“Hasten, O God, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me.

May those who seek my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” turn back because of their shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “Let God be exalted!” Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.” Psalm 70 One of the joys that I experience at the beginning of each day is the opportunity to read the Scriptures devotionally. Over the past ten years I have been following the McCheyne Bible Reading plan which takes me through the entire Scripture once a year, and the book of Psalms and the New Testament twice. In recent years I have begun to experience the benefits of such a reading plan. I would encourage each person to engage in a Bible Reading plan which they can consistently follow. With each passing day I am finding that I am growing in my understanding of the method and the makeup of the Word of God. I am also finding myself eagerly anticipating those things that I will be learning in the future. Part of the reading for today was Psalm 70 which was filled with wonderful insight into the message of Scripture. Lately I have been reading the Psalms from the point of view of their Messianic message, and Psalm 70 does not disappoint in that regard. One benefit of this approach is that it helps to grow one’s faith in the New Testament message that the LORD Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of Scripture. James L. Mays in his commentary on the book of Psalms makes the following observation on the 70th Psalm. “The Psalm’s first verse has been used traditionally as a litany introducing corporate prayer. Currently the Psalm is appointed in the Common Lectionary as the Psalm for Wednesday of Holy Week. When read in this context, the Psalm in verse 3 echoes the scornful “Aha!” addressed to the crucified Jesus (Mark 15:29). It is reread, as it has been for centuries, as the prayer of Jesus in His passion and of the Church in its neediness.” (Mays, James L., Psalms; Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 1994, p. 234). Mays quotes from Mark 15:29 in this quotation which reads as follows in the NIV. “Those who passed by hurled insults at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You, who are going to destroy the Temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!”” There are two powerful insights which Mays gives us in these thoughts. Each one gives us a way of responding to the message of this wonderful little portion of the Word of God. 1) The first is that we see this Psalm as a prayer of the LORD Jesus Christ in His Passion. How often do we stop and meditate upon the message of the Word of God that the LORD Jesus Christ in His Passion was bearing our Iniquities and Afflictions? When we face trials and temptations doing battle with the sin that is in our hearts do we recognise that He has borne all that we are struggling with? He is our High Priest who has borne our iniquities and who,

in His Word shows us how to call out to God for help. What a precious help is available to us in the LORD Jesus Christ. 2) The second arises out of this perspective. The Psalm also leads the Church in prayer as it deals with its own neediness. The LORD Jesus Christ is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. We cry out to the LORD in our need knowing that He understands and that He responds quickly to care for us. This Psalm is a call to faith and to prayer. We have not been left on our own to wrestle with the trials that we face in life. God has graciously provided His Son in whom we have redemption and life. The question is will we follow Him in prayer?

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