Theme: A Life of Trouble
In this week’s lessons the psalmist teaches us to pray in desperate circumstances.
Scripture: Psalm 70:1-5
What is immediately apparent about Psalm 70 is that the writer is in serious trouble and that he is calling on God to help him quickly before it is too late. We do not know what his trouble was, though it clearly had to do with enemies who were not only mocking him, saying, “Aha! Aha!” (v. 3), but were also seeking to take his life (v. 2). With the exception of the years in which David was hiding from King Saul and the time, much later, when he was forced to flee Jerusalem due to the rebellion of his son Absalom, we do not know what these specific dangers might have been. But we discern from this as well as from other psalms that David faced such dangers much of the time.
That is an important thing to notice. I remind you, as I did when we were looking at Psalm 40, that David was the beloved king of Israel, who reigned powerfully and well for forty years. He was installed, blessed and approved by God, who called him “a man after his own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). David was nearly always in close fellowship with God. Yet he had constant troubles and was in nearly constant danger for his life. In Psalm 40 he described himself as having been stuck in a pit from which he was unable to escape and in which he might die.
If that was true for David, should we be surprised that it is often our experience too? Should we be astonished that troubles, dangers, enemies and even muddy pits are our frequent lot in life?
We should not even be surprised if our situation seems desperate, as is David’s case here. Look how often he uses the word “hasten” or its synonyms. The idea occurs twice in verse 1: “Hasten, O God, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me.” Then it occurs twice more at the end of the psalm, in verse 5: “Come quickly to me, O God…O LORD, do not delay.” Four times in just five verses! Have you ever felt like that? I am sure you have. It may be a situation at work or in your family. It may involve a serious illness. You may be telling God, “I need help now. If you don’t step in and help me right away, it will be too late.” You may even be saying, “If I don’t get some relief from this immediately, I think I am going to crack up.”
How do we know the prayer in Psalm 70 is urgent?
Why is it important to notice David faced danger most of his life?
Reflection: What dangers or troubles have you faced in the past, or are dealing with now? Recount what you know is true about God, and make David’s prayer from this psalm your own.