Psalms 70-72

Let’s turn now to Psalm seventy as we continue our journey through the Bible. As you look at Psalm seventy I want to read for you Psalm forty and I will just be reading verses thirteen to seventeen in Psalm forty so that you can see the parallels of these two passages. It would seem that Psalm seventy has been taken out of Psalm forty. This small portion perhaps for liturgical services was taken from the fortieth psalm beginning with verse thirteen. So you watch in Psalm seventy and notice how closely akin these passages are.

“Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make to tarrying, O my God.” (Psalm 40:13-17).

The close relationship of these two passages of Psalm seventy is probably lifted for some special service out of Psalm forty. Again the prayer of David. It is so typical, I think, of us whenever we get to the place of prayer we don’t like to wait on God, we want God’s help and we want it now.
MAKE haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD (70:1).
It’s interesting to me how that we are so often slow and reluctant in our obedience to God. It takes all kinds of prodding, all kinds of pushing and all kinds of circumstances many times to get me aligned with what God wants me to do. I’m often slow in my response to him but turn it around and when I call on him I want instant action, “Make haste, O God” (70:1). I wonder if sometimes he just lets me see how it is to have to be pushed and prodded and shoved as he doesn’t always respond as I think he should when I think he should. It’s often true though that a person doesn’t pray until it is a last resort and then it is a hurry up thing. Everything else has failed so I’m finally calling upon God but this is the zero hour before I call. Thus the prayer to make haste.
Those that were seeking his soul David had something to say about that.
Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt (70:2).
David was not too kind to his enemies in his prayers. He really asked the Lord to take care of them. He desires God to bring them to confusion, to be ashamed and to be turned back.
Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha (70:3).
Now I don’t know what “Aha, aha” (70:3) really means except that it’s probably a term of great derision. It is interesting that there are no curse words in Hebrew and it seems like the worse thing you can say to a person in Hebrew is “Aha, aha”. If you’ll remember when Elisha the prophet was walking along and these teenage boys came out of the city to mock him, they mocked him with the words “Aha, go to you prophet” and so he turned around and cursed them. The shabbier came out and tore up forty-two of them. It must have been a pretty bad thing. David doesn’t like it at least so he wants God to take of those that would say, “Aha, aha” to him.
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: (70:4).
In contrast to those that are seeking David’s hurt, those that are seeking the Lord. Rather than being put to confusion, being ashamed, confounded and turned back he says, “let thee rejoice and be glad in thee” (70:4).
and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified (70:4).
Several times since Psalm forty people have come up to me and said, “Let the Lord be magnified” and I like it. I really think that it should be something we should be declaring if we love his salvation which we surely do then we are encouraged and exhorted to say, “Let the Lord be magnified”. You might add that to your spiritual jargon, to your praise the Lords and so forth add the “Let the Lord be magnified” here, “Let God be magnified” (70:4).
But I am poor and needy: make hast unto me, O God: thou art my help and deliverer: O LORD, make no tarrying (70:5).
The cry for God’s help comes out of the consciousness of my weakness, my inabilities. Surely all of our prayers are an expression of our inability and our weakness for “I am poor and I am needy. Hurry Lord for you are my help, my deliverer.
The seventy-first psalm again is so typical of many of the psalms that begin with a prayer and end with a praise. I think that it is common enough, in the psalms, as we note those psalms that begin with prayers, they usually end in praises. Now I do believe that if I pray in faith then that prayer should end in praise. If I’m really believing God to do the things that I’m asking him to do then it’s only proper to begin to praise God and thank God for doing it because I know that he will if I have asked in faith. The Bible says if we ask anything according to his will he hears us and if he hears us then we have received the petitions but what’s the natural response of having received the answers to prayer? It is praising God.
We are told concerning Abraham, that being strong in the faith he gave glory to God as he was praising God before there was any evidence of the fulfilled promise. He had the word of God, he had the promise of God and on the basis of God’s word and promise he praised the Lord, he gave glory to God. That’s an act of faith, praising God before there is any evidence of the fulfillment of my petitions. Faith is a substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
So as David prays, I’m trying to think in my mind and off hand I cannot remember a single prayer of David that doesn’t end with praises unto God. There may be but in my mind as I’m running through the psalms, I can’t remember a single psalm that is a prayer that doesn’t end with praise.
IN thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion (71:1).
Lord, I’m going to trust in you. That man who trusts in the Lord should not be put to confusion.
Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me (71:2).
It is thought that this prayer was offered to God at the time that David’s son Adonijah had rebelled against his father. As David was really on his deathbed there began a power struggle for the throne. David had promised to Bathsheba that Solomon would be the heir to the throne, that her son would reign when David died. David had not made a public pronouncement of this. It was just sort of a personal promise to Bathsheba. But as David was weakened as he was dying, his son Adonijah began this power struggle and was determined to take the throne from his father even before David was dead. He conspired to gather this group and to by force take the throne of Israel.
Bathsheba came to David and she said, “Did you not promise that Solomon shall reign” and David said, “Yes”. She said, “Well there’s this conspiracy and your other son Adonijah is claiming that he is the king and he has gathered these men together. You’d better do something now while you are still alive or else it’s curtains for Solomon and I when you are dead”. So David called Solomon in and he called the judges in and he declared his intention that Solomon should be the heir to the throne.
This psalm is thought to be written at that time. David is old and his strength is gone. There is this rebellion again going on, a rebellion of his son that reminds him of his earlier years also when Absalom had rebelled against him and driven him from the kingdom. With that background, let’s go on.
Be thou my strong habitation [dwelling place], whereunto I may continually resort: (71:3).
The Bible says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous runneth into it and are safe”. “Thou art my hiding place” David said, “Thou shalt preserve me in trouble”. Lord, you are my place of defense; I will abide in you. “He that abideth in the secret place of the most high shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty”. Here David is declaring it rather as a prayer rather than a declaration. He is making it a prayer, “be my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort” (71:3). How many times we find ourselves fleeing unto the Lord for the strength, for a place of refuge?
thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress (71:3).
You are my place of defense. I will dwell in the Lord.
Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth (71:4-5).
He is praying for God’s help and God’s deliverance declaring that from his youth he has been the hope of David, the trust and the help of David. We remember that when David was still a young teenager and he faced the giant that he did so relying upon the Lord. He said, “You come against me with a sword and a spear but I come against you in the name of the Living God that you have defied”. David was trusting in the Lord when he was telling Saul his qualifications to fight the giant. He said, “Once when I was watching the sheep a lion came and began to drag off one of the sheep and the Lord helped me and I killed the lion”. Another time a bear was dragging off one of the sheep and “the Lord helped me”. So David says, From my youth Lord I’ve trusted in you. From my youth you have been my deliverer and you have helped me”.
It’s marvelous to walk with the Lord from your youth and. to learn to trust in him during your youthful years.
By thee have I been holden up (71:6).
He’s not talking about being robbed but he’s talking about the fact that he didn’t fall, the Lord was the one holding him up. Had it not been for the Lord’s strength he would have fallen.
By thee have I been holden up from the womb: (71:6).
I can look back through my whole life and you’ve been there.
thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels [womb] my praise shall be continually of thee. I am as a wonder unto many; (71:6-7).
That is, because what God had wrought through David, the killing of the giant and all of these marvelous exploits, David had become a wonder to the people. They were in awe of what God had done through his life. They rejoiced in the work of God through David.
I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge (71:7).
It’s not my strength, you are my strength.
Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. Cast me not off (71:8-9).
David now makes reference to his old age.
Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth (71:9).
When he was young and strong he trusted in the Lord and the Lord delivered him. He talks about the exploits he had done through the strength of the Lord. But now he says I’m an old man, Lord don’t forsake me now because I need you more than ever.
For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together (71:10).
There was this turmoil going on in the kingdom, this conspiracy.
Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him. O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help. Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt. But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more (71:11-14).
He has put his case in God’s hands. There is the conspiracy, there are those that are saying God has forsaken him and now is the time to take advantage of his weakness. He’s old and can’t defend himself, let’s wipe him out. Let’s take over. But David is still strong because he declares, “my hope is continually in the Lord and I’m going to praise him more and more” (71:14).
My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof (71:15).
Lord what ever days, I don’t know how many days I have left, but what days I do have left I’m going to spend in praising you and in declaring your righteousness and your salvation.
