This psalm is a cry from a faithful follower of the Lord for His faithfulness. From before birth to old age this man has been faithful to a God who is forever faithful.
We are not told who the author of this psalm is. It reflects the same messages as David’s psalms but his name is not on it. I’m curious about the writer but I’m not going to get stuck looking for a name. Instead I want to look at the journey from conception to transformation into a new life beyond the grave. This psalm hints at both these points.
Our writer is most likely in his later years, as he speaks clearly of his old age. I’m not getting the feeling that these years are something he is looking forward to but is in at the moment. And in his old age he still has enemies looking to gain an advantage over him. It doesn’t sound like it is a physical contest, as his strength is spent. It could be political. Our writer wants to leave a legacy and those who oppose him are out to destroy it. Our writer is comforted to know that God is not going to let that happen. God will “increase my greatness and comfort me again” (verse 21).
This section sounds like it fits the “after the grave” part and leads to the increasing greatness and comfort. “From the depths of the earth You will bring me up again” (verse 20b). The grave is NOT the end of the story but a new and perfect chapter! There is NO pain, NO fear, NO trouble, and NO death in this portion of the lives of those who have Him as their sure foundation as this writer appears to.
From before his birth he was learning of the Lord. I’m not sure if that means that his mother was telling him about the Lord while he grew in her womb. Maybe he was telling his listeners that without God’s hand on him, he would not have developed properly and survived the process of birth. I’m curious to know if he had an unusual birth as he says, “You are He who took me from my mother’s womb” (verse 6b).
This child grew in the knowledge and love of the Lord. He had obstacles to overcome along the way. Yes, he sinned and found forgiveness. He continued to grow in the Lord his whole life, learning the lessons God laid out for him. No matter what he held fast to the Lord all his life. In times of trouble he knew where to turn. In times of victory he knew from where his success came. He trusted in the Lord and continued to praise Him his whole life!
Our writer sounds a LOT like David. From his youth until the end of his days he trusted in the Lord. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he wrote psalms into his final days. We know he set Solomon up with plans for the Temple in his later days. David LOVED the Lord ALL his life. And his story has continued to be told even to today. His personal failures are recounted along with his successes but the thing he is BEST known for is his heart for God. This writer also plays the harp; another David like trait.
The author is struggling with a problem late in his life. Whatever the struggle, he KNOWS where his help comes from. He turns to his God for help just like he has done for all his life.
If this is David he may well be writing about how his son, Adonijah, tried to proclaim himself David’s successor. Several of David’s men who were once faithful, including Joab, went with Adonijah. David immediately made arrangements for Solomon to be anointed king, just as God had told him to do. David too, turned to God and His promises in the end of his life.
The story from first to last in life is the story I want. I learned of Him at my mother’s knee. I have desired to follow Him all my life. I didn’t go through the rebellious years, or at least not rebellion against God. I did go through times when I took our relationship for granted. Those times usually brought me to a lesson that I needed to learn. As I am aging, I find myself enjoying spending even more time with Him. It is different than how I used to sit with Him but our time together is greatly prized! I PRAY that my life continues on this path towards the Lord. I will NOT lay down and rest, expecting to cruise on ‘auto-pilot’ in life. I will continue to look for ways to deepen our relationship and to share His love to those around me.
Father God, thank You for putting me into a family that already knew You. I don’t want to think about how hard it would have been without them introducing us. I feel for those who come to You late in life. How much more could You have done with their lives if only they met you earlier? How much more could I have done if I trusted You and our relationship earlier? The only important thing is that I DO know You now. The same goes for the man or woman who reaches out later in life. Knowing You is ALL that counts!
Thank You for protecting me from big trouble in my life. My life has not been easy but it has been with You. And ALL my sins have been washed away by Jesus’ work. You won’t turn loose of You NO MATTER WHAT!