Read: Psalm 70, Psalm 40:13 – 17
Psalm 70 example of a “re-run” Psalm; the first was Psalm 53, which repeats Psalm 14. Appropriately for a “re-run” the Psalm has the Hebrew title “To Bring to Remembrance”– in other words, “A Reminder.” This important reminder to pray for speedy deliverance in our distress forms a fitting link between Psalms 69 and 71, longer prayers for deliverance.
Think About It: What function does repetition serve in the learning process? Why would the psalmist (and the Holy Spirit) take pains to repeat the particular ideas of Psalm 70? What do I especially need to be reminded of in this Psalm?
Prayer: Lord, help me to bring to remembrance my urgent need for the deliverance which comes from You.
Read: Psalm 70:2, 3; Philippians 1:19 – 30
The occasion for this prayer for deliverance is found in outward circumstances and within the psalmist. The outward circumstances include those who seek the psalmist’s life, those who delight in his hurt, and those who mock him scornfully. This psalm foreshadows Jesus’ agonizing prayer in Gethsemane and his sufferings the next day at the hands of His enemies.
Think About It: Have I ever been in a situation similar to that described in this psalm? How did I respond? How can this psalm help me know how to respond? How does Paul’s response to his imprisonment relate to the psalmist’s situation?
Prayer: Lord, may you be glorified either by my deliverance from trouble, or by my ability to endure, by Your grace, whatever trouble comes my way.
Read: Psalm 70:5; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Hebrews 4:15
The inward circumstance which occasioned this prayer for deliverance was the psalmist’s awareness that he was “afflicted and needy.” Whatever the external forces, weakness is an internal problem. The psalmist recognized his spiritual need, and that recognition was the starting place for his deliverance.
Think About It: How is it that Jesus could have prayed this prayer and referred to Himself as being “needy”? For whose sake did He empty Himself and become poor? What are the results of that choice of His for me?
Prayer: For the humility to recognize my weakness and need of God; thanks to Jesus for His willingness to become poor that I might be made rich.
Read: Psalm 70:2 – 3; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60
While many of the psalms use harsh language in praying against enemies, in Psalm 70 the psalmist’s prayer for the shame and humiliation of those who seek his hurt does not necessarily contradict the example of Jesus, who prayed for His enemies to be forgiven. The psalmist prayed for his enemies to be “turned back” from their evil purposes; for them to be ashamed and humiliated because of their sin. Shame and humiliation can engender repentance, which leads to forgiveness.
Think About It: How do I respond to those who I feel are attacking me? Am I willing to see my enemies repent and be forgiven?
Prayer: Father, forgive them. . .
Read: Psalm 70:4; John 17
Even in his great distress, the psalmist did not forget to pray for all those who seek the Lord, that they might rejoice and be glad in God. In the same way Jesus, even on the night of His betrayal, prayed for His disciples.
Think About It: Thinking of others in times of great personal distress might be very difficult, but what function might it serve, even in our own deliverance from distress? Do I know how to “rejoice and be glad” in the Lord?
Prayer: Lord, help me to remember it’s not “all about me.” Help me to rejoice and be glad in You, whatever troubles I must face.
Read: Psalm 70:4; Luke 1:46 – 55
“Those who love God’s salvation”– what a beautiful description of believers! The psalmist‘s prayer for believers was that they will always say, “Let God be magnified.” In other words, may God be made great, made large in our thoughts, take up more space in our lives, loom bigger and stronger than all of our problems.
Think About It: Am I always magnifying God? What might be some specific ways I could demonstrate that I “love God’s salvation?”
Prayer: Lord, help me to magnify You in my words and thoughts.
Read: Psalm 70:1, 5
The psalmist implored God to make haste in His deliverance. This is an example presented for us to copy, especially since the cry for God to hasten His deliverance is not only repeated within the psalm, but the psalm itself is a repetition of another psalm. When we are in distress, deliverance seems slow in coming, but as we wait, our desire for God’s intervention grows more and more urgent. This may be God’s intention in seeming to delay– to teach us to desire Him more urgently.
Think About It: What makes me desire God’s intervention in my life? How urgently do I long for God?
Prayer: As the hart panteth for the waters, so my soul panteth after Thee, O God.
Lord, help me to desire You more and more.