PSALM 70 TALK: REMEMBERING GOD AND HIS WORD

PSALM 70 TALK: REMEMBERING GOD AND HIS WORD

                                 (LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING FORWARD TO

                                   BE ABLE TO FACE THE PROBLEMS OF TODAY)

(A Psalm that explores how we can find encouragement and help to face the problems of life today from what God has said and done for us in the past and in what he promises to do for us in the future).

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide”.

INTRODUCTIION

“Do you know that your current feelings, your personality traits and your current behaviour were shaped by the past events you have been through?

 Do you know that all the experiences that you have been through when you were a little child are dramatically impacting your life right now even the ones that might seem irrelevant or insignificant?

 Do you know that your past is currently affecting your present and that it will keep affecting your future as long as you don’t become aware of the connection between your past and your future?”

 (M Farouk Radwan, “How the past effects your present – Web page – “Know Myself)

 The words of Farouk Radwan nail down the great truth of life that we are all shaped one way or another by our past. I was speaking to some friends at church the other day that told me they were helping their non – Christian neighbours while they were in England on a holiday by doing their gardening for them. They said that their neighbours never seemed to be happy as they were always dragging up lots of negative things from their past. This they believed was stopping them enjoying their lives today and from what they could find out about their neighbours holiday even a wonderful trip to England and Europe was not making them happy.

For one reason or another my friends neighbours were victims of their past.

King David had to live through a whole life of problems and difficulties and if anyone should have been both bitter and twisted by his past it should have been David.

When we read the Psalms or songs David wrote we discover that he was not twisted or bitter by his past experiences and Psalm 70 is a short Psalm that I believe reveals why this was so.

The Hebrew heading in some of the translations gives us the first clue to David’s reasons for not letting his difficult past get the better of him and how he actually found faith and hope in the past that helped him in the present and he also found hope in the future that helped him live in a very positive and productive life.

Unfortunately the NIV translation of the heading misses this clue because it reads,

“For the director of music. Of David A petition”

 However a number of other translations, like the Darby Bible translation, The English Revised Version and The Webster Bible Translation interpret the heading as,

“A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance”

 The New American Translation reads with something similar,

“A Psalm of David, for a memorial O God”

 So the heading in these translations gives us the first clue to David’s positive attitude in his current crisis and it has to do with his remembering the things God taught him and did for him in the past.

I will speak more about this and other matters concerning this in the four sections and conclusion of this remarkable Psalm.

  1. A PSALM OR PRAYER REMEMBERED (Further introductory remarks)
  1. GOD’S DEALINGS WITH HIS ENEMIES REMEMBERED (1 – 3)
  1. GOD’S DEALINGS WITH HIS FAITHFUL PEOPLE REMEMBERED (vs. 4)
  1. A PRAYER FOR GOD TO REMEMBER HIS PEOPLE AND HELP THEM (VS. 5)

     CONCLUSION – HOW WE CAN FACE CURRENT

                                       DIFFICULTIES IN LIFE BY REMEMBERING

                                       WHAT GOD SAID AND DID IN THE PAST AND

                                       PROMISES TO DO FOR US IN THE FUTURE

  1. A PSALM OR PRAYER REMEMBERED (Further introductory remarks)

 Psalm 70 is in fact almost word for word an extract from Psalm 40, namely verses 13 – 17, there is only very minor changes to this extract from this Psalm to make the new Psalm of Psalm 70. We cannot know for sure what came first.

Did David write Psalm 70 first and then include it as part of a later composition Psalm 40 verses 13- 17.

Or did David write Psalm 40 first and then for some reason or another took the words of Psalm 40: 13 – 17 to write a new Psalm, Psalm 70.

We have seen this kind of thing before with the rewrite of Psalm 14 from the first book of Psalms to create Psalm 53 in the second book of Psalms. In my introduction to the second book of Psalms I suggested that the second book of Psalms was a collection that came together independently of the first book of Psalms with an emphasis on being a book of Psalms particularly for the people rather then the priests in the Tabernacle or later Temple. Some commentators have suggested that many Psalms were available in the ancient Hebrew Temple for people to use when they needed help in praying certain types of prayers in their lives and this Psalm could have been one of them.

