Scripture reading – Psalm 70
Our Scripture reading is titled, “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.” The occasion that inspired Psalm 70 was not stated, but the song’s tone indicates it was during a crisis in David’s life if not a national crisis within Israel. I invite you to consider the psalm in four spiritual thoughts. (* Note the brackets are the author’s and are meant to amplify word meanings.)
A Cry for Help (Psalm 70:1)
Psalm 70:1 – 1Make haste, O God [Elohim, Mighty God], to deliver [save; rescue] me; Make haste to help me, O Lord [Yahweh].
Twice, David prayed for the LORD to help, to come to his aid, and to make haste. We do not know the circumstances that prompted the king’s cry; however, there was a crisis, and he was anxious for the LORD to come to his aid before it was too late.
A Cry for Vindication (Psalm 70:2-3)
Psalm 70:2 – 2Let them be ashamed [humiliated] and confounded [disgraced; dismayed] that seek after my soul [life; being]: Let them be turned backward, and put to confusion [humiliated; disgraced], that desire[take delight in] my hurt [misery; trouble].
Anyone in leadership can identify with the king’s anguish in this verse, for there are always those waiting for an opportunity to bring down a righteous man. David does not name his adversaries, but many sought his ruin. He desired vindication and longed for his enemies to be exposed, filled with shame, frustrated in their attacks, and humiliated.
Psalm 70:3 – 3Let them be turned back for a reward [consequence] of their shame that say, Aha, aha. [i.e., the scorn of his enemies]
No one likes to hear, “I told you so.” David especially did not want his enemies to have one word of reproach toward him or God’s people. Therefore, he prayed that his enemies might suffer the shame and consequences of their sins and be frustrated in their efforts to harm him.
A Prayer for Those Who Seek the LORD (Psalm 70:4)
Psalm 70:4 – 4Let all those that seek thee [i.e., the LORD] rejoice and be glad [merry] in thee: And let such as love thy salvation [deliverance or acts of salvation] say continually, Let God be magnified [be great; be strong].
Although hurt by the threats and attacks of his adversaries, David determined he would not allow his enemies and their evil designs to dominate his thoughts. Instead, his prayers turned from focusing on his afflictions to praying for the saints. David prayed that those who seek the LORD might rejoice in Him, delight in His salvation, and magnify his name.
Take a moment and contrast the wicked scoffing, “Aha, aha” (Psalm 70:3), with the believer’s cry, “Let God be magnified” (Psalm 70:4). Therein as the heart of people of faith! Let God be glorified, magnified, and lifted up!
David’s Humility and Confession (Psalm 70:5)
Psalm 70:5 – 5But I am poor [wretched; humble; afflicted] and needy [in want]: make haste unto me, O God: Thou art my help [strength] and my deliverer [escape]; O Lord, make no tarrying [do not linger or delay].
David was king, and his outward man was far from “poor and needy,” but his inner man, his soul, felt the sorrow and anxiety from the assaults of those who desired his ruin. His prayer (psalm) concluded as it began, with a cry for God to quickly respond to his cry and a confession that the LORD alone was his “help” and “deliverer.
Closing thought –
Where do you turn in times of distress and trouble?
Many of us may find comfort in turning to old habits. Others wrestle with anxieties and are overcome by depression. There are those who choose to quit and walk away. Tragically, there is a growing percentage of some who choose and take their own lives.
Where should you turn when you feel rejected, alone, and desperate? I encourage you to follow David’s example and turn to the LORD. He will be your help and deliverer. He is waiting for you to call upon Him.
Questions to ponder –
1) What was David’s attitude when he wrote Psalm 70? (Psalm 70:1, 5)
2) What was David’s desire for his enemies when he wrote this song? (Psalm 70:2-3)
3) What was David’s prayer for others, although he was in the midst of his sorrows? (Psalm 70:4).
4) What were the traits of the LORD that gave David hope? (Psalm 70:5)
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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