1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
2 Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness;
turn your ear to me and save me.
3 Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of evil and cruel men.
5 For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD,
my confidence since my youth.
6 From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
7 I have become like a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long.
9 Do not cast me away when I am old;
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
those who wait to kill me conspire together.
11 They say, "God has forsaken him;
pursue him and seize him,
for no one will rescue him."
12 Be not far from me, O God;
come quickly, O my God, to help me.
13 May my accusers perish in shame;
may those who want to harm me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD;
I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
18 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.
19 Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God,
you who have done great things.
Who, O God, is like you?
20 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.
21 You will increase my honor
and comfort me once again.
22 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.
23 My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you—
I, whom you have redeemed.
24 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.
Psalm 71 is the longest psalm I have posted. And it encompasses the longest period of time within it for an individual- from verse 6, where he is delivered from his mother’s womb to verse18, "…when I am old and gray", – a lifetime of trust and hope.
It is a good thing to stop and look backward and forward and see that God is always at work. The questions that trouble us when we are at our weakest point can be answered by the life long experience of walking, waiting on and trusting in the Lord.
Verse 20 asks the question, "Who, O God, is like you?"
And that question brings with it a wealth of other voices.
We can hear the voices of Israel at the feast of the Passover, asking this question- and in the following verses we see a testimony to God’s salvation through the Exodus- we ask the question in unison and receive the answer of His faithful redemption.
This is a timely psalm- it leads us in the progression through time- vv 8, 15,and 24 all have the phrase " all day long". The psalmist looks his life and sees that God in continuously at work, vv 3,6, and 14 – God is always there to save, to be relied upon and to give hope- ALWAYS.
I have heard and read that this psalm is one for the aged- to contemplate in one’s old age- but I think it is a psalm about hope in real life terms. Not as a fragile promise in the future. Hope is a long and patient waiting in spite of delay and disappointment.
My hope is in you, Lord, for all of my days.