all the quivers of Hell.  Our Lord felt this barbed shaft, and it is no marvel if His disciples feel the same.  Where this exclamation the truth, it were indeed an ill day for us; but, glory be to God, it is a barefaced lie.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 307)

Persecution is, as we have constantly affirmed throughout this exposition of the Books of the Psalms, a sure expectation for every genuine Bible-believing, born again, Christian man or woman – and especially so, if the believer is engaged in active service to King Jesus Christ.

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”  (2 Timothy 3:12-13)

In my experience, these ever-present hindrances and persecutions and oppositions, do not decrease when the active-service Christian grows older in human years - in fact, those that are Satanically inspired to oppose Christ’s people seem to wax bolder in their oppositions and intended persecutions when they see with their faithless eyes that the Christian is getting old.  Hyenas love to single out the weakest deer for their deadliest attacks.

To this end, the persecuted Christian cries out to his/her faithful Father-God for His ‘ever-present’ help.  It is, in my long experience, ever given – but only in God’s own Sovereign will and time.

Verse 12.  “O God, be not far from me: my God, make haste for my help.  David’s enemies watched carefully, spied upon him at every opportunity, to see if his God would help him to thwart their persecutions and hindrances of the Psalmist.  When they saw that the Lord seemed to tarry a while before baring His Almighty arm, they falsely, supposed that God had forsaken him, and therefore planned to persecute David further, as there seemed to be no one to deliver him.  How wrong they were!  David immediately cried out a Divine imprecation against them, a weapon seldom used in our toothless church worldwide today.  Verse 13. “Let them be confounded…consumed…covered with dishonour that seek my hurt.”  Bible history shows that David’s imprecatory prayer was heard and answered.

Thought: Persecutions of true Christians only promotes Victories from the Christ. Pray on, aged and feeble Christian – your prayers are powerful to God’s praise.

2. Past Remembrances, Present Confidence. Psalm 71:6-9

Text: “By Thee have I been holden up from the womb: Thou art He that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of Thee.”

Psalm 71:6.

Good morning, long-term memory Christian!  You have now, perhaps, reached a mature age, both in your faith in Christ, and in length of lived years.  You have, therefore, many memories stored up within the files of your God-given memory-banked mind – some good, some not so good, and some absolutely bad – from which you form your realities for today, for we are all creatures of our past, present, and hoped-for future.

For the Christian, remembering the times of trouble, happiness, and pain, and how the Lord God Whom we love in Christ has brought us through all such times, can bolster faith within us, as we see now, with clear hindsight, how the Lord has ALWAYS delivered us, and been with us throughout all such times.  Past remembrances of God’s care of us, can bolster faith and confidence in us for present times.  “Count your blessings, name them one by one.”

The apostle Peter, writing in the full inspiration of God the Spirit, calls this process ‘a stirring up of pure minds by way of remembrance…’

“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you: in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful (minds full of memories) of the words which were spoken before by holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.”  (2 Peter 3:1-2)

Isaiah was directed to express it in this manner: “Yea, in way of Thy judgements, O Lord, have we waited for Thee; the desire of our soul is to Thy Name, and to the remembrance of Thee.  With my soul have I desired Thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek Thee early: for when Thy judgements are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”  (Isaiah 26:8-9)

“Nothing which God could create is what we hope for; nothing which God could give us out of Himself, no created glory, or bliss, or beauty, or majesty, or riches.  What we hope for is our redeeming God Himself, His love, His bliss, the joy of our Lord Himself, Who hath so loved us, to be our joy and our portion forever.” (Edward B. Pusey 1800-1882)

Verse 5. “For Thou art my trust from my youth.  Even Seneca, a heathen, could say: “Youth well spent is the greatest comfort of old age.”  When the proconsul bade Poly-carp deny Christ and swear by the emperor, he answered: “I have served Christ these eighty-six years, and He hath not once injured me, and shall I now deny Him?” (Oliver Heywood, 1629-1702)

Verse 6. “By Thee have I been holden up from the womb.  Wow!  What a God-inspired statement!  Think, dear Reader, think back to the times well before you and I were born again, and safely redeemed by Christ’s precious and sinless Blood.  Think of the vile things we got up to; the sins of utter disobedience which we would be totally ashamed to share even with another sound believer, Pastor, or Christian friend! 

