Journal Ps 70-71 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Upon you I have leaned from BEFORE my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb—My praise is continually of you.
I have been as a portent (omen, sign) to many, but you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all day. Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent…v6-20
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all day, for their number (acts and deeds) is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God, I come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So, even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, UNTIL I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches the heavens. You who have done great things, O God—who is like You? You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again…” excerpts from Ps 71:6-20
Observation: What do old guys chase after? What do they focus upon? When they are sensing being “cast off” or “forsaken”—what do they do? They continue to cast their cares at the foot of the Cross and proclaim the mighty deeds of the Lord God of Hosts.
Analysis: There is always a youth movement. Every generation is determined to cultivate for the Lord, to preach the Gospel, to the next generation, in order that the Salvation of the Lord is presented. But, apparently, in order to get to the next generations, the previous generations are a bit ignored and dismissed.
It appears to be so in the Psalmist’s age as well.
The Psalmist observes through experience and perhaps reluctantly and remorsefully comes to this conclusion, even to presume he is an omen, a sign, warning, of what happens in old age. So, what does the Psalmist bring before God?
A prayer, not entirely of discouragement, but of determination. A declaration of, as I have begun (from even before my birth), I will continue—alone, if necessary (knowing that I am never alone), declaring His Might and Glory for all the things He has done in righteousness. This old Psalmist will continue to praise, even through “many troubles and calamities, the God who will not forsake him.
I needed to read this. I am on the other side of fifty, getting closer to seventy every day. I have a sense of being discarded, not in touch with this generation, ignored. So, what do the Scriptures tell me to do? Continue to pursue knowing Him and the power of the Cross.
Old guys can make themselves fools for Christ. They can show the following generations what it means to worship, to raise hands in the midst of the congregation, to sing their lungs out because He is Worthy to be Praised!! They can stick out like sore thumbs to show others how it ought to be done—ignoring “blending in” and being determined to out-shout rocks.
They can show how to not be “moral” alone (which can be idolatrous) but to be that Disciple who is determined to “tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all day, for their number (acts and deeds) is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God, I come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.”
What are the stories of God in your mind, what can you testify about, remember? What has He delivered you from, in His power and might? What is the exhortation and encouragement available to the next generation?
Prayer: Father, am I allowing the next generation to find You and learn about You by themselves, or am I providing a pair of shoulders that they can stand upon to serve you better?
Is this generation and the next upon next being prepped to ignore the lessons and experience of the previous generations? It feels so—please help me see with clarity.
Ricky Two Shoes