Tuesday 8 August, 2017

Psalm 71

1 Lord, I have gone to you for safety. Let me never be put to shame. 2 You do what is right, so save me and help me. Pay attention to me and save me. 3 Be my rock of safety that I can always go to. Give the command to save me. You are my rock and my fort. 4 My God, save me from the power of sinners. Save me from the hands of those who are mean and evil. 5 You are the King and the Lord. You have always been my hope. I have trusted in you ever since I was young. 6 From the time I was born I have depended on you. You brought me out of my mother’s body. I will praise you forever. 7 To many people I am an example of how much you care. You are my strong place of safety. 8 My mouth is filled with praise for you. All day long I will talk about your glory. 9 Don’t push me away when I’m old. Don’t desert me when my strength is gone. 10 My enemies speak against me. Those who want to kill me get together and make evil plans. 11 They say, “God has deserted him. Go after him and grab him. No one will save him.” 12 God, don’t be far away from me. My God, come quickly and help me. 13 May those who bring charges against me die in shame. May those who want to harm me be covered with shame and dishonor. 14 But I will always have hope. I will praise you more and more. 15 I will tell other people about all the good things you have done. All day long I will talk about how you have saved your people. But there’s no way I could say how many times you’ve done this. 16 Lord and King, I will come and announce your mighty acts. I will announce all the good things that you alone do. 17 God, ever since I was young you have taught me. To this very day I tell about your wonderful acts. 18 God, don’t leave me even when I’m old and have gray hair. Let me live to tell my children about your power. Let me tell all of them about your mighty acts. 19 God, your saving acts reach to the skies. You have done great things. God, who is like you? 20 You have sent many bitter troubles my way. But you will give me new life. Even if I’m almost in the grave, you will bring me back. 21 You will honor me more and more. You will comfort me once again. 22 My God, I will use the harp to praise you because you are always faithful. Holy One of Israel, I will use the lyre to sing praise to you. 23 My lips will shout with joy when I sing praise to you. You have saved me. 24 All day long my tongue will say that you have done what is right. Those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame. They have not been honored.

I love the slogan of Hope 103.2 FM – “There is always hope!”

It could have been taken from v 14 of this powerful psalm.

It seems the writer is feeling under siege – vs 10-11,13. This is something I can relate to. When things aren’t going right, when things in my world are beyond my control, no matter what I do there is no change.

This psalm is for all of us who feel like this. There is always hope.

The images with which the psalmist writes of hope powerfully convey the depth of its meaning. One is the rock, also translated as bedrock in the Message version (v5). What is bedrock? It’s solid or undisturbed rock and is also under the sea floor. It’s hard rock such as granite or sandstone, which resists erosion. To the psalmist, God is his bedrock because he has always been with him, even from his birth. He reflects back on this special relationship, which has continued throughout his life, and is characterised by caring, reliance, praise, love, hope. How does my relationship with God measure up?

The Message translates v14 this way – “I stretch out, reaching for you.” Instead of being weighed down by our “accusers” we hope in God. The image of stretching and reaching reminds me of rock climbing, clinging to a solid wall of rock, reaching for the next hand hold, balancing on my feet, arms crying out for relief. Our hope is active, not a feeling. The difficulties we encounter are like gravity to the rock climber – they can pull us away from reliance on God, like gravity pulls the climber off the rock face. We have to train (by praising, praying and trusting our righteous God) to keep the relationship strong. And our God will raise us up, bringing restoration and honour.

Thank you dear heavenly Father for caring so much for me, from even before I was born right up to today. Amen

Written by Claire Moore

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