Lent Devotions: March 27th

Psalm 71:1-14

1In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
2In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me and save me.
3Be to me a rock of refuge,
a strong fortress, to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.

4Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
5For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.

7I have been like a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
8My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all day long.
9Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
10For my enemies speak concerning me,
and those who watch for my life consult together.
11They say, “Pursue and seize that person
whom God has forsaken,
for there is no one to deliver.”

12O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
let those who seek to hurt me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14But I will hope continually,
and will praise you yet more and more.

I once shared a room for a week with a 74-year-old woman from Wisconsin whom I had just met. She came to Nicaragua with a service group, and she and I were pleased to be assigned as bunkmates. She was more enthusiastic than and nearly as spry as any college student who had ever come our way.

Like my friend, the speaker in this psalm is in his golden years. He has faced difficulties in life, but he can recount God’s faithfulness. His pleading for God to be his salvation in his current trial is full of truth, hope, and praise: he remembers walking with God as a youth (vv. 5-6) and knows God to be his “rock of refuge,” the only one who can deliver him (vv. 3-4).

He goes on to implore God to rescue him and punish his attackers and then declares, “I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more” (v. 14). This declaration follows the psalmist’s story of God’s faithfulness, the reason for his hope.

The tune of “Blessed Assurance” rings in my mind, a hymn fitting for Holy Week. Like the psalmist, Fanny Crosby declares: “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.”

The psalmist knew his story and it became his song. Do I know my story? Do you know yours?

Maybe your story is longer than mine, or maybe it is shorter. But I know that on the cross the Lord Jesus cried out in our place, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) so that we might have a refuge and not be forsaken. That is a story to lead us to praise.

Prayer: Almighty God, we flee to you for refuge. Encourage us to hold fast to the hope that is ours in your Son, Jesus. Show us our place in your story of love and redemption. Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with praise today. Amen.

Olivia Holt lives in Managua, Nicaragua, where she works as a bridge-builder between North American and Nicaraguan Christians who are serving in areas of extreme poverty across the country. Her local ministry partners, Tabitha’s House Bluefields and CEPAD (Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua), are engaged in a variety of ministries with vulnerable children, pastors, midwives, farmers, refugees, and community leaders.

Posted on March 27, 2018, in Worship. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Lent Devotions: March 27th.

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