Small psalm but big issues
1 For the director of music. Of David. A petition.
Hasten, O God, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me
2 May those who seek my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. 3 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” turn back because of their shame.
4 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “Let God be exalted!”
5 Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.
Psalm 70 – Small psalm but big issues
(Verse 1) David starts by asking God for four necessary things in just one verse.
First, he asks God to ‘Hasten’. Just as you need an urgent response from the Fire Brigade, if your house is on fire, David sees an urgent need for God graciously to answer him.
Second, he asks God to save him. Yet again he has bitter enemies who would like to see him dead. When a sinner comes to Christ as Saviour, he is saved from sin’s penalty for breaking God’s laws, sin’s dominating power over him now, and sin’s punishment in Hell. It is always most urgent to be saved. In 2 Corinthians 6:2 we read, ‘now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation’. It will be too late tomorrow for some: life is short and uncertain.
Third, he asks God to ‘come quickly’. When Christ enters your life, He does so through His indwelling Holy Spirit.
Fourth, he needs God’s presence in His life now so God can ‘help’ him now. If you believe that Jesus died, bearing your sins to atone for those sins on the cross, and trust Him as your living Saviour, He will help you each day. In all life’s problems, doubts, trials, tasks and challenges, you will be able to say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.’ (Hebrews 13:6)
(Verses 2-3) David’s prayer here about his enemies is not vindictive. He simply asks God to shame, confuse, disgrace and turn back all their efforts against him, and bring them to nothing. They mock him as they desire his ruin and even seek his death.
(Verse 4) David asks, in comparison, for God to answer the prayers of every person who truly seeks Him. This reminds us of what Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 7:7-8, ‘Ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.’ If you trust Christ and learn to ask, seek and knock, God will answer you. Can you see why every person who seeks God—with such a great set of promises to encourage him or her—can ‘rejoice and be glad in [God]’? As each new Christian goes on with Christ, through daily studying the Bible and praying to Him, he will come to ‘love [His] salvation’ and ‘always say “Let God be exalted”’. A true sign of real conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ is that the person who has been saved will want God to be glorified. He will seek to lift Him up to others, both by how he now lives, and also by what he now says.
(Verse 5) But despite God’s great love, grace and power, David still sees himself as a poor, needy and weak sinner. But with the Lord as his Saviour, he knows that God will answer him. So, he renews his prayer to God to ‘come quickly’ to him. He reminds God that, ‘You are my Help and my Deliverer’. But he still asks God not to delay! You can know God in a relationship like that through Christ.