To the chief Musician, [A Psalm] of David, to bring to remembrance.
Psalm 70: This psalm has apparently been detached from the end of Psalm 40 where it appears as verses 13-17. Perhaps the motive behind this was for separate use in the temple worship, just as one might take part of a hymn today and use it as a chorus. There is a tremendous note of urgency in the psalm, with a total of 10 petitions in five verses. David asks simply for deliverance for himself and retribution for his enemies.
Verses 1-5: The speedy destruction of the wicked, and the preservation of the godly. This psalm is almost the same as the last five verses of (Psalm 40). While here we behold Jesus Christ set forth in poverty and distress. We also see him denouncing just and fearful punishment on his Jewish, heathen, and antichristian enemies; and pleading for the joy and happiness of his friends, to his Father’s honor. Let us apply these things to our own troubled circumstances, and in a believing manner bring them, and the sinful causes thereof, to our remembrance. Urgent trials should always awake fervent prayers.
This prayer for deliverance from one’s enemies in nearly identical to (Psalm 40:13-17). It substitutes “God” for “