Hello, my friend. I used to think that if a man were fifty, he was old. And if he were seventy, he was ancient. And if he were eighty, he would be an antique, to be handled with care. And now that I am nearly eighty, I continue at times to feel like I am old, and at other times to feel there is still some ministry ahead. I thank God for some of you who have known me all my life, and others in a very special way since our marriage in l949 (just fifty years ago this Thanksgiving Day). Others have known us from nearly the beginning of Village Schools and some recently. And there are some whom I have never met, but you are important too. I thank God for you all, and for His faithfulness in our lives.
So we come to PSALM 71, for today, which I have entitled, A Song of an Old Man. Have you noticed how joyfully David calls the Lord the one “in whom I have taken refuge.” (vs.1) And then again he says, “Be my rock of refuge (vs.3), my rock and my fortress.” And again in vs. 7, “you are my strong refuge, my mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.” And then, wistfully, he says in vs.9, “Do not cast me away when I am old, do not forsake me when my strength is gone.” For those of us who are old, the way one becomes at times overwhelmed with weariness is familiar. And David seeks God’s continual refreshing and renewal. And then in vs. 18, he says, “When I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, ‘til I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” What a challenge this is. When one feels it’s time to stop, because of whatever problem, one can say with David, “My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long” (vs.24)… indeed all life long.
But notice how he declares the key to this life-long commitment. He says, in vs. 14, “I will expect…”, he lived in anticipation. In vs. 15, “I will tell of your salvation…all day long…”, his witness for the Lord was a constant life-style. In vs. 16, “I will come and proclaim your mighty acts.” And in vs. 17, “I have learned…since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.” And in vs. 22, “I will praise you with the harp…with the lyre”, he longed to use every means of shouting his love and praise to God. That’s the message…I will expect, I will tell, I will come, I have learned, I will praise you with the harp, I will shout for joy, all the day long. A tall order, isn’t it, but a wonderful reminder and challenge that when life gets heavy and the way seems dark and the problems seem overwhelming, there is power in praise. The key, I think, is that repeated phrase, “all the day long.” It becomes second-nature to enjoy and share the Lord, now!!
“Thank you, Lord, for this strong song of thankfulness from David, that all life-long begins with all day-long. Help us remember that the future begins today, and that what it will contain depends on what I invest in it now. Thank you for the joy of sharing these Psalms together. Bless my friend who is alongside. Thank you for helping here in the Center and for those who have expressed their loving encouragement.”
I thank God for you, my friend, and for your sharing this way. Cheerio!
These meditations on the Psalms were written by Village Schools of the Bible Founder, Monty Sholund and first published in book form as Monty’s Musings on the Psalms in 2000. Copies are available for $10 and can be ordered here.
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