Now think of the Sovereignty of our Holy Lord God.  He KNEW we were His way back then, when we were wallowing in our sins, and the sins of this old fallen world of disobedience to God and man.  Yet, He spared us.  Think of the times, perhaps, that you and I walked a very thin line, our very unsaved feet teetering on the brink of a Christ-rejecter’s abyss!  Yet, the Lord God had our souls already written in His Book of Life, and would not permit us to die before He had saved us by the precious Blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. 

Remember these things!  Remember these things – and give earnest and profound thanksgiving unto the Holy Lord God for His matchless grace!  Amen.  Thank you, beloved Lord!  Hallelujah!

Verse 7. “I am as a wonder unto many.”  The author can relate very closely with this expression in verse seven of Psalm 71: media newspapers, over the past 44 years since the Lord in His grace saved me, have set me up as ‘…a wonder unto many…’ indeed.  Some have continually sought to vilify me, rubbish my sincere conversion to Christ, and by Christ alone; call me every name under the sun in order to, perhaps, pull down my faith in God, and discard my witness for Christ Jesus.  All have failed miserably, because the real ‘wonder’ is the matchless grace of God to a Hell-deserving convicted Terrorist, who has been, without doubt, redeemed from his vile sins by the precious grace of God and the cleansing Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Hallelujah!  Wonder on, media ghouls, the Lord has wrought Salvation victory in me, the least of His servants!  Glory to the Lamb!  Amen.

“…The accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of their testimony; and the loved not their lives unto the death.”  (Revelation 12:10-12)

Verse 7. “I am as a wonder unto many.  “To thousand eyes a mark and gaze am I.”  The saints are men wondered at; often their dark side is gloomy even to amazement, while their bright side is glorious even to astonishment.  The believer is a riddle, an enigma puzzling the unspiritual; he is a monster warring with those delights of the flesh, which are the all in all of other men; he is a prodigy, unaccountable to the judgements of ungodly men; a wonder gazed at, feared, and by-and-by, contemptuously derided.  Few understand us; many are surprised at us.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 305-306)  

Verse 7. “…Thou art my strong refuge.”  Now, here is the REAL source of wonder, dear Reader!  That a thrice Holy Lord God Almighty would see fit, in Eternity, to elect to save Hell-deserving gross sinners, and become a Divine ‘strong refuge’ for us forever!  Wow!  Does this Gospel fact not cause our hearts to raise up a loud ‘Hallelujah!’ to the Living Lord God of all grace?  Rejoice with me in the mercy and grace of the Lord God.  Glory!

Verse 8.  “Let my mouth be filled with Thy praise and with Thy honour all the day.  What a blessed mouthful!  A man never grows nauseated though the flavour of it be all day in his mouth.  God’s bread is always in our mouths; so should His praise be.  He fills us with good; let us be also filled with gratitude.  This would leave no room for murmuring or backsliding; therefore, may we well join with holy David in this sacred wish.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 306)

Verse 9.  “Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. Old age robs us of personal beauty and deprives us of strength for active service; but it does not lower us in the love and favour of God.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 306)

Thought: At 76 years, the author can testify of the faithfulness of Almighty God in granting us His extra grace and strength to persevere in the faith once delivered unto the saints.  Soon He returns to grant us glorified bodies that will never age again.  Thanks, and all praise unto our thrice Holy Lord God Almighty!  Amen.

Psalm 71: A Psalm of Mature Christian Experience

1. An Affirmation of Faith in God                          Psalm 71:1-5

Text: “In Thee, O Lord (Jehovah Lord God), do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.”

Psalm 71:1.

Good morning mature senior Christian!  Your maturity is gauged, not in length of time and years alone, but in the depths of Christian experience and service to Christ wherein you have been blessed. 

Christian maturity has little to do with how long one has professed faith in Christ, but what one has actually been engaged in, throughout that period. 

‘Mature senior Christians’ have spent quality time in the study of God’s Word, in obedience to His Word – and sought at all times to apply what he/she has learned there while living our daily lives for Christ. 

‘Mature senior Christians’ have striven for many years to “…show themselves approved of God, workmen/work-women that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”  (2 Timothy 2:15)

Praise God for ‘mature senior Christians!  Of such is the backbone of the true and genuine Bible-believing, born again Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Psalm 71 has been called “The Prayer of the Aged Believer”.