John Gill concludes that David wrote this Psalm to,

“Refresh his own memory with his present state, and put him in mind from whence he might expect help and salvation”.

 He goes on to say,

“The title of the psalm in the Arabic versions, and so in the Vulgate Latin, following the Septuagint,

 ‘A remembrance that the Lord had saved him”

 For David seems to be using an inspired Psalm or portion of a Psalm, which ever cam first, to help him in a current difficult situation.

This is then the first clue to how we as Christians can have a positive attitude and faith when facing life’s difficulties, We need to use God’s inspired word to help us face the difficulties of life.

This is one of the reasons why the Psalms have been such a helpful resource for Christians over the many centuries since Christ came. They often express so well our thoughts, feelings and problems and then offer God’s inspired help in how to face life’s problems.

Paul made it clear to his younger prodgie Timothy about the value of not only the Psalms but all scripture in his words of advice to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3: 16 – 17,

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. 17Using the Scriptures, the person who serves God will be capable, having all that is needed to do every good work”.

Paul mentions the role of the Psalms in another famous reference in Ephesians 5: 18 – 20, in this passage he says not to turn to alcohol in the rough tumble of life’s problems but find in God’s word and God’s fellowship of the word and praise the positive attitude to life God has for us,

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

  1. GOD’S DEALINGS WITH HIS ENEMIES REMEMBERED (1 – 3)

David begins his Psalm 70 version of this Psalm with a more urgent plea for help. Psalm 40 verse 13 reads,

“Be pleased, O Lord, to save me”.

While Psalm 70 verse 1 reads,

“Hasten, O God, to save me”.

This NIV translation seems to be the more accurate translation of David’s original Hebrew wording.

As in Psalm 40 the context of this call is the threat of death from his enemies (vs.2) and that threat in the context of Psalm 70 writing is dire and imminent therefore David prayer is for God to act quickly in saving him.

We cannot know what incident in David’s life caused David to pray this way but both David’s eight-year run from King Saul and the Absalom rebellion fit well as a possible background. On many occasions as David ran from Saul his life was in great danger as Saul was close to catching him. However David faced what seemed like certain death at the hands of his son during the Absalom rebellion and many commentators argue strongly that it this life threatening incident in David’s life that prompted him to remember and revise his former words in Psalm 40: 13 – 17 with a more urgent plea for help and protection.

The threat of death is made clear in verse 2 of Psalm 70 and Psalm 40: 14 which reads;

“May those who seek my life be put to shame and confusion: may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace”.

The second part of both Psalm 40: 13 and Psalm 70: 1 read the same,

“O Lord, come quickly to help me”.

Which indicates David was in imminent danger at the writing of both Psalms but the change in the start of Psalm 70 indicates the danger was very close and overwhelming which again fits well with David’s problems during the Absalom rebellion.

Why did David have the confidence to call on God for help when he faced great dangers?

The answer to this question is the second clue to the positive confidence David had in his life even in the face of great opposition and danger.

I see two reasons for this confidence:

The first reason for David’s confidence in God’s protection from his enemies is the fact that God had promised him in the past his help and protection. I have suggested a number of times in these Psalm Talks that a major theme of many of the Psalms in book 1 and two of Psalms is David’s warning by God of opposition from God’s enemies and God’s promise of help fighting his enemies in Psalm 2: 2 – 6,

“The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One.

 3 “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”

4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.

5 Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

6 “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

These verses of an earlier Psalm of David indicate that David knew he would face great opposition and difficulty during his life once Samuel anointed him king. However he also knew that God promised to protect him and even fight for him against his many enemies.

Where did David get this idea that God would fight for him against his enemies?

We can see in 2 Samuel 7 God’s revelation directly to David about this through the prophet Nathan. In verses 8 to 12 we read these amazing words to David,

You must tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: I took you from the pasture and from tending the sheep and made you leader of my people Israel.

I have been with you everywhere you have gone and have defeated your enemies for you. I will make you as famous as any of the great people on the earth. 10 Also I will choose a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them so they can live in their own homes. They will not be bothered anymore. Wicked people will no longer bother them as they have in the past 11 when I chose judges for my people Israel. But I will give you peace from all your enemies. I also tell you that I will make your descendants kings of Israel after you”.

