Psalm 71

Vs. 1-13 contain a prayer to God;

Vs. 14-24 contain praise of God.

Psalm 71 contains a number of verses from previous Psalms which have been identified as David’s. Those Davidic verses will be cited in brackets for comparison. Hence, this could easily have been another Psalm authored by David, who was in “old age” (verse 9) and “old and grayheaded” (verse 18).

Verses 1-13: David could trust life, security, and the future into the hand of God (verses 1-3 [31:1-3]); God is asked to deliver from a “wicked,” “unrighteous,” “cruel” man (verses 4-5 [140:1,4]); trust in God begins in childhood (verse 5); it’s good that God “took me out of my mother’s womb” (verse 6 [22:9-10]) and not a partial birth advocate (!); “wonder” (verses 7-8) refers to a work of God; the plea (verse 9) is to not be “cast off” in his “old age,” or forsaken when he is weak; the enemies misrepresent the character of both God and David (verses 10-11 [56:5-6; 31:13; 83:3-5; 3:2]); David appeals to God to be near and hurry (verse 12 [22:11, 19; 38:21-22; 40:13]); desires that the adversaries know opposition from God (verse 13 [35:4, 26; 40:14].

Verses 14-24: David promises to serve God in the future: “will hope,” “will praise,” shall tell,” “will go,” “will make mention.” Our unquenchable hope in God (verse 14) should elicit undying praise of God, though “aged” praise of God should not be left to another generation; telling of God’s righteousness and salvation should be continuous “all the day” (verse 15 [35:28; 40:5]); to “go in the strength of the LORD God” means simply to rely upon God (verse 16) and God’s righteousness, not ours, should be the subject; what we learn early in life (verse 17 [26:7]) we are prone to remember and declare; though “old and grayheaded” our task isn’t completed unless we teach “this generation,”  and the one “to come” (verse 18) God’s “strength,” “power,” and “righteousness”; in verses 19-21, God is above all for there is none like Him, He repeatedly delivers “from the depths of the earth,” and can “comfort me on every side;” true to form, David sings praises to God “with the lute” and “with the harp” (verse 22), but he uses his “lips” to do the singing (verse 23), and his “tongue” to talk (verse 24); David’s foes are “confounded,” that is, confused, to see their enemy helped by God, and “brought to shame,” that is downcast by guilt, for what they have been doing.

Some phrases have worked themselves into our everyday conversations: “all the day” (verses 8, 15); “all the day long” (verse 24); “more and more” (verse 14); “in the strength of the LORD God” (verse 16); “old and grayheaded” (verse 18).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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