I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: (71:16).
Interesting to me that as David began his life and his career he did so in the strength of the Lord. In his confidence in God he faced the giant. Now in his older years that same confidence has manifested. That was not always the case in history. There were many people who began strong trusting in the Lord but in the later years as they gained strength and power they began to trust in their own power. That does seem to be a repeated mistake. A person in the earlier struggling years learns to trust in the Lord. As the years go by and God has blessed them and they become strong, they begin to trust in their riches and in their strength.
I think of Asa the king over Judah in second Chronicles thirteen who was facing a powerful enemy. He was facing a combination of the Ethiopians and Nubians over a million strong coming with chariots invading the land. Asa prayed unto the Lord, “Lord it is nothing for you to help with those that are weak or those that have no strength. Help us O Lord for in your name we are going to go forth against this enemy. Don’t let man prevail against you”. He went out against them in the name of the Lord and God delivered the host of the Ethiopians and the Nubians into the hands of Asa and he had tremendous victory. He came back victorious over these forces and he had a long and prosperous reign in Judah.
Near the end of his reign the king of the north began to build fortified cities at the borders of Judah to cut of supplies preparing for an invasion. Now he’s prosperous, now he’s wealthy and so he takes money out of the treasury and he sends to the king of Assyria, Ben-Hadad. He buys mercenaries from the Assyrian army to attack the Northern Kingdom from the north so they would have to take the troops that were building these cities for invasion and move them up to the north to defend from this attack of Assyria. It was a successful strategy. It worked.
When the Assyrians began to attack the Northern Kingdom they took the troops off the building of these fortified cities and they moved them to the northern sector to defend. Asa and his men were able to go and dismantle these fortified cities, take all of the materials and fortify the cities of Judah. He was very proud of himself for this successful strategy. But the prophet of God came to him and said,

“When you were little in your own eyes, when you first took over the throne, there came against you a great host of Ethiopians and Nubians and you trusted in the Lord and God delivered them into your hand. But now that you are old and prosperous and wealthy and strong, you’ve trusted in the arm of the flesh for your deliverance. Your own devices, your own wisdom, you haven’t trusted in the Lord. Don’t you know that the eyes of the Lord are going to and from throughout the entire earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are perfect towards him? In that you have done this, you’ve done foolishly”.

He was being rebuked. Paul, in writing to the Galatians said, “O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you? Having begun in the spirit are you now going to be made perfect in the flesh?” You can see so many people who started out in the spirit. They started out trusting God completely and God blessed them, God delivered them. As they became older, stronger and wealthier but not wiser they did not put their trust in the Lord but in their wealth and strength. Not so with David. He began trusting the Lord from early youth. Now that he’s an old man, grey hair, he is still trusting in God.
I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, (71:16-18).
Passing it off into the next generation. David had a profound affect upon his generation. Through David’s faith and trust in the Lord, God had done marvelous things that had a profound affect upon his generation. But David says Lord I want to share it to the next generation, don’t leave me now. Continue Lord your work in my life and through my life so I can bring it to the next generation.
We’ve come to an interesting place in life where we have the advantage of looking back over many years and seeing the faithfulness of God. It’s glorious what God has done. I look around the country. We just this week had a pastor’s conference in Palm Springs which was a total blessing. To see the hundreds of ministers that have gone out from this fellowship who are now pastoring some of the largest churches in America. To be with these fellows was just a blessing to see what God has done in and through their lives. What a blessing.
I can remember in the late sixties, early seventies, when they were just kids sitting in the congregation. I can remember their long hair and bare feet. I can remember wondering if they were ever going to amount to anything. I remember their thirst and their hunger for the word of God. I remember how intently they listened to the word of God. I remember how God worked in their hearts and they went out from here and they began to establish fellowships all over the United States. I’ve had the blessed privilege of watching their fellowships grow into mega churches.
But you know, a couple of years ago Mike Macintosh came with his teenage children, one of them now is in their twenties and Raul came with his teenage boys All of sudden I realized that these kids, that generation that we saw God work amongst in such a powerful way, have grown up. They are no longer teenagers or in their early twenties. They are now in their late thirties and early forties. It came to me as sort of a shocker to realize that they’ve got teenage kids. I realized that we had not been able to have the impact on this next generation that we had on that generation. That’s why we started the Monday night classes again so that we might be able to show the works of God to the next generation.