“We have here “The Prayer of the Aged Believer”, 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.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 305)

Untitled Psalms:  Psalm 71 falls into the category of “The Untitled Psalms”, of which there are some thirty-four Psalms contained within the Book of Psalms: 1; 2; 10; 33; 43; 71; 91; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 99; 104; 105; 106; 107; 111; 112; 113; 114; 115; 116; 117; 118; 119; 135; 136; 137; 146; 147; 148; 149; 150.

“Psalms Book 2: Psalms 42-72:  Psalms 42-50 are of Asaph – King David’s main worship leader (or the descendants of Korah).  Psalms 51-70 of David.  Psalm 71 is untitled. Psalm 72 is of Solomon.” (storage.cloversites.com/bethanybaptistchurch3/documents/Psalms.… · PDF file)

Verse 1. “In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust. From the very outstart of this Psalm, the Psalmist affirms the fact that true believers in Jehovah Lord God have our faith and trust completely in Him alone – knowing that all else cannot be given that heart trust, for all else, if we wait long enough, will fail us in our time of need. 

Our full trust and faith can only be placed in the Triune Lord God Almighty, Jehovah - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – for it is He alone Whom, in His Sovereign grace, has seen fit to grant us His gift of faith in the first place! We come to God Almighty in the Name of Jesus Christ our Saviour and Lord.  Praise God we have One in Whom we can completely trust.  Glory to His Name.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that (faith) not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.  For (a conclusion) we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Verse 2. “Deliver me in Thy righteousness.  We, having no righteousness of our own, and deserving of Hell for our vile sins, can only be delivered from our sin, and from all our enemies by the imputed righteousness of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  It is HIS righteousness that grants us full access into Heaven, and into the Presence of our Holy Lord God at His throne of grace in prayer.  We have the righteousness of Christ Himself.  Wow!

“For He (God the Father) hath made Him (God the Son) to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we (Hell-bound sinners) might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”     (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Verse 3. “Be Thou my strong habitation whereunto I may continually resort. The Psalmist here confesses his fallibility, his human weaknesses and constant need, by pleading with the Lord God to be his ‘strong habitation whereunto he may continually resort’, we come to the Lord God’s throne of grace boldly in times of constant need.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  (Hebrews 4:16)

Verse 3. “Thou hast given commandment to save me. Destruction cannot destroy us; famine cannot starve us; but we laugh at both, while God’s mandate shields us.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 305)

Verse 3. “For Thou art my Rock and my fortress. God the Father revealed this truth unto the apostle Peter, when he confidently affirmed the full Deity of the Lord Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 16, and verses 16 and 17: “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ the Son of the Living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jo`-na: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven.”  Christ Jesus is our Rock and our fortress.  Glory to His Name!

“The churches’ one foundation, is Jesus Christ, her Lord.  She is His new creation, by water and the Word…”  (Hymn by Samuel J Stone,1839 - 1900)

Verse 4. “Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked…the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. Mature senior Christians know this verse of Scripture very well, for we have often been compelled to plead it earnestly, when opposed, hindered, and oppressed by the world, the flesh, and the Devil, over a period of many years of Spiritual conflict as soldiers in the army of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.  He has never failed us!

Verse 5. “For Thou art my hope, O Lord God: Thou art my trust from my youth.  The Psalmist again assures himself, and all who will later sing, or hear his Psalm that, the Lord God alone is his hope; that, as he has trusted the Lord God from his youth, so will he have the full confidence to trust the Lord God now, when he/she is a ‘mature, senior Christian’.

Throughout all the years of mankind’s history, one thing has remained firm and constant in the hearts of God’s elect people – we have a Lord God we can fully trust, our hope is assured in the full Atonement of the Living Lord Jesus Christ.  Glory to His Holy Name!

Thought: Stand firm, mature senior Christians – the Lord returns real soon.  Glory!

Psalm 70: A Prayer in Time of Urgent Need Psalm 70:1-5

Text: “Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord.     Psalm 70:1.

Good morning, active service Christian!  Not for you the weekly ‘I have a new suit’, or ‘I have a new hat’ formal church meeting Christianity.  No!  You realise exactly what depths of sin you have been saved from, and have almost felt the heat of the coals of the Hell you were going to, before the Sovereign Lord God quickened your spirit by His Spirit, and delivered your Eternal soul from your sin and its dire consequences.  Praise God, you are saved to serve the risen Christ Jesus.  Hallelujah!  Thank the Lord for genuine active service Christians!  Glory to the Lamb!

