July 01 2023
Today, Saturday July 01
“But I Will Hope Continually…”
“But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And Your salvation all the day, For I do not know their limits. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only. O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come. Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, Shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, And comfort me on every side.
Let me repeat our opening paragraph from yesterday for Psalm 71, just in case someone is joining us for the first time on this chapter. We are not sure who wrote this Psalm, but whoever he was, we can assume from what he wrote, that he was facing old age, he had gone through hard times, he had a pretty difficult life, he had enemies who wanted him to die, and he did not want to be put to shame. He also expressed a great faith in the righteousness of God and was determined to trust him. He was a musician who could both sing and play instruments and used them to praise and glorify the LORD (v. 22).
In the first four verses the psalmist declared that the LORD was presently helping him. He knew he could trust the LORD because the “LORD had given the commandment to save him...” (v. 3). The psalmist also was encouraged in the midst of his old age and troubles by looking back and remembering God’s faithfulness in the past (vv. 5-13). He acknowledges that the LORD was helping him now (vv. 1-4), that the LORD had helped him in the past (vv. 5-13), and now in verses 14-21, he declares that the LORD will help him in the future.
As the psalmist looked to the future you will notice that he moved from "You are my hope" (v. 8) to "I will hope continually" (v. 14; see Psalm 36:5; 37:10). The future is secure when Jesus is your Lord. The word translated "hope" in verse 14 means a long and patient waiting in spite of delays and disappointments. If we trust God, then the trials of life will work for us and not against us and will lead to glory (2 Cor. 4:16-18; Rom. 5:1-5).
In the New American Standard Bible translation, the psalmist says in verse 14: “But as for me, I will hope continually…”. We have to admire the psalmist for this declaration, because it reveals his courage and commitment. Others may drift with the crowd and deny the Lord, but he would continue to be faithful and bear witness of God's mercies.
In verse 15, you can sense the psalmist’s humility as he also declared that he would only speak of the LORD’s righteousness! Most of us are apt to speak of all the righteous and good things we have done, and we want to make sure that people notice how wonderful we are. But not this dear psalmist!
He couldn't begin to measure or count the Lord's righteous acts or "deeds of salvation" (AMP), but he would never stop praising the Lord, especially in his old age. Why? Because he wanted to live and tell the next generation what the Lord could do for them (v. 18; see Psalm 48:13; 78:4, 6; 79:13; 102:18; 145:4; 2 Tim. 2:2). God wants us to be a witness to the upcoming generations. Our biggest influence on them is the testimony of how the LORD did miracles in our own lives as we exercised faith and put our trust in Him (vv. 16-18)
He was even certain that death would not separate him from his God (vv. 19-21). Some believe that the phrase "depths of the earth" (v. 20b), is a metaphor for the troubles he had experienced. He felt like he had been "buried under trouble", but God had revived and restored him. Also, some texts read "shall revive us" instead of "me," which could refer to the future "resurrection" and restoration of the nation of Israel (Psalm 80:3, 19; 85:4; Ezek. 37). Perhaps both personal (Psalm 16:8-11; 17:15; 49:15) and national resurrection are involved.
In verse 21, the psalmist knew and believed that no matter what his enemies had said about him, the day would come when God would honor him, (“increase my greatness”), and reward him with comfort and strength for whatever he might have to face in the future.
My friend, today the future might look pretty bleak for the believer here in America, and even around the world, as the wicked and ungodly people seem to have their way, and are openly despising and denying God, and attacking those who love and live for Him. But we can, and should still determine to “hope continually and praise our great God more and more”!