David often alludes to these special words of protection and help in many Psalms and I am sure he is remembering God’s many promises of protection and help in first 3 verses of this Psalm.

Jesus faced great opposition from his enemies all through his ministry and what seemed like his enemies ultimate victory over Jesus namely his death on a cross Paul tells us in Colossians 2: 15 was in fact his victory over sin and the devil,

“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he (Jesus) made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross”.

This victory over sin and Satan by Jesus on the cross which Paul speaks of in Colossians 2: 15 was also our victory over sin and evil as Paul explains in the verses leading up to this verse, namely Colossians 2: 13 – 15,

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross”.

So we too can remember God’s promise of victory over spiritual enemies we face and this is made even clearer in the famous bible reference to our battle with spiritual forces namely Ephesians 6: 10 – 13,

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand”.

The second reason why David confidently prayed for victory over his enemies in Psalm 70 verse’s 1 – 3 and Psalm 40: 13 – 14 is because he could remember how God had helped him on many occasions in his past when he faced many enemies and God delivered him from those enemies.

Even at a very young age David acknowledged by faith God’s hand of protection in his life for as David was about to go out and fight the giant Philistine soldier named Goliath, David says this to King Saul who questioned his ability to defeat Goliath in 1 Samuel 17: 34 – 37,

“But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

 This was how David faced great difficulties and challenges in his life he remembered both God’s word and God’s former help in his life and that gave him the positive confidence to face these difficulties and challenges.

Finally I want to comment on what David actually asks God to do to his enemies in verses 1 – 3 of Psalm 70.

In verse 2, David prays,

“May those who seek my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace”.

 He is praying what we have seen many times before a “Imprecatory Prayer” or prayer for God’s judgment on his enemies but in this verse it is not for their destruction he is praying for but their evil murderous plans to be thwarted.

We have learnt many times that Jesus does not want us to pray for God’s judgment on our enemies but rather he wants us to love our enemies. I read this on a blog recently entitled, “How should we prayer for our enemies”,

“But I say to you, love your enemies. (Matthews 5:44a)

 Here is the most powerful teaching in Scripture about the meaning of love. The love that God commands of His people is love so great that it even embraces enemies.

William Hendriksen comments, ‘All around him were those walls and fences. He came for the very purpose of bursting those barriers, so that love-pure, warm, divine, infinite-would be able to flow straight down from the heart of God, hence from his own marvellous heart, into the hearts of men. His love overleaped all the boundaries of race, nationality, party, age, sex.

 When he said, “I tell you, love your enemies,” he must have startled his audience, for he was saying something that probably never before had been said so succinctly, positively, and forcefully”. (The Gospel of Matthew [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973], p. 313)

 David then writes in verse 3 of Psalm 70,

“May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha! Turn back because of their shame”.

Churchyard explains the expression “Aha! Aha! This way,

The enemy thinks that he has beaten David, so the enemy says, “Aha! Aha!” These are not really words, but sounds that people make when they think, ‘I have won the fight’”.

It is interesting that another slight change from the Psalm 40 version of this Psalm 70 version is;

“turn back because of their own shame” NIV Psalm 70: 3 and

“Let them be desolate” (King James and American Standard version) For Psalm 40: 15.

 The earlier Psalm’s wording is much more stronger request than the request of God’s judgment on his enemies in Psalm 70 verse 3 which could suggest David mellowed a little in his attitude to his enemies later in his life. However if God’s enemies, which we all were before we came to Christ fail to turn to Christ in repentance and faith then their fate is to face God in judgment and the full consequences of their rebellion to God.

Spurgeon makes the Christian application of this verse with these words,

“Rest assured, the enemies of Christ and his people shall have wages for their work; they shall be paid in their own coin; they loved scoffing, and they shall be filled with it – yea, they shall become a proverb and a byword for ever”.

 So David has used a part of a previous Psalm to remind himself of how to pray when he faced death from his enemies. He remembered in verses 1 to 3 to pray that his enemies might be turned back from their evil ways and that they might be thwarted in their attempts to appose God and his anointed king.

