A Strong Tower
Lord, You are the God of the ages, the Savior of all who trust You. I come to You and Your holy Word now.
Read PSALM 71:1-24
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.
From memory, list some of the images which the Bible uses to convey how God cares and provides for you.
Like an exhausted swimmer struggling to survive amidst turbulent waves, the elderly psalmist is fearful of being overwhelmed by his enemies. Intent on doing him the utmost harm, his opponents appear to have the upper hand. Having reached the latter part of his life, the psalmist is especially conscious of his own frailty. He no longer has the physical strength to stand up to them. His enemies see their opportunity; they sense his vulnerability. They even presume that God has forsaken him. “No one will rescue him,” they say (11). In a world marred by aggressive wickedness, no one is exempt from attack, least of all those who seek to live righteously. Those who are elderly and frail can feel especially vulnerable to hostility from others.
With good reason the psalmist cries to God for help against his cruel and wicked opponents. By himself, he lacks the resources to withstand their onslaught. He needs a “rock of refuge,” a “fortress” (3) to protect and shelter him. Recalling previous occasions when God has helped him, he petitions the Lord to deliver, rescue and save him now. Having experienced the Lord’s gracious assistance and protection in the past, he asks with confidence, believing that God will not let him down. While it is vitally important to keep our relationship with God up to date, recollection of his help in the past can strengthen our faith in the present.
Trusting in the faithfulness of God, the author draws his psalm of petition to a conclusion by anticipating how he will praise God with both musical instruments and his own voice (22-24). Like him, we should feel confident to call on God for help when we are confronted by vindictive enemies. As we trust in God, petition will eventually give way to praise.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge” (Psa. 18:2). Memorize these words and meditate on them.
Living and loving God, when I, like the psalmist, feel overwhelmed, remind me that You are my fortress and I’m safe in Your care.