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.

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