Psalm 71

71:0The person that wrote this psalm knew the psalms that David wrote very well. Maybe it was the prophet Jeremiah.

A Song for Old Age

1 LORD, I am trusting in you.

Do not let me ever become ashamed.

2 Take me away from danger and make me free,

because you do what is right.

Listen to me and make me safe.

3 You really are a rock,

where I can always go to hide from danger.

Tell people to make me safe,

for you are my rock and my fortress.

71:3Verse 3: David often said that God was his rock and his fortress.

He meant that God was someone that he could trust (rock) and someone that he could hide in (fortress).

4 My God, take me from the hands of godless people.

Take me from the cruel and evil people that are holding me.

71:4Verse 4: ‘The hands of bad people’ means that bad people were holding him. He was not free.

5 You are my hope, Lord.

LORD, I have trusted in you since I was young.

71:5Verses 5 and 16: Master and LORD are two Hebrew words that mean ‘Lord’ in English. ‘Master’ is ‘Lord on earth’, ‘LORD’ is ‘Lord in heaven’, where God lives.

6 Since I was born, I have trusted in you.

You have given me help since I came out of my mother's womb.

I will always tell you how great you are!

7 I make many people think of danger and become afraid.

But you are a strong and safe place for me.

71:7Verse 7: This is a difficult verse to translate. The person that wrote the psalm (the psalmist) says that people think that he is a warning. ‘Warning’ means ‘there is danger.’ It makes people afraid. Maybe it makes them think about what God will do to them because they are bad.

8 My mouth is full of saying how great you are.

All day I am saying that you are beautiful!

9 Do not throw me away when I am old.

Do not forget me when I am not strong.

71:9Verse 9: The psalmist does not want God to ‘throw him away’ when he is old. He wants God to continue giving him help.

10 For my enemies say things against me

and the people that want to kill me are making plans together.

11 They say, ‘God has forgotten him.

Run after him and catch him! For nobody will save him.’

12 God, do not stay far from me.

God, give me help very soon.

71:12Verse 13: There are new words here. Scorn and disgrace are things that happen to people when other people find out what they have done wrong.

13 Make my enemies become completely ashamed.

Cover in scorn and disgrace the people that want to hurt me.

14 But I, I will always have hope.

I will go on saying again and again that you are great.

15 My mouth will say that you are righteous,

that you make people safe all day long.

I will do this even if I do not know how much (you have done).

71:15Verses 15, 16, 19 and 24: These all talk about ‘righteous.’ The word ‘righteous’ means ‘very, very good.’ Only God is really righteous. He always does what is right. Some Bible students translate the end of verse 15, ‘even if I cannot write good words.’

16 I will come and speak about the great things that you have done,

Master and LORD.

I will talk about how righteous that you are.

You, only you, are righteous.

17 God, you have taught me since I was young.

And until now I have told about the wonderful things that you have done.

18 And even when I am old and grey, do not forget me, God.

Do not forget me until I tell the people still to be born:

· about your great power and

· how strong you are.

71:18Verse 18: ‘Old and grey’ means that the psalmist's hair has gone grey now that he is old. ‘The people still to be born’ are his children and his grandchildren. We call them ‘the next generations.’ We must tell them about what God has done for us.

19 You are righteous, God, with righteousness as high as the sky!

You have done such great things, God, who is like you?

20 Even when you made me see troubles, many bad troubles,

you made me live again.

From deep under the earth you brought me up again.

71:20Verse 20: ‘Deep under the earth’ means that the psalmist thought that he would die and people would bury him. But he did not die – God made him safe, so people did not bury him!

21 You will make me great again and make me strong.

22 I will sing about how great you are, with harp music.

You do what you promise, God.

I will sing about how great you are, with guitar music.

You are the Holy One of Israel.

71:22Verse 22: The ‘Holy One of Israel’ is another name for God.

23 My lips will shout because I am so happy!

I really want to sing about how great you are.

You have bought me back.

71:23Verse 23: We say that when he died Jesus bought us (or ‘redeemed us’) from everything that is bad. The psalmist felt the same.

24 My tongue will talk about your righteousness all day long.

The people that want to hurt me will become ashamed

and covered with disgrace.