My Life is in His Hands

Bible Book: Psalms  71
Subject: Aging; Old Age; Senior Adults; Confidence in God; Peace; Rest
Series: Psalms We Need To Sing
Introduction

Psalm 71

“In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be put to shame.
Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape;
Incline Your ear to me, and save me.
Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,
Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
For You are my hope, O Lord God;
You are my trust from my youth.
By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother's womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.
I have become as a wonder to many,
But You are my strong refuge.
Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all the day.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
For my enemies speak against me;
And those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together,
Saying, "God has forsaken him;
Pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him."
O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
Let them be confounded and consumed
Who are adversaries of my life;
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor
Who seek my hurt.
But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day,
For I do not know their limits.
I will go in the strength of the Lord God;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.
O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.
Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high,
You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You?
You, who have shown me great and severe troubles,
Shall revive me again,
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
You shall increase my greatness,
And comfort me on every side.
Also with the lute I will praise You —
And Your faithfulness, O my God!
To You I will sing with the harp,
O Holy One of Israel.
My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You,
And my soul, which You have redeemed.
My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long;
For they are confounded,
For they are brought to shame
Who seek my hurt.

The Psalm is the testimony of one who has borne life’s burdens; and now, as the evening shadows are beginning to fall, the Psalmist reflects over the trials and the struggles of the righteous. Therefore the Psalm describes the feelings of a good man who is growing old; and therefore, it is one of the most valuable portions of Scripture for the elderly saint.

The Psalmist has a good grasp on the sacred scriptures. Almost every verse in Psalm 71 is found, in whole or in part, somewhere else in the Psalms. It is as though the Psalmist is gathering up Scriptures to set forth the proper reflections of a good man as the infirmities of age set in and as he reviews the mercies and the trials of the past.

The Psalmist still has life before him but undoubtedly he has more behind him.

ILLUSTRATION: Moses at Rephidim fighting the Amalekites.

Exodus 17:12: “But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”

I love this passage on God’s Faithfulness to those who trust Him

Psalms 37:25

“I have been young, and now am old;

Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,

Nor his descendants begging bread.”

Psalm 71 speaks of a person who has known the Lord his/her whole life. 

Thinking back on life the Psalmist has literally a lifetime of memories of all the Lord has meant to him.

1. My Strong Habitation 3
2. My Song of Salvation 8, 15
3. My Strength in Tribulation 16
4. My Safety in Resurrection 20
5. My Soul in Redemption 23

The author is an old man, his strength is failing as his enemies rise against him. They charge that now, at the end, God has forsaken him, perhaps because of some illness. However, his faith has been lifelong. It is God who took him from his “mother’s womb” and who also taught him in his youth. Now that he is “old and gray-headed” he calls upon the Lord not to “forsake” him; his desire is to witness to his faith to the generation to come. He is confident that although God has shown him “great and severe troubles,” he will be revived again and his “greatness” will be increased. Those who attack him then will be “brought to shame” and he will worship and witness anew.

Note Key Words:

I. DELIVERANCE 1-4

Two great truths shout from these passages

A. Profession of Trust 1a, 3a

Trust is not only a Present Action, but it is also a Personal Attitude. Those who commence with trust shall conclude with joy.

B. A Prayer of Deliverance 1-4

5 fold request in verses 1-4

1. “Incline Your ear to me” 2
2. “Deliver me in Your righteousness” 2

Righteousness is mentioned 5 times in this Psalm, it refers not only to one of God’s attributes but also to His faithfulness in keeping His word. He is a Promise Keeper. Speaks of His covenant, faithfulness and moral character.

3. “Be my strong refuge.” 3

“Rock and Fortress” translates “habitation” – I can trust in Him as a man hides in a secure cave.

4. “To which I may resort continually” 3

He has done so over a lifetime.

5. “Let me never be put to shame” 1

1 Peter 3:16: “having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”

1 Peter 2:12: “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

II. PRAISE 5-8

Praise Him that He is my Hope, Trust, Sustainer 5-6

His present confidence was encouraged and strengthened by past experience.

Ecclesiastes 12:1:

“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
"’I have no pleasure in them’":

Youth looks forward to the future in hope while the aged looks back over the past in memory.

V7 “wonder” – a special display of God’s power. His life was a testimony to the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord.

Psalms 71:20-21

“You, who have shown me great and severe troubles,
Shall revive me again,
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
You shall increase my greatness,
And comfort me on every side.”

Like Samuel the Psalmist created his own Ebenezer “Thus for the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12). STONE OF HELP

Remember “wonder” denotes something that is uncommon, extraordinary, unusual and an amazement to the world. A genuine believer is a puzzle to the unconverted.

John 15:19: “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

NOTE: Psalms 71:8

Psalms 71:8

“Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all the day.”

III. NEARNESS 9-13

A. His Request 9-11

Fear can creep in; old age, God may not be there. Don’t cast me off; perhaps illness is causing him to feel God is far from him. Strength is failing (emotional drain).

Enemy is pressing hard.

Psalms 71:10-11

“For my enemies speak against me;

And those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together,

Saying, "’God has forsaken him;

Pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.’"

1. Slanderous
2. Subtle
3. Savage
B. His Desire 12-13

V13 The Psalmist’s desire is that his enemies might be confounded (ashamed), and fail and that they would be covered with shame and disgrace. He does not ask for their destruction, but that their plans would be frustrated.