Certain Psalms can be repetitive (for good reason) so there should be themes that sound pretty familiar from these 24 verses found in Psalm 71. The 2 themes that stick out the most for me are the following:
- God is our refuge. (v. 1, 3, 7)
Psalm 46 is the psalm people think of when hearing this as most sermons about God being our refuge is based off that more popular psalm and Mozart’s song written as a gift to the Britain’s when visiting London. However, this is not just a popular saying but an integral belief for all who Christians who know that this world and even our own personally flesh is a dangerous place. It is God who is our safe house. A security and protection in times of need and peril. Even when following God is the more dangerous and risky option, we can find peace knowing that not only His will is safer than our way, but that we can depend on Him as our rock and fortress as v. 3 says.
- The importance of teaching the Gospel to the next generation. (v. 5, 17, 18b)
Twice the author references his time of learning about God and starting a relationship with Him during his youth (v. 5 & 17). In verse 18b he pleads with God to not forsake him in his old age for the sole reason of being able to proclaim this magnificent, saving God to the next generation and so they can see God’s power for themselves. These verses really spoke to me when reading this Psalm. Maybe because I’m still on a spiritual high from a great VBS a week ago. Maybe it’s being a father of 4 or the years pouring myself out in student ministry. However more than any current reason or past ministry experience, I believe it’s because we all know that the Bible is pretty clear on the importance of passing our faith to the next generation. If a church doesn’t think think this way they will die. If the capital C, Catholic (not to be confused with Roman Catholic) Church across the world does not do this then we are in great danger of becoming a more post-Christian world then ever. We need to not just invest in our own parents and families but do our very best to reach new families and children.
I’m always reminded of this importance and haunted by this quote by D.A. Carson when reading such scripture and thinking about our part in teaching the Gospel to the next generation :
“One generation believed the gospel and held as well that there were certain social, economic, and political entailments.
The next generation assumed the gospel, but identified with the entailments.
The following generation denied the gospel: the ‘entailments’ became everything.”
What are you doing to bring the Gospel to the next generation?
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor