Tuesday, November 08, 2022

2022.11.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 71:14–24

Read Psalm 71:14–24

Questions from the Scripture text: What will the psalmist do, when (Psalm 71:14a)? What else (verse 14b)? How much? Of what two things will his mouth tell (Psalm 71:15a, b)? When? Why so long (verse 15c)? In what strength will he walk (Psalm 71:16a)? Whose righteousness will he claim (verse 16b)? Whose else? What has God done to him (Psalm 71:17a)? Since when (cf. Psalm 71:6a–b)? What does the psalmist continue to do in response (Psalm 71:17b, cf. Psalm 71:6c)? What season of life is the psalmist in (Psalm 71:18a)? What does he ask (verse 18b)? Why does he want to remain (verse 18c–d, cf. Philippians 1:24–26)? What else does he want to declare (Psalm 71:19a)? In what have this righteousness and strength been displayed (verse 19b)? Showing what (verse 19c)? Who has put the psalmist through what (Psalm 71:20a)? What else will God do (verse 20b)? Even from what (verse 20c)? What two things will God add to this deliverance/reviving (Psalm 71:21)? How will the psalmist response (Psalm 71:22)? How do we know that this is specifically corporate worship (Psalm 71:22a, c; cf. 1 Chronicles 25)? How does the end of verse 22d affirm this? What part of him will participate in Psalm 71:23a? With what affection? What part of him in verse 23b? What else will he do (Psalm 71:24a)? To what specific great work (cf. Psalm 71:19b) is he responding with all this worship (Psalm 71:24b–d)?

How is God’s faithfulness known in old age? Psalm 71:14–24 looks forward to the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these eleven verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that our God brings us through great and severe troubles so that we will rejoice over the certainty of resurrection unto corporate worship for the everlasting praise of God.  

Hope in God now and forever, Psalm 71:14-16. Hope in God did not begin with this Psalm for the psalmist. If we do not learn to trust, love, and praise God from our youth, then we may reasonably expect our old age to be without hope. But the psalmist who has continually hoped in God (Psalm 71:14a) is assured that his praise of God will increase forever (verse 14b). It will take eternally increasing praise to exalt the righteousness, salvation, and strength of God (Psalm 71:15-16).

Praise trained in from youngest daysPsalm 71:17-18. God has been his teacher from his youth (Psalm 71:17a), until what end? That even now in his old age (Psalm 71:18a), the psalmist would declare his wondrous works (Psalm 71:17b). Like Paul in Philippians 1:24–26, the psalmist has a good grasp of the role of the elderly believer: to declare to young God’s strength and power—to be used by God to direct others, so that one day they will be the life-long hopers in and worshipers of God.

Useful troublePsalm 71:19-24. God has done great things (Psalm 71:19b) in His righteousness (v19a). Great things like what? Like putting His servant through “great and severe troubles” (Psalm 71:20a). God will save us from the grave in resurrection (verse 20c), and often He puts us through things that feel like a death in order to train us to trust that He is the God Who revives us (verse 20b). Manmade religion says that you will have less trouble, but our resurrecting God says “in this world you will have trouble” (cf. John 16:33), and “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (cf. Acts 14:22), and the Lord chastens all true sons (cf. Hebrews 12:7), and “everyone who desires to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (cf. 2 Timothy 3:12). Indeed, we cry with the psalmist, “O God, Who is like You?!”

Troubles bring this life into the context of eternity for us (cf. Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:17). The reminder of resurrection (Psalm 71:20) brings into view glorification (Psalm 71:21a) and perfected blessedness (verse 21b). When a saint in such circumstances comes to corporate worship (note the priestly instruments in Psalm 71:22), he has in view not only ultimate deliverance, glorification, and perfected blessing, but also perfected worship: great rejoicing in songs, with resurrected lips and tongues that belong to redeemed souls (Psalm 71:23-24a).

By bringing our future, eternal glory and worship into view, we receive one more benefit from great troubles at the hands of the wicked. Such troubles remind us that we will be praising God at the judgment. Though we take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, or in their misery now, we are sure that we will be praising God for His justness when He condemns them at the judgment. And this gives us a key to praying in trouble and praising after it: praying for and praising the righteousness of God in confounding and shaming the wicked (Psalm 71:24).

What troubles are you in? What do they remind you about God? What do they remind you about this life in light of the next? How do both your praying and praising in the midst of them reflect this Psalm?

Sample prayer:  Lord God, Your righteousness is very high! You have done great things! Who is a God like You? You have saved us from great and sever troubles, and You will save us from death to praise You forever. Make our lips to greatly rejoice as we sing. Make our souls, which You have redeemed, to greatly rejoice. Make our tongues to speak of Your righteousness. Attend us by Your almighty Spirit in every part of the worship we ask, in Christ’s Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP71C “I’ll Come to Tell the Mighty Deeds” or TPH71 “In You, LORD, I Take Refuge”

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