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Psalm  71:14-24 -

Hope for Deliverance

 

14But as for me, I will always have hope;

    I will praise You more and more.

15My mouth will tell of Your righteousness,

    of Your salvation all day long,

        though I know not its measure.

16I will come and proclaim Your mighty acts,

    O Sovereign Lord;

I will proclaim Your righteousness, Yours alone.

 

17Since my youth, O God, You have taught me,

    and to this day I declare Your marvelous deeds.

18Even when I am old and gray,

    do not forsake me, O God,

Till I declare Your power to the next generation,

    Your might to all who are to come.

 

19Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God,

    You who have done great things.

Who, O God, is like You?

20Though You have made me see troubles,

      many and bitter,

    You will restore my life again;

From the depths of the earth

    You will again bring me up.

21You will increase my honor

    and comfort me once again.

22I will praise You with the harp

    for Your faithfulness, O my God;

I will sing praise to You with the lyre,

    O Holy One of Israel.

23My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You—

    I, whom You have redeemed.

24My tongue will tell of Your righteous acts all day long,

  for those who wanted to harm me

  have been put to shame and confusion.

 

As we saw in the previous issue, this psalm was written by a believer (quite possibly David) who, in his old age, was being persecuted by enemies.  In the first half of the psalm, the Psalmist prayed for deliverance.  Here, he begins to show confidence that he will be delivered:  “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more” (vs. 14).  The Psalmist, in the “hope” that comes from faith in His loving God, looks forward to his deliverance, and predicts that he will praise God for it.  In fact, God’s deliverance in this situation will cause the Psalmist (he predicts) to praise Him “more and more”

The Psalmist redoubles his commitment to praise God and proclaim the greatness of God to others:  “My mouth will tell of Your righteousness, of Your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.  I will come and proclaim Your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim Your righteousness, Yours alone” (vss. 15–16).  The trials we experience, and the subsequent deliverances by God, provide us with testimony about God, that we should share with others.  Everyone experiences affliction.  So our testimony about how God brought us through our affliction will encourage others to call on the name of God in difficult times.  “We are to bear testimony as experience enables us, and not withhold from others that which we have tasted and handled.  The faithfulness of God in saving us, in delivering us out of the hand of our enemies, and in fulfilling His promises, is to be everywhere proclaimed by those who have proved it in their own history” [Spurgeon].

The Psalmist looks back on his whole life—a life he spent continuously walking with God:  “Since my youth, O God, You have taught me, and to this day I declare Your marvelous deeds” (vs. 17).  The Psalmist uses this as a reason God should take his part:  “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come” (vss. 18).  “Consistent piety, exhibited through youth and manhood may be pleaded in the day of darkness and sorrow, as a reason why God should not forsake us; because it is most agreeable to His nature to remember old friendships” [Plumer, 699].  “Nothing shall make God forsake those who have not forsaken Him” [Spurgeon].

Note the reason the Psalmist wants God to take his part:  “…till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come.”  The Psalmist, even in his old age, desires to declare the greatness of God, this time to the “next generation”.  “Are there better preachers of the works of God to be found than hoary parents in the circle of their children, or grand-parents in that of their grand-children?” [Tholuck, in Plumer, 699].

The Psalmist remembers God’s righteous character, and this gives him confidence that God will deliver him:  “Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things.  Who, O God, is like You?  Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, You will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth You will again bring me up.  You will increase my honor and comfort me once again” (vss. 1921).  In his life, the Psalmist had experienced the chastening of God.  The Psalmist understood that God Himself allowed him to face afflictions, even “many and bitter” afflictions.  Yet, the Psalmist, through experience, had faith that God would “restore his life again.”  “Here is faith’s inference from the infinite greatness of the Lord.  He has been strong to smite; He will also be strong to save.  He has shown me many heavy and severe trials, and He will also show me many and precious mercies.  He has almost killed me, He will speedily revive me; and though I have been almost dead and buried, He will give me a resurrection ‘bring me up again from the depths of the earth.’  However low the Lord may permit us to sink, He will fix a limit to the descent, and in due time will bring us up again” [Spurgeon].

The Psalmist, in faith, sees the end.  And for the Psalmist, the end consists of him fervently praising the Lord:  “I will praise You with the harp for Your faithfulness, O my God.  I will sing praise to You with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.  My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You—I, whom You have redeemed.  My tongue will tell of Your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion” (vss. 22–24).  Oh that we would have the desire and faith to look forward to praising God, even before deliverance has come.