That’s what David’s saying, now Lord that I’m old and have grey hair, of course with me I’ve got no hair, Lord I’d like to show to the next generation your power, love and that which you can do. David is desiring God’s work in order that it might have a profound affect upon the next generation that’s coming along, those that are growing up.
Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee! (71:19).
David is facing this conspiracy and there are problems but his trust is in the Lord and he is talking now of the greatness of God and of the power of God in which he has put his trust.
Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me [make me alive] again and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel (71:20-22).
Lord my trust is in you, you have never failed me, I know that you will not fail me now and I will praise thee and rejoice in thee.
My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed [rejoiced]. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt (71:23-24).
He prayed that God would do that and he’s confident that God will do it. He ends his prayer with praise. The prayer of faith should always end with praise, that confidence that God indeed has heard and will answer.
Psalm seventy-two is the last of psalms in what is known as the second book of the psalms. As we mentioned, each of the books of the psalms ends with sort of a benediction, the Amen and amen. Verse nineteen ends with that Amen, and Amen benediction, the second book of the psalms. This psalm, again, is one of the messianic psalms. It is a psalm of David for his son Solomon who is to take over the throne. However, it goes beyond Solomon but to that son of David that was promised of God that would reign upon the throne forever.
As he is beginning the psalm addressing it to Solomon and praying for Solomon’s wisdom and guidance and directing the people, he goes beyond Solomon to Jesus Christ. It is a beautiful messianic psalm filled with anticipation for the glorious kingdom of age when that son of David, Jesus Christ, shall rule and reign.
The prayer of David for his son.
GIVE the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son (72:1).
David’s prayer of give me thy judgements I think is an important prayer for anyone who has been placed in a position of authority or power. Lord, let my decisions reflect your desires. O that the judges today would pray “Lord, give me your judgements” rather than thinking that I am the one who is going to decide these issues. O, God you guide me so that my decisions reflect your desires. Give the king thy judgements O Lord. A very wise prayer indeed. I think it’s one we could all pray and should pray, “Lord guide the decisions that I make, let them reflect your desire”. Thy righteousness unto the king’s son is Solomon.
He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgement (72:2).
Lord guide him that he might judge the people with righteous judgement.
[For if so] The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor (72:3-4).
Now it moves from Solomon to the kingdom reign of Jesus Christ. These things that David prayed shall be fulfilled and accomplished in the righteous reign of Jesus Christ. For it can be said of Christ that he will judge the people with righteousness; with the judgements, the true judgements of God and the mountains shall indeed bring forth peace. In fact the Bible promises “in that day there will be peace like a river” and the little hills, the righteousness of God, judging the poor of the people, saving the children of the needy and breaking in pieces the oppressor. As a potter’s vessel is shattered by an iron rod so Jesus shall reign and break in pieces who would impose the righteous kingdom of God.
They shall fear thee as long as the sun and the moon endure, throughout all generations (72:5).
There will be reverence unto the Lord during this kingdom age throughout all of the generations.
He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth (72:6).
How refreshing will be the reign of Christ over the earth. O my, as we look at the way the earth is being governed today and the oppression of government I think of China. My heart goes out for those people who long for righteous reign. I think of the United States, for how my heart goes out for righteous reign.
Have you had to deal with local bureaucracy of late? If so, God help you. Pray for me and God will help me. I can’t stand these bureaucrats who don’t have enough guts to make a decision and who pass things off. You’d be amazed at the hassle that we are going through on this building next door. Even the workmen are amazed. They say, “I’ve been working here in the county for twenty years. I’ve never heard of them asking for that”. What a hassle! Poor Steve, who is in charge of the building project, pray for him. He needs the grace and the help of God to get through. Just the hassles that they are giving to him as we are seeking to put up this building. I see Steve and he’s just frustrated with what they have done and I say, “Don’t worry Steve”. Some day those guys are going to be facing a fire they can’t put out. Their ridiculous demands will be over.
His reign will be in righteousness. It will be refreshing, not oppressive but refreshing.
In his days shall the righteous flourish; (72:7).
