Psalm 70 (King James Version)
This psalm is nearly identical to the last five verses of Psalm 40; evidently David often needed God to come quickly with help! Bible commentator Matthew Henry wrote, “Urgent trials should always awake fervent prayers.”
1MAKE HASTE, O GOD, TO DELIVER ME;
MAKE HASTE TO HELP ME, O LORD.
2Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul:
let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.
3Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.
4Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee:
and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.
5But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God:
thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.
Psalm 71 (English Standard Version)
Forsake Me Not When My Strength Is Spent
Few there are who live, alas,
And they are far from here,
Who know how young and dear I was
When I was young and dear.
1 In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame!
2In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me, and save me!
3Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
“The years teach much which the days never knew.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
5For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
6Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
you are he who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.
“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”
7I have been as a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
8My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all the day.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength is spent.
“It is autumn; not without
For within me is the cold.
Youth and Spring are all about;
It is I that have grown old.”
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
12O God, be not far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13May my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
with scorn and disgrace may they be covered
who seek my hurt.
14But I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more.
15My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
of your deeds of salvation all the day,
for their number is past my knowledge.
16With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come;
I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
HERE is one of my father’s favorite hymns: “How Great Thou Art,” sung here by Crystal Lewis.
17O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.
“All my life I’ve been taught how to die, but no one ever taught me how to grow old.”
–Billy Graham (Newsweek, Aug. 14, 2006)
19Your righteousness, O God,
reaches the high heavens.
You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
20You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
21You will increase my greatness
and comfort me again.
“I’ve finally reached the age where my Wild Oats have turned into All-Bran!”
–Tom Wilson (Ziggy, Nov. 19, 1999)
22I will also praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
23My lips will shout for joy,
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have redeemed.
24And my tongue will talk of your righteous help
all the day long,
for they have been put to shame and disappointed
who sought to do me hurt.
Do not regret growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.
–a favorite saying of my mother
This post is dedicated to my father, Jasper Riskedahl, who turns 96 today. If you were to have a conversation with him, he would tell you how good the Lord has been to him all his years, and how grateful he is that the Lord is merciful and faithful. Thank you, Daddy, for proclaiming the might of the Lord to another generation, as Psalm 71 says, and for teaching me to love and serve God.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.