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.