Psalm 71

Those who live a life of confidence in God and continually resort to Him by faith and prayer,
may promise themselves a strong habitation in Him,
such as will never fall of itself,
nor can ever be broken down by any invading power.

1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.

2 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.

3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

5 For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.

6 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.

7 I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.

8 Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.

9 Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.

10 For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,

11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.

12 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.

13 Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt.

14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

15 My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.

16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.

17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.

18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

19 Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!

20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

21 Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.

22 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.

23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.

Psalm 71:1-12 – “My Trust from My Youth”

   Some commentators ascribe this psalm to Jeremiah. His pensive, plaintive tone is certainly present in it. But whoever the author, he must have written in his old age, Psalm 71:9, 17-18. One keynote is great and greatly, Psalm 71:19-21, 23; another is all the day, Psalm 71:8, 15, 24.
   Old men need have no failure in their buoyancy and gladness, if they will fix their thoughts where the psalmist fixed his. Other subjects will soon wear out, but they who make God’s righteousness and salvation their theme will ever have material for meditation and praise. We have here an inexhaustible subject, and one which will keep us young. Let us ask for help, that we may disappoint the calculations of those who hate us, whether men or demons. It is a piteous spectacle when apparently prosperous careers, are overclouded, and age is overwhelmed in catastrophes which there is no time to surmount. But such is not God’s way with His loyal servants. His rivers do not end in swamps and marshes, but broaden and deepen till they kiss the mighty ocean. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 71:13-24 – ​The Greatest of All Workers

   The singer glances both backward and forward. He goes back in thought to the time when he was cast on God at birth, and acknowledges that God has taught him from his youth and has enabled him to declare God’s wondrous works. We may make the same retrospect, and as we muse on all that God has been to us, we may be assured that He will not forsake the work of His own hands, Psalm 138:8. His deliverances will give cause for endless praise, even when our eyes are closing and the heart waxes feeble in death.
   But let us also think of those who are following us, and see to it that we leave behind some record of God’s righteousness and salvation. Let us place a flaming torch in the hands of our children for them in turn to pass on. Let us show God’s strength and power to those who are to come.
   The best occupation for the aged is praise, Psalm 71:8, 14, 22-23. Thy mouth shall be filled… shall tell… shall talk. When our hearts are bubbling over with good matter, Psalm 45:1, we can leave our speech to take care of itself. Love will not lack for means of expression. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 71:20—Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again.

​   God shows us the troubles. We stand beside Him, and the mighty billows break around, but are shivered into myriads of drops. As we ride beside Him in the chariot of salvation, He points out to us the forms of dreaded evils, the ravines, the glaciers, the awful steeps; but it is as though we were cradled in some soft golden cloud which fringes the edge of the precipice, and glides along splintered cliffs where the chamois could not find footing. Look at this, saith our Guide. These are the troubles that overwhelm souls, and drain their life! Behold them, but thou shalt not suffer them! I show you them that you may know how to comfort and help those who have been overwhelmed. Sometimes, as this part of our education is being carried forward, we have to descend into “the lower parts of the earth” (Ephesians 4:9), pass through subterranean passages, lie buried amongst the dead. But never for a moment is the cord of fellowship and union between God and us strained to breaking; and from the depths God will bring us up again.
   Never doubt God. Never say that He has forsaken or forgotten. Never think that He is unsympathetic. He will quicken again. There is always a smooth piece in every skein, however tangled. The longest day at last rings out the evensong. The winter snow lies long, but it goes at last. Be steadfast; your labour is not in vain. God turns again, and comforts. And when He does, the heart which had forgotten its psalmody breaks out in jubilant song, as does the psalmist’s.

       “I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God:
       Unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.
       My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee;
       And my soul, which thou hast redeemed” (Psalm 71:22-23). —Our Daily Homily