Psalm 70 is a Psalm of David which correspond closely, or is perhaps even David’s later appendage to, Psalm 40:13-17.  It has a similar focus as this latter section of Psalm 40, and contains also the imprecatory theme of Psalm 69, and Psalm 109.

Dictionary Definition: Imprecate – (verb transitive) to call down by prayer (especially something evil); to invoke evil upon, to put a curse on; to curse or blaspheme. (The Chambers Dictionary, page 807)

“Other imprecatory Psalms are Psalm 35; Psalm 58; Psalm 83; Psalm 109; and Psalm 137 – and of course, Psalm 69…. All of these Psalms may be utilised in prayer by the Christian being severely persecuted by the world, the flesh, and the Devil.  Christians are NOT POWERLESS, but POWERFUL.” 

(Dr C.K. McClinton, Searching in Psalms, Book 2, www.ulsterchristians.org)

Psalm 70 seems to break down into five themed verses of prayer, which I have noted below. 

1. Present Danger Need:     Psalm 70:1

2.  A Curse for Pursuers:     Psalm 70:2

3.  A Curse Upon Scoffers:   Psalm 70:3

4. Encouragement for fellow saints:        Psalm 70:4

5. A Return to Urgent Need:                     Psalm 70:5

1. Present Danger Need: “Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make hast to help me, O Lord.”

Active service Christians are more familiar with the urgency of this serious prayer contained in verse 1 of Psalm 70, probably due to the fact that the ‘Sunday-going-to-meeting’ Christian knows little of praying this type of prayer, or in fact they need to pray such prayers at all!  They often sit comfortably behind an imagined righteousness that comes from regular attendance at ‘church’ meetings; charity works and membership of charitable organisations; and mingling with the so-called ‘great and good’ of social and political society. 

Doing the Devil and his vile kingdom no harm, the Devil and his myrmidons feel no need to attack such ‘Sunday Christians’, therefore, they tend to drift through life as professing Christians, yet seldom experience the very real dangers and torments of active service saints.

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates.  But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates?...  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.”  (2 Corinthians 13:5-8)

Now, look again at David’s urgent cry for God’s prompt help: “Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make hast to help me, O Lord.”  This is the cry of one in real danger, the hounds are biting at his ears as he, like a fox, runs for a hole in which to hide! ‘Help, Lord!’ 

2.  A Curse for Pursuers: “Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward an put to confusion, that desire my hurt.”

The Psalmist can almost be seen as fleeing hard on horseback, his pursuers racing behind, and him flinging back this curse, this imprecation, over his shoulder to put a prompt end to the present danger pursuing his very soul!  This is very real active service for the Lord God.

3.  A Curse Upon Scoffers: “Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.”  “They thought to shame the godly, but it was their shame and shall be their shame forever.  How fond men are of taunts, and if they are meaningless aha’s, more like animal cries than human words, it matters nothing, so long as they are a vent for scorn and sting the victim.  Rest assured, the enemies of Christ and His people shall have wages for their work; they shall be paid in their own coin; they loved scoffing, and they shall be filled with it, - yeah, they shall become a proverb and a by-word forever.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 304)

4. Encouragement for fellow saints: “Let all those that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee: and let such as love Thy Salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.”

Being so well-aware of what other active service believers were going through - via his own personal experience of temporal and Satanic oppositions – the Psalmist shows both his compassion for his fellow-serving saints, and his love for the true and genuine active church by asking the Lord God to grant them a full rejoicing and gladness in Him.  Then he almost shouts the victory shout: “…Let God be magnified!”  Hallelujah!  Active service praise.

5. A Return to Urgent Need: “But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: Thou art my help and my Deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying.” 

We have often heard the adage, ‘Charity starts at home’, and thus, we understand that if we are to be of any active service to our wonderful Holy Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we must first put our own house in order; our own personal circumstances and daily state – before we can more profitably be of active service and help to other needy souls.

“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”  (Matthew 7:5) (1 John 1:8-19)

Thought: The Psalmist first confesses his own urgent needs before crying out with confidence for the help of his Holy Saviour and Lord. The Lord always hears the pleas of His repentant servants, and comes swiftly to our aid.  Pray on, active Christian.