  1. GOD’S DEALINGS WITH HIS FAITHFUL PEOPLE REMEMBERED (vs. 4)

 As David did in his earlier Psalm, Psalm 40: 16 David does again in Psalm 70: 4 he turns from remembering his enemies before God to those who seek to follow God and be loyal to him and David his anointed King.

In this verse David makes no changes in the wording of both Psalms, he writes,

“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “Let God be exalted’”.

 David remembers two key characteristics of those who are God’s faithful people namely:

  1. All who seek you
  2. Those who love you

 Lets have a closer look at each of these characteristics.

  1. All who seek you

 Jesus said in Matthew 7: 7,

“Seek and you will find”

 A idea Jeremiah speaks of in Jeremiah 29: 13,

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”.

 I have read or even heard many Christian testimonies of people who did not know God in their lives praying a prayer like, “If you’re their God please reveal yourself” when they were in the midst of a crisis or difficulty. God answered that prayer with some kind of event like a person coming to them with God’s message of salvation or through a random reading of scripture that revealed God’s saving truth to them.

John Newton the famous former slave trader become Christian minister and hymn writer called out to God for him to save him and reveal himself to him when he was lashed to the mask of his ship during a violent terrifying storm at sea. Newton was saved from death that night and went on to read in the New Testament of God’s message of saving grace in Christ, which led Newton to write,

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost but now I’m found

Was blind but now I see”.

 So David says in Psalm 40: 16 and Psalm 70: 4,

“May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you”

 This is the right response of seeking God and finding him namely to rejoice or praise him and be glad or enjoy God and his blessings even when we might be facing great problems and difficulties as David did.

In Psalm 34: 10, David compares those who oppose God to those who seek God with these words,

“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”.

 Some non- Christians think that Christians are people who are missing out on the benefits and joys of life but in fact I believe it is the opposite. Christians might seem to be missing out on having a good time by not getting drunk or not living self-gratifying lives but when God is in our lives we receive far much more in inner peace and outward blessings than we ever gave up before we turned and sought the Lord.

Jesus says this in Matthew 6: 33 and 34,

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.

  1. Those who love you

David then remembers in both Psalms that those who are faithful followers of God are those who love God. In fact what they love about God is expressed in this verse as, “Your Salvation”.

This reminds me of the Apostle Johns words in 1 John 4: 19,

“We love because he first loved us”.

 John explains why this is so in the three verses before this verse which simply say,

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4: 16 – 18)

 John is saying the same thing as David that we love God because we remember how he has saved us. In the case of the Apostle John and us we know this because of the historical act of Jesus Christ dying for our sins on the cross. As John states in 1 John 3: 16,

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us”.

 David constantly remembered and relied on the love and faithfulness of God which I have spoken about in many previous Psalms like Psalm 57: 2 and 3,

“I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfils, his purpose for me. He sends from heaven and saves me, God sends his love and his faithfulness”.

 The love of God David knew in his life was not a love he deserved because over and over again he calls for God’s mercy or God’s grace which is God’s undeserved love. As he states at the start of Psalm 57,

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge”.

 David then tells us that those who remember that God is love and that they love him because of his love will then,

“Always say, “Let God be exalted!”

 We read today of fanatical Muslim terrorist calling out as they maim and kill others,

“God is great”

 This is a sad reflection of their twisted and evil understanding of the God of heaven and earth. The God of the bible is not a God of terror and bloodshed but a God of love who sent his only son into this twisted dark evil world to be handed over to this darkness and evil to be killed slowly on a cross.

This God is not wanting us to be tortured and killed in his name but saved and restored and our only acceptable response to that is to always say, “Let God be exalted”.

  1. A PRAYER FOR GOD TO REMEMBER HIS PEOPLE AND HELP THEM (VS. 5)

The final verse and section of this beautiful short Psalm of David is verse 5 and I see this as a final prayer request to God. David is facing unbelievable powerful opposition probably in the form of his very own son who has rebelled against him and forced him out of his privileged position of being the king to be a poor and wretched fugitive on the run for his very life.

David prays,

“Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay”.

 Even if David wrote this during the eight years he was on the run from King Saul his description of himself at the start of the verse still fits. David was an accused traitor and had no home, no solid income and faced constant danger so he could aptly describe himself as “poor and needy”.

