Summary: A present trust in our ever-present LORD. He has been with us in all our yesterdays, and will be with us in all our tomorrows.
A SAFE PLACE
This short excerpt from Psalms 71 is a strong declaration of confidence in the LORD, based on long experience.
Psalms 71:1a. A declaration of present, personal trust in the Personal God. “In You, O LORD, I put my trust.”
We cannot trust in the impersonal. Neither can we rely on the faith of other people. We must respond to the overtures of the true and living God by putting our personal trust in Jesus. It is a temporally ‘present’ trust, in a spatially ‘present’ God.
Psalms 71:1b. Based in that trust, a prayer that, for the honour of His own Name, the LORD will not put me to shame for having believed in Him!
Psalms 71:2a. A plea that the LORD will “Deliver” - literally, snatch me out of the hands of the enemy, thereby vindicating His own “Righteousness”: being both ‘Just, and the Justifier of those who believe in Jesus’ (Romans 3:26).
Psalms 71:2b. An appeal to His all-hearing ear, and a request that He will “Save” me: bring me to the fulness of salvation in Jesus, deliver me from my present distress, save me from enemies, heal me, protect me from wrong thinking, and so on.
Psalms 71:3a. “Be my strong habitation, to which I may resort continually.”
A refuge is like a fort, to which we might run in distress: but when we turn that fort into a castle, and take up residence there, it becomes a home. Long years of reliance upon the sturdiness of the structure, and the Rock on which it is built, teaches us to rely continually on its worthiness, rather than just running there in a crisis. This is the voice of experience.
Psalms 71:3b. “You have given commandment to save me.”
Claim the promise. All things DO ‘work together for good’ to those who are your people (Romans 8:28). Even inanimate forces are compelled to obey! NOTHING ‘can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:38-39).
Psalms 71:3c. There are songs here. On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. Jesus is my Rock, and He rolled my blues away.
And a verse: ‘The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it and is safe’ (Proverbs 18:10).
Our personal security lies in our Personal LORD: He is “my” Rock and “my” Fortress (Psalms 71:3); “my” God (Psalms 71:4); “my” hope, “my” trust (Psalms 71:5); and the sole recipient of “my” praise (Psalms 71:6).
Psalms 71:4. The cry, “Deliver me” is reiterated. Pluck me, O my God, “out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.”
Mr. Spurgeon recognises two hands here, but ‘the finger of God’ (he says) more than matches them!
It is good that God is on the side of His afflicted people! ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31).
Psalms 71:5. Our present Hope, our present Trust is based in past experience: even “from my youth,” says the Psalmist.
Let us raise up our Ebenezer, our ‘stone of help’: for ‘Hitherto hath the LORD helped us’ (1 Samuel 7:12). He has always proved Himself to be ‘a very present help in time of need’ (Psalms 46:1). He will never let us down.
Psalms 71:6a. In fact, not only does the LORD promise to be with us in all our tomorrows: He has already been with us in all our yesterdays - right back to birth, right back to the womb, asserts the Psalmist!
When we lean on Jesus, it is not just for a season, but for life. The LORD has determined our path, our appointment, and our destiny from time immemorial (cf. Jeremiah 1:5).
Psalms 71:6b. No wonder our Praise is constantly, and continually, of Him!
To quote Mr. Spurgeon again: ‘Where goodness has been unceasingly received, praise should be unceasingly offered.’