Throughout September 2022, I managed to read and reflect – briefly – on a Psalm each day. For December 2022, I attempted to pick up the discipline. I got part-way through that month, and so after a long hiatus, am determined to get going. I’ll read the Psalm, pray, and then ponder a few questions:
- What is this Psalm about?
- What does this Psalm teach about God?
- How does this Psalm connect to God’s people today?
I’ll close the post with a simple prayer, trying to draw the themes together.
On the 9th of November 2023, here’s Psalm 70:
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.
What is this Psalm about?
This Psalm is a plea – for God to rescue – and a confession, of who God’s people really are. It is a simple and urgent Psalm, providing a model for prayer, contrasting the way that the world is, the world we live in, with the activity and character of God.
What does this Psalm teach about God?
Verse 1 contains a range of truths – God is one who can be cried out to, who can be present, who can help and save. Verse 5, bracketing the Psalm, echoes that – God is called out too, and is called Lord.
How does this Psalm connect to God’s people today?
Whatever our problems, whatever our pain, Psalm 5 echoes something of our concerns – we want God to act, quickly! We also want justice – the cry of verse 2, when fully understood. Ruins will be turned back. Verse three offers a strange promise – the mockers will ultimately be unimpressive, because of shame. Verse 4 is another kind of promise – a prayer that will be answered.
A prayer drawn from Psalm 70
Lord, 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!” 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. Saviour, save me! Amen.