 David needed the help of the charity of people who defied King Saul and Absalom who gave David food, water and sometimes shelter to help him survive this very difficult time in his life.

Jesus speaks of his poverty in his life on earth in Matthew 8: 30,

Jesus replied, Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”.

 Jesus became poor for us so that we could become rich in all the blessings his death and resurrection brings to those who trust and believe in him. This is what Paul is speaking about in 2 Corinthians 8 verse 9,

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich”.

Another way of looking at what David says about himself at the start of verse 5 when he says, “Yet I am poor and needy” is that all of us in our sin and rebellion are poor spiritually. That is we have no righteousness in our selves as Isaiah puts it in Isaiah 64: 6,

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags”.

Therefore we too, spiritually need to call out to God like David,

“Yet I am poor and needy come quickly to me O God”.

God’s answer is both swift and beautiful in 2 Corinthians 5: 21,

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.

As I pointed out before it through Christ life and particularly death on the cross he became spiritually poor for us that we have become spiritually rich. Again let me quote Paul’s word on this in 2 Corinthians 8 verse 9,

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich”.

So David cries out to God in Psalm 70 verse 5 for help when he was either on the run from King Saul or his rebellious Son Absalom,

“Come quickly to me, O God”

Interestingly this is the first of two changes in this verse and its corresponding verse in Psalm 40 verse 17which reads,

“May the Lord think of me”.

Spurgeon offers a good explanation for this change,

“Psalm 40 sings of God’s thoughts, and, therefore ends with ‘may the Lord think of me”, but the peculiar note of Psalm 70 is ‘make haste’ and therefore so concludes, ‘come quickly to me O God’.

 I would like to suggest that maybe Psalm 70 was written by David at a far more crucial time of imminent danger so the concept of God’s help coming quickly was needed which explains why the Psalm starts with the request for a hasty and quick reply of help form God and ends with the same request.

This context would fit well with the Absalom rebellion as in that rebellion David was out in the western desert area of Judah for at least 2 days with lots of his family and close friends with no food, water or shelter and with an imminent attack of his son and his large army breathing down on top of him.

Whenever David wrote this version of this Psalm he needed God’s help quickly and David seems to remember that the God of the bible is a God he can rely on for help with the following phrase that says,

“You are my help and deliverer”

 I have seen in many Psalms in this second book of Psalms the concept that David believed that God alone was his help and deliverer. He even uses the words “in God alone” in Psalm 62 and the first two verses read,

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken”.

 The New Testament makes it clear that God by Christ alone saves us. This is a major teaching of Paul who battled many false teachers who sought to add to the work of Christ for our salvation. The letter to the Galatians features the Christ alone for our Salvation as Paul is battling here with the circumcision party teachers who sought to add Jewish rights like circumcision to faith in Christ alone for our salvation.

In Galatians chapter 2 Paul’s speaks of how he had to correct the apostle Peter about adding observance of Jewish law to faith in Christ alone for our salvation. This is what Paul claims he said to Peter and members of the circumcision party, Galatians 2: 16 – 16,

“We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified”.

He concludes his argument for trusting in Christ alone for our salvation with these words in Galatians 2: 20 – 21,

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

We too must always remember that nothing but faith in Christ can and will save us and anything anyone might intentionally or unintentionally add to faith in Christ for salvation must be rejected. In the first chapter of Galatians Paul says this about adding to faith in Christ for salvation, which he calls the Gospel in Galatians 1: 8- 9,

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”

David completes his Psalm 70 with the words,

“O Lord, do not delay”

This brings us to the final difference between the Psalm 40: 13 – 17 version and this Psalm 70 version of the Psalm. The difference or change is in the name for God. In the Psalm 40 verse 17 the name for God is “Elohim” which means God the creator and judge and is considered the general Hebrew name for God. However here in Psalm 70 verse 5 David changes the name of God to Yahweh Israel’s special covenant name for God.

This is very curious as usually the second book of Psalms features the general name for God, which is “Elohim” however in Psalm 70 verse 5 David changes “Elohim” to Yahweh.

Why did David change from “Elohim” in Psalm 40: 17 to Yahweh in Psalm 70: 5?

