LIVING ON A PRAYER
Meet me here, now, my Jesus.
Read Psalm 70
For the director of music. Of David. A petition.
1 Hasten, O God, to save me;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.
2 May those who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
3 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
turn back because of their shame.
4 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”
5 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Lord, do not delay.
a Psalm 70:1 In Hebrew texts 70:1-5 is numbered 70:2-6.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen did you last feel in desperate need of help?
This short psalm has been described by one scholar as being in the form of a sigh, a kind of resignation in the face of opposition. The psalmist serves God in some way and yet is in deep need. People are out to hurt him and mock him. And he feels powerless. In fact, he admits to being poor and needy (5). All he has in his defense is a prayer to God who “is great” (4).
Like so many of the psalms, lament is given a voice and is heard. Whilst we tend to avoid expressing frustration and fear in worship, the psalms are awash with the ambiguities of our spiritual lives. Some commentators have wondered if the psalmist officiated at the Temple and, having devoted his life to God, feels let down. Presenting a bold faith in public but inwardly sighing with disappointment, it’s as though he’s saying, “This shouldn’t be happening to me, but I will trust You anyway.”
We worship a God who is all-powerful and yet live in a world where evil and injustice often win the day. In the spirit of this psalm, offer a lament to the Lord, giving voice to your protest and disquiet.
I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay (5).
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