What’s flourishing today? Who is flourishing today? The ungodly. Dial a porn is a two billion dollar industry. It was shut down for a while but when you’ve got two billion dollars to spend on lobbying it goes a long way even to the Supreme Court. Now the Supreme Court has ruled that it’s a violation of free speech and so they’ve opened the door again for your children to dial and hear some sexually explicit suggestive message from some low class woman who is willing to talk on the phone to excite someone. It’s tragic, all in the name of free speech. God help us. The righteous shall flourish in that day.
[As a result] abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth (72:7).
When the unrighteous flourish there is no peace. Greed is in control and those who get the power become greedy for the other man’s power and there comes war. When the righteous flourish peace is the result. So he shall reign in peace and rule in peace and in righteousness.
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, (72:8).
Through out the entire earth, “Ask of me” Psalm two “and I will give you the heathen for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession”.
and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish (72:8-10).
Which at the time was the end of the earth.
and of the isles [coastlands] shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba (72:10).
Which is the area of Saudi Arabia and Seba which is the area of Ethiopia Africa.
and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him (72:10-11).
He shall reign wherever the sun doth its successive journeys run. All nations, “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father”.
For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight (72:12-14).
The value of life. That’s one of the tragedies of pagan societies, they don’t have a real value upon life. The more pagan our society becomes, the less value we have on life. That loss of value on life is evident in the abortions and those who are advocating abortions. They are taking the positions of pagan societies that have no value on life.
Look at the pagan societies, the tribal wars among the people of New Guinea prior to the gospel coming. The periodic wars, revenge wars, the killings, the taking of lives, the cannibalization. Look at those societies where there isn’t really strong Christian values, how little value there is on life. Look at the value the gospel puts on a persons life. “What will it profit a man if he gained the whole world and lost his own soul?” A tremendous value on life given to us in the scriptures but not so in pagan societies.
Our society is becoming pagan first of all when they passed the laws for abortion, which has cost us some twenty million lives thus far. Now they are talking about Euthanasia. They are going to get us on the other end of the spectrum. They are talking about a person being willing to choose to die when he is in a terminal state and the doctors give to him a lethal injection that would terminate his life. It’s because of our value of life. It’s deteriorating in what we call our cultured society. In primitive society we say they are a bunch of primitive natives. In our cultured society we even have less value on life than they do in the primitive societies. When Jesus reigns he will have real value on life. Precious shall be their blood in his sight and life is in the blood.
And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised (72:15).
Our Lord reigns. What a glorious day that will be. That’s what we are anticipating and hoping for when we pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven”. We are praying for this glorious day when Jesus, the son of David, reigns over the earth.
There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; (72:16).
The picture is even the mountaintops of Israel being covered with grain.
the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: (72:16).
As the wind blows across the grain fields and the moving of the grain fields with the wind. That’s the picture that he is drawing here.
and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. His name shall endure forever: (72:16-17).
The name of Jesus. God has given him a name that is above every name. At the name of Jesus every name shall bow. His name shall endure forever.
his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed (72:17).
Glorious day. I can hardly wait.
Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things (72:18).
Praise unto God for the wondrous things that he has done.
And blessed be his glorious name forever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen (72:19).
The whole earth filled with the glory of God and so this little appendage at the end. The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.
As we go into the next book of Psalms we will be having more psalms of Asaph and other writers. We will be having still some of David’s psalms but this basically and is thought to be perhaps the last psalm that David wrote. If so, surely a beautiful psalm. One of the psalms of the glorious anticipation of the coming kingdom of God and the wonderful reign of the son of David, Jesus Christ, over the earth. My prayer is, “O Lord, hurry, make haste O Lord, hurry. Don’t tarry O God but let’s get on with the kingdom and the kingdom age”.
Shall we stand? Didn’t make it through seventy-three but we’ll start there next week.
May the Lord be with you and give you a glorious week as you walk in fellowship with Him. May the hope of the future sustain you through the trials of the present. As we have to endure for a time, the bungling ineptness of human government and bureaucracy, may God give you the strength to endure until that glorious day when He makes all things right and Jesus reigns forever. God bless you and keep you in His love.
Psalms 70-72, PW Twente, date 08/30/99,, Phone # 310 476 4704

Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7188

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