All the commentators I looked up on this could not suggest why David did this. However my theory is that because David is in such a desperate state at the time of writing Psalm 70 he remembers all the promises his God made to his people in the covenant as the grounds for his God’s timely help in his current situation.

Interestingly the first time we come across this special name for God, “Yahweh” is way back at the burning bush in Exodus 3 where Moses is called by God to help save his people out of slavery in Egypt. God gives Moses this special name as a sign that Moses is sent by God to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt.

David faced some kind of very dangerous difficulty at the time of writing Psalm 70 and maybe through using the name Yahweh he is remembering how the same powerful God who saved his people Israel out of Egypt can and will save him from the dangerous situation he currently faced.

CONCLUSION – HOW WE CAN FACE CURRENT DIFFICULTIES

                                  IN LIFE BY REMEMBERING WHAT GOD SAID

                                  AND DID IN THE PAST AND PROMISES TO DO

                                  FOR US IN THE FUTURE

 I started at the start of this Psalm talk that we are all shaped one way or another by our past. The things that happened to us when we were young have for good or ill an effect on how we live our lives today. Many people blame their current unhappiness on things that happened to them in the past.

Well, I believe the message of this Psalm is that God has done something for us in the past that can and will help us in the present and he promises to do things for us in the future that will also help us cope better with our current life’s problems.

David constantly faced all kinds of problems and difficulties in his life sometimes even caused by his own failures and sins. If David had not faced so many problems and difficulties then the very Psalms we read in the bible would have not existed.

However as David over and over again expresses in prayer his problems and difficulties he always seems to find the answer to these problems and difficulties in the God of the bible he trusted in.

The God he believed in, the God of the bible is a real, powerful and loving God who has made himself known in various ways in the past and who David proved was still active an real in his life. David was either an incredibly lucky person or a person led and blessed by God in the way he escaped the many dangerous and difficult of his life.

We too can know and prove this same God in our lives and we, unlike David have a far clearer picture and assurance of this God. This is because we can look back to the past when God sent his only Son Jesus Christ into our world to die for our sins on the cross. We have the wonderful promises of God’s son of forgiveness from sins, the gift of eternal life and his powerful help in our lives no matter what might come our way.

We have the promise of life eternal with God when we die and even now we have God’s help in our lives through the gift of his Holy Spirit to guide and protect us in this life.

We can face current difficulties in our lives because we can remember what Jesus has done for us and what he promises to do for us as we face those difficulties. We can face life’s difficulties because we have such a great hope for the future, which is to be with God in his heaven forever.

I close with the wonderful inspired words of the Apostle Paul who speaks of how we are more than conquers if we trust in Christ in our daily lives.

Romans 8: 28 – 39,

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[ have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

I close as usual with a poem and a prayer:

 REMEMBERING THE LORD

 Chorus:

 I remember you Oh Lord

Yes I remember you.

For your promises are true Oh Lord

And you always carry me through.

 

Hasten Oh God and save me

Come quickly and help me through

The many trials that this life brings

Help me to trust in you.

Satan seeks to pull me down

He wants to take my Life

So please Oh Lord protect me now

And bring me through this strife.

 

Chorus:

 

May those who turn on me Oh Lord

Come to know your word.

May their pain be taken away

As they come to know you Lord.

Help those who seek to serve you Lord

Always rejoice and praise

For they’ll ones who know your love

May they exalt you all their days.

 

Chorus:

 

Yes I am poor and needy Lord

I have no righteousness

But Christ has died for me Oh Lord

And in him I am richly blessed

Yes you Oh Lord are my deliverer

Save me now I pray

Deliver me from all my sin

And help me walk your way.

 

Chorus:

I remember you Oh Lord

Yes I remember you

For your promises are true Oh Lord

And you always carry me through.

 

By: Jim Wenman

PRAYER:

 Father in heaven I thank you for your word which always reminds me of how much you love me and want to help me. Help me Lord as I face the many trials and difficulties of this life to trust in you and what you have done for me in so many ways. But above all help me to remember that your Son died for me on the cross to bring me back to you through the forgiveness of my sins. Help me to live a life of praise and worship in response to your great love in Christ. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

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