Thursday, 24 November 2011
To Old Age and Grey Hairs
This plea comes in the midst of much opposition and hardship. The Psalmist has taken refuge in God (verse 1). He does this because He recognises that He is utterly dependent upon Him, even from "before my birth" (verse 6). God is the One who has kept and taught him from his youth (verse 17). Now, as he looks to an uncertain future, in the midst of much hardship, he prays that God would continue to keep him, just as He always has done.
Behind the Psamist's prayer is a recognition of the truth that Isaiah knew. He recognises that he is utterly dependent upon God, from the womb to the grave. More than that, He recognises that God is able and willing to keep His people. He looks back to how God has dealt with Him in the past (verse 6, 17). This gives him confidence to pray to God for the future, pleading with Him not to forsake him into old age (verse 9, 18).
God has not changed. Therefore, we can have the same confidence to make the Psalmist's prayer our prayer. When we see the grey hairs, and worry about what we will do when the days come when our strength is spent (verse 9), we ought to fall to our knees before the God upon the God who brought us forth from our mother's womb (verse 6), and pray that He will keep us in our old age (if He sees fit to give us those years).
3) A Purpose
In his prayer the Psalmist has a key purpose for praying "to old age and grey hairs...do not forske me". Notice how he continues in verse 18: "...until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come." The purpose of his prayer is proclamation. He longs to see the majestic saving power of God proclaimed to another generation. The reason he prays for God to sustain him in old age, is so that he can be a faithful witness to generations to come, so that they also might praise Him.
Ought that not to be our desire also for our old age? Why should we pray that God would keep us to old age? Is it not so that we can proclaim the gloroius gospel of His grace in Christ Jesus to the next generation? May we not become selfish as we think about our old age. Rather, may we long that our old age, whether mobile or bed bound, may be a testimony in lips and lives to the glory of Christ. Ought we not long that God would use our old age to see another generation be filled with joyful praise to Christ.
So, to old age and grey hairs, O God, do not forsake us.