Psalm 69-72: Three Prayers with a Royal Psalm Attached

Psalm 69 – A king’s prayer for deliverance when under vicious attack
Psalm 70 – A short prayer (repeat of Psalm 40)
Psalm 71 – A king’s prayer for God’s help in old age when under attack
Psalm 72 – A prayer that the king be specifically gifted to rule justly

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One Reply to “Psalm 69-72: Three Prayers with a Royal Psalm Attached”

  1. The first thought that came to mind this morning as I sit and read through the last psalms of Book Two is this: Many of the psalms are written by David and call out for help or praise God for his goodness, all from David’s perspective. Yet the psalms are written for public worship, so there’s more to the psalm that just David’s troubles, his troubles personify our problems and are meant to provide a connection point between humans who worship a Mighty God. As I read through these psalms, I envision the congregation singing together. Some parts are liturgical (leader, responder) while other parts are in unison…old school thoughts I know, but sometimes the old ways are still relevant.

    Psalm 69.  David is feeling the pressure of many enemies on all sides, “Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal” (69:4).  “Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards” (69:12).  He calls for God to affect retribution, for the Lord to avenge his enemies while he endures humility and rejection. “But as for me, afflicted and in pain–may your salvation, God, protect me” (69:29). There is much to be learned from this response because it’s not a selfish desire, “the poor will see and be glad–you who seek God, may your hearts live!” (69:32). The bulk of this psalm provide a view of the troubles to accentuate the response in verses 32-36. Lord teach me from these principles.

    Psalm 70 – (repeat of Psalm 40:14-17). In music, emphasis is added by repeating a phrase, we hear this all the time. Another common tool is to reuse words from one song in another. In today’s music, “amazing grace, how sweet the sound” shows up in lots of songs.  David chose to extract part of Psalm 40 here, to make this a shorter version of the psalm, perhaps to emphasize this truth: “But as for me, I am poor and needy; come quickly to me O God (may the Lord think of me). You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay” (69:5 & 40:17) . My deliverer indeed. Lord thank you for your faithfulness and your timing, even when both are difficult to see.

    Psalm 71.  Twice in this psalm we hear the plea to remember us when we are old: “Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone” (71:9) and “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come” (71:18). Remember me when I’m old for a purpose, for a reason, for the great work of teaching the next generation. This is why God would call a man in his 50s to ministry, into the family of believers, it’s for the next generation. We must teach our children or they will be like the Israelites we read about in Judges 2:10, “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.” Lord, let that not be said of this generation and that of our children! Help us to declare your power to the next generation!

    Psalm 72. “This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse” (72:20). The end of Book Two. The grand chorus would be sung by a great choir: “Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen!” (72:18-19). Amen!!

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