Revive Us Again

I’m hoping David did not write Psalm 71 (though I suspect he might have). How come? ‘Cause Psalm 71’s songwriter self-identifies as “old and gray”, and David lived to be only 70 years old (2Sam. 5:4, 1Ki. 2:10-11). So, if Psalm 71 was written by David, then “old and gray” is being in your mid to late 60’s. Ouch!

But it’s not just the “old and gray” connection that’s grabbed my attention, but the reminder that “old and gray” doesn’t necessarily mean “retired and relaxing.” For Psalm 71 is another one of those psalms where the songwriter is crying out to his God for help.

Right out of gate, the theme of this song is clear: “rescue and deliver me . . . listen closely to me . . . save me . . . be a rock of refuge for me . . . deliver me . . . don’t discard me . . . do not abandon me . . . for my enemies talk about me” (71:2-10), “let me never be disgraced” (71:1). In his mid-60s, David’s not coasting into retirement. Though perhaps no longer leading from the front lines, he’s nevertheless still engaged in battle. If he thought the latter years were to be the “golden years”, he soon learned they were to be more like the “be purified as gold” years. Though he may have wanted to live out his final days reclining on a couch, in fact they were more like being refined in a crucible.

And yet, while the cry for help is real, so is the prevailing sense of hope (71:5, 14) and the persisting determination to praise (71:6-8, 14-16, 22-24). And the spring from which the old and gray songwriter’s hope and praise is sourced?

You caused me to experience
many troubles and misfortunes,
but You will revive me again.
You will bring me up again,
even from the depths of the earth.

(Psalm 71:20 CSB)

You WILL revive me AGAIN. That’s what I’m chewing on this morning.

This wasn’t David’s first season of trial, not the first time he had found himself in a situation he’d rather not have found himself in. Not the first time, over the course of his life, that he found himself praying 911 prayers. Not the first time in which, though he felt somewhat helpless, he did not feel altogether hopeless. David could sing out with praise, even as he cried out for help, because David was confident God would revive him again.

In the past, God had used dry seasons to provide renewal and refreshing. He would again. Because David could look back and see how God had brought forth fruit from time spent in the desert, he could know with assurance that God would do so again.

Remembering the past didn’t necessarily make the present any easier, but it did infuse a confident hope which made enduring the present possible. And hope does not disappoint (Rom. 5:5). In fact, Spirit induced hope can’t help but erupt as Spirit invoked praise.

For You are my hope, Lord God,
my confidence from my youth.

But I will hope continually
and will praise You more and more.

(Psalm 71:5, 14 CSB)

Old and gray, weary and worn, but not defeated and done. The songwriter still had a song, for he knew that His God would revive him again.

His song can be our song.

We praise Thee, O God!
For the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus Who died,
And is now gone above.

We praise Thee, O God!
For Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior,
And scattered our night.

All glory and praise
To the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins,
And hath cleansed every stain.

All glory and praise
To the God of all grace,
Who hast brought us, and sought us,
And guided our ways.

Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.

Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again

– William P. MacKay, 1863 –

Yes Lord! Revive us AGAIN.

By Your grace. For Your glory.

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2 Responses to Revive Us Again

  1. brent94380af445 says:

    Amén Pete. After studying the first chapter of Zephaniah last nght, it was reassuring to read again David’s thoughts in Psalm 139.

    P.S. I spend too much time in the dessert myself 🤣

  2. Leeanne says:

    So thankful for His presence on the mountain tops and valleys!

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