Faith in Old Age
Father God, I gladly say today that my hope for life and the next life is in You and You alone.
Read PSALM 71:1-24
 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.  Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me.  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.  Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men.  For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.  From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.  I have become like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.  My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.  Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.  For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together.  They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.”  Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me.  May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace.  But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.  My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.  I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.  Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.  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.  Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you?  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.  You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.  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.  My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you- I, whom you have redeemed.  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat are some reasons the psalmist praises God?
This is a psalm which quotes or echoes other psalms and scriptures. Compare the opening verses with the start of Psalm 31. Verses 4-6 paraphrase Psalm 22:9-11. Certainly this is a man whose mind is saturated in Scripture. He’s a man who can look back on God’s provision and protection since birth (5-8), even though life has not been easy. Like all God’s people in Old Testament times he sees the good and the bad in life as under the control of God (20). The pressures of life and the taunts of his enemies (11) cause him to doubt and to pray that God will not cast him off in his old age (9,18). God promised both his Old Testament saints and his New Testament saints that he would never forsake them (Deut. 31:6; Heb. 13:5). Still, even the best of us may sometimes doubt.
He is a man who sees a purpose in old age. The old have an important responsibility—to declare God’s power to the next generation. Those who have experienced God’s provision for a lifetime can encourage those starting out on life’s journey. Whatever our age, there are opportunities to encourage those spiritually younger than we are.
Consider your stage in life and think of those you can encourage in their spiritual journey through life.
Lord, I thank You for those who have encouraged me and pray that I may do the same for others.
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