Day 166: Psalms 68-71; Psalm of the 'Forsaken'

Psalm 71 begins with a familiar cadence: “In You, O Lord, do I take refuge…”  These words are found within many of the psalms that we have read and will continue to read throughout the rest of this month.  Yet the common nature of these words does not necessarily reveal a person simply addressing God in the same way we begin our prayers with “dear Lord…”  These are the words of someone crying out from the depths.  These are the words of one coming to God in a time of desperate need.  These are the words of one who has come to the end of him or herself; who cannot run or fight any longer.

Montana Thunderstorm Photo Credit:

Montana Thunderstorm
Photo Credit:

We all come to this point at different times in our lives, but the fact of the matter is that one does not seek refuge from a beautiful sunny day, one does not even seek refuge from a summer breeze or a light shower, we seek refuge from the storm when they are raging all around us.  As we read through this Psalm we see that the writer has been fighting to stand, trying with whatever strength he or she has to stand up in the raging winds and driving rain of life.  Yet no matter how strong one is at their best… there is a point at which that strength is going to fail… where we will indeed fail.

This psalm, like many of the others that we have read over the past several days, gives us a model not only for what to do in these situations, but also what we can say in these situations.  Like the prayers of lament that we seem to continually look at, the difficult times in our lives when the storms seem to rage out of control can be difficult times to even find the words to say, much less pray.  However the psalmist here is openly turning to God in this time for refuge and deliverance.  We don’t necessarily know how long it took the writer to get to this point.  I know in my life, when things get bad like this I tend to get more and more stubborn until I have nowhere else to turn and no strength left.  Yet even in times like this, the words don’t change.

Tornado Shelter Photo Credit:

Tornado Shelter
Photo Credit:

Perhaps they are a little more humbling to say.

Perhaps our pride takes a little more of a hit.

Perhaps we even feel stupid for waiting as long as we did.

However God will receive us the same, no matter what state we come to Him in.  He is indeed our refuge and strength… our ever present help in times of trouble.

PSALM 68 is a song of praise and thanksgiving written by David.  This psalm is also Messianic and therefore Prophetic in nature.

PSALM 69 is a song of praise written by David.  There is an interesting juxtaposition of praise and lament in this psalm.  At first glance, it is a lament of something going on with David, however it turns sharply in the middle toward a song of praise.  This psalm is also Messianic and thus is prophetic in nature.  Psalm 69:9 is the reference for the statement in John 2, when Jesus is clearing the Temple courts, “zeal for your house has consumed me.”

PSALM 70 is a prayer of lament written by David.  This Psalm is actually a repeat of psalm 40:13-17.  Like psalm 40, this psalm also has an imprecatory quality.

PSALM 71 is a prayer of lament that was written anonymously.  There are some imprecatory statements in this psalm as well as some elements of praise and hope that come towards the end of this psalm as the psalmists attests to trusting in God no matter what.

3 Responses to “Day 166: Psalms 68-71; Psalm of the 'Forsaken'”

  1. montywaldron says:

    Thanks for the rec! Appreciate your work in the Psalms … encouraging for many.

  2. […]  In many ways, this book reminds me of a great Psalm of Lament, the cry of one who feels forsaken by God in the midst of tragedy and sorrow.  Jeremiah’s writings follow the pattern of lament, […]

  3. […] Psalm 68:26 – Praise God in the great congregation; praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel. […]

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