Read: Psalm 71:9, 18; Matthew 28:20; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 13:5
Psalm 71 has no title in Hebrew, probably because it was linked to Psalms 69 and 70 as the third part of a trilogy of songs with similar themes. Because of verses 9 and 18, Psalm 71 is thought to be David’s prayer for help in his old age. Some church Fathers saw the psalm prophetically referring to the church in the last days.
Think About It: What might cause David to fear that God would depart from him in his old age? What promises do I have from God that assure me of God’s constancy?
Prayer: Praise God for His faithfulness.
Read: Psalm 71:1 – 3; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Luke 21:36; Romans 12:12
David cried out for deliverance and refuge in Psalm 71. A “rock of habitation” means a place of safety where one also feels completely at home, as a man does in his own house — a place to which one could continually return. This “rock of habitation” is symbolically the Christian’s refuge of prayer. God invites us to return to Him in prayer repeatedly, with importunity.
Think About It: Do I “pray without ceasing”? Do I feel at home when I pray? Do I find solace and security in prayer?
Prayer: Thank God that He has made a permanent place for me before His throne of grace.
Read: Psalm 71:3 – 6
David displayed an “appropriating” faith in verses 3 – 6 of Psalm 71. He did this through repetition of the pronoun “my”: my rock, my fortress, my God, my hope, my confidence, my praise. David was well aware of the corporate aspects of faith, but in this psalm he expressed his personal faith and commitment.
Think About It: Is my relationship with God my personal commitment? What is the significance of each of David’s references to God?
Prayer: My God, my rock, my fortress, my hope, my confidence, my praise. Thank God for the privilege of using the possessive pronoun in relation to His person and work.
Read: Psalm 71:7; 1 Corinthians 2:12 – 16; 1 Peter 4:3 – 4
David stated “I have become a marvel to many.” The unspiritual person cannot understand the spiritual person. The unspiritual person marvels that the believer makes God his refuge. The unspiritual person believes he must provide for his own security and salvation; he is amazed at those who seek refuge in God, and especially when troubling circumstances prove that God is an effective refuge, a present help in time of trouble.
Think About It: Is God my refuge? Have I ever been a marvel to the unspiritual person? What personal experiences have I had that bear testimony to the effectiveness of God as a refuge in time of trouble?
Prayer: That my life may be an “amazing” thing to the eyes of the world and the glory of God.
Read: Psalm 71:10 -11; Matthew 27:40 – 44; John 15:20
Jesus, in the hour of His crucifixion, was taunted as one forsaken of God, with no one to deliver Him. Likewise His followers have sometimes been taunted, if they truly followed Jesus.
Think About It: Why does God permit such things to occur? Have I ever experienced anything like this? What is God’s ultimate answer to the taunt that “God has forsaken him, there is none to deliver”?
Prayer: Thank God that He is able to deliver, and that He does not forsake His beloved.
Read: Psalm 71:12 – 18
David prayed for deliverance not only for his own sake, but so that he might accomplish a purpose: “I will make mention of Your righteousness” (Ps. 71:16); “I will declare Your wondrous deeds” (Ps. 71:17); “I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come” (Ps. 71:18).
Think About It: What “wondrous deeds” of God could David tell others about? What “wondrous deeds” of God can I tell about? Do I find opportunities to declare God’s strength?
Prayer: Lord, grant me opportunities and the courage to proclaim your strength to this generation.
Read: Psalm 71:22 – 24; John 16:33
David closed Psalm 71 with a chorus of praise. David never wearied of singing God’s praises– he sang all day long. In the last sentence of the psalm David stated as an accomplished fact what he had earlier requested of God (v. 13). Praise produces assurance of answered prayer! As Christians, we should count as an accomplished fact the victory over sin, Satan, the world, even death itself.
Think About It: How much time and effort do I put into praising God in prayer and in worship? What might result in my life if I spent more time and effort praising God?
Prayer: Praise God!