Psalm 70 – Trusting God in Times of Trouble
There may come times when we feel powerless against enemies attempting to bring us down and pray for His protection. At these difficult moments, we look up to Him for help and protection.
The psalmist calls upon Yahweh for assistance in an urgent manner; we can learn much about David’s perilous situation through this prayer.
The Psalmist’s Prayer
As the Psalmist struggles to summon up words for his prayer as he faces profound despair, he begins by imploring God for help – not as punishment for anything they have done wrong, but simply due to an overwhelming world and its seeming silence; He begs Him to act, even if that means sending down a tornado!
In the end, however, he turned away from this plea for mercy and turned instead towards himself and God as an anchor for hope and assistance. He reminded himself that God does not withhold good from those who walk uprightly — which could refer to himself personally or all those who follow Christ – it certainly shows that this Psalmist knew only one source was available to them for assistance: himself!
This Psalm is one of the few biblical passages wherein a Psalmist uses God’s covenant name, Yahweh, in their prayers. Doing so displays an even deeper level of trust than using his more familiar personal name of the LORD in their prayers. Ultimately, the Psalmist learns that though his problems may seem impossible at times, His lovingkindness remains greater still, and even when everything seems at its worst, God shall always sing along beside them as they find comfort from within Him – He always stays by his side bringing His songs with him through darkness into lightness!
Psalm 89’s second long stanza recalls all of God’s wondrous works across creation. At first, this may provide comfort from Psalm 88, but in reality, it serves to remind us that nothing can separate us from His love.
As we progress through Book Two of the Psalms, it is essential to keep in mind that there are only 31 psalms altogether and that David wrote 18 (more than half). Additionally, three were left without an author listed, and seven or eight are attributed to Korah’s sons–Levites serving in temple worship’s musical aspect–who could also have written verses.
The Psalmist’s Trust
Psalms offer many examples of people trusting God throughout its entirety. Trust is a central theme throughout all forms of psalms–laments, praises, and worship pieces alike. Trust particularly shines through when written during times of difficulty–such as those found within Psalter’s fifth book, Hallel Psalms (Psalms 146-150%).
In this section of Psalms, the psalmist expresses confidence in God as their protector and asks Him to stand between them and any potential adversaries trying to harm them. Believing that as his shepherd, He will provide protection, they call on him for protection.
The psalmist also describes how God protects those in need and those suffering infirmity, likening Him to a gardener tending its seeds and tending its fruits with justice and praise blossoming throughout its expanse. This serves as an apt representation of how He cares for His own and will punish any who would harm them.
Praising God as supreme, the Psalmist concluded with an assurance: those who trust in him will be like Jerusalem, fully guarded by Him, just like Mount Zion is protected by its surrounding mountains. This image symbolizes His promise of protection.
At times of great distress and persecution, people need assurance. It is easy to doubt in such circumstances; the psalmist reminds us that God can be trusted as a haven; when we trust in him, he will take us up into his throne of safety where joy awaits; He will deliver justice upon those suffering injustice, saving those in distress from deceitful violence – something this psalm is designed to offer comfort against. This Psalm is truly comforting when facing a global pandemic and uncertainty!
The Psalmist’s Worship
Psalmist’s words connect head and heart in ways other parts of Scripture cannot. Psalms provide space and voice for praise, lament, confession, and faith affirmations – as well as providing worshipful silence time with God. Additionally, Psalms offer unique ways of including credit, prayer, and worship in daily life (Psalm 122:1 and 150:4).
Psalmists were inspired to write their prayers by life experiences ranging from joy and trust, fear and lament, doubt and reassurance, uncertainty and peace. While some psalms focus on God’s power or glory, others serve as calls to praise or worship; still others offer guidance or wisdom, while a few might even be considered apocalyptic.
David wrote most of the psalms (at least 18), while Book Two features other authors as well: Solomon had seven, Asaph had six, Ethan and Heman each contributed one each, as did Korah’s sons with three altogether. One compelling verse from Book Two (50:4b) illustrates this point – it proclaims how heaven and earth must stand witness when God judges those He has covenanted with (His “godly ones”).
Psalms have long been utilized as part of liturgical services. Sometimes, it is chanted responsorial by cantors while congregation members respond with given responses; other times, it is used during complete services with choir and organ. Since the Second Vatican Council reinstated vernacular languages for worship purposes, full texts of Psalms can now be utilized during worship services. Psalms can be sung, read aloud in groups, and used for dance or musical compositions based on them, and all can help develop and nurture meaningful relationships with God. Each psalm serves as an invaluable resource that can be utilized individually and corporately – just as Christ himself used them as his model prayer/songbook!
The Psalmist’s Lament
The Psalms contain songs, hymns, and poems that range from worshiping God to lamenting about life’s trials and sorrows. While many psalms combine multiple themes into a cohesive whole, lament psalms stand out from this mix with their beautiful poems or hymns expressing deep sadness over trials and sorrows we face – accounting for about one-third of the book as a whole. However, such lament psalms may be difficult for modern readers to digest as truth was spoken with God directly by their original authors in prayer to Him!
Lament psalms often begin with “Woe to me!” to signal distress. This indicates the difficulty the psalmist is facing: with God (feeling distant), people (fear of abandonment), and circumstances in his/her life (pain from violence or deceit).
Psalms of Lament are potent statements of hope in times of suffering and despair. Psalmists know God is their only chance for deliverance from a world full of lies, violence, and deceit – yet still find strength in God alone to rescue them from it all. Here’s one that begins on an uncertain note but ends on an optimistic one!
Psalms that speak of darkness and sadness can be difficult for us to read; Bible scholars vary in how they categorize psalms; most recognize at least five categories: lament psalms, praise psalms, royal psalms, thanksgiving psalms, and wisdom psalms are often the hardest for us to understand; why would faithful believers write this kind of content? These heavier Psalms may seem difficult for us, so we prefer lighter Psalms instead, yet these deeper Psalms demonstrate what faithful faith looks like during times of suffering and trial, teaching us to turn towards God and plead with him for help from him!