Reading: Psalm 71:9-18
Do not cast me away when I am old;
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
For my enemies speak against me;
those who wait to kill me conspire together.
They say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.”
Do not be far from me, my God;
come quickly, God, to help me.
May my accusers perish in shame;
may those who want to harm me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more
My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
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 (NIV).
Deep snow remains — photo by David Kitz
I am now officially a senior, and I am inching my way forward in my seventh decade. With each passing year I can more fully identify with the psalmist’s prayer. For those of us in our sixth decade and beyond, great wisdom can be found in this psalm. As physical vitality declines, more and more we come to rely on the strength of God.
The psalmist laments, “For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together.”
Our enemies don’t all strut about on two legs. Some of them creep into our lives in more subtle forms like discouragement, depression, dementia, and disease. These are the more common enemies that conspire against us. When they gain the upper hand, our golden years lose their luster. Against this backdrop the psalmist is defiant. He takes his stand. As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more…
Having come this far by the grace of God, this is not the time to retreat… till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.
Response: LORD God, thank you for your presence with me since my youth. Continue to fill my life with joy, meaning and purpose. Day by day, be my help and strength until I see you face to face. Amen.
Your Turn: Do you look forward to your golden years? How can you fill your years with meaning and purpose?
* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA
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