This psalm, though destitute of title, has passed down to us as composed by David, during the rebellion of Absalom. He uses the same words in his present troubles, as when Saul pursued him.
Psalms 71:4. Deliver me, oh my God, out of the hand of the wicked, the abandoned rebels: yea, out of the hands of the cruel Absalom, who murdered Amnon, his own brother, and now seeks to kill his father.
Psalms 71:7. I am a wonder to many. A shepherd raised to be a king; and marvellous in regard of past preservations, as in the two preseding verses.
Psalms 71:9. Cast me not off in—old age. The king was aged and greyheaded, Psalms 71:18, when Absalom rebelled; a fine argument, from one preserved as David had been. God will not cast off an aged saint; the good man shall enter into peace.
Psalms 71:16. I will make mention of thy righteousness; by singing of all thy past mercies, the profusion of goodness and love to me, and to all thy people; for thy righteousness is very high, reaching to the heavens.
Psalms 71:20. Thou which hast shewed me, led me through, great and sore troubles, wilt still lead me and bring me through these also.
Psalms 71:22. I will also praise thee with the psaltery—with the harp. These were both stringed instruments, and were used by prophets in acts of devotion, and cannot be forbidden in christian worship, provided they be so used as to assist, and not to overpower the voice of the people.
“We are taught gratefully to reflect on God’s goodness to us, and to go back in our thoughts to our formation and birth. It was God that took us out of the womb, and hath supported us ever since. Let us review the mercies and deliverances of our childhood and youth, especially the blessings of a good education, and our having been taught of God from our youth. Let us remember the way that the Lord hath led us, and observe how goodness and mercy have followed us all our days; that our praise may continually be of him, and that we may devote our lives to his honour and service. From an experience of God’s goodness and care, we should be engaged to trust him in every future scene of life. This is the use which David makes of his experience, even to repose his confidence in God. We know not what is before us, and may as little expect great and sore troubles as David did. It is good to think what may possibly happen, and habituate ourselves to recollect the goodness and faithfulness of God. Aged saints in particular should learn from this holy man to trust in the Lord; to assure themselves that when they are old and greyheaded, God will not forsake them; and though their troubles and sorrows are many, he will quicken them; and though they die, he will bring them up again. Let this be a motive for them to hope in God continually, and praise him yet more and more.
We should accustom ourselves to talk of God’s righteousness and goodness; be often speaking one to another on topics so important and delightful; talk of the righteousness of his nature, the equity of his providence, the holiness of his laws, and especially of that everlasting righteousness by which we hope to be justified and saved. These should be the frequent subject of our discourses, and they will be useful to ourselves and others. Let aged christians in particular abound in such discourses; they can do little else for God, and should therefore talk of his righteousness all the day long; tell the rising generation their own experience, and leave a solemn testimony to the reasonableness, the importance, the pleasure and advantages of religion, for the admonition and encouragement of those who shall come after them. Thus will their hoary heads be crowns of glory, being found in the way of righteousness.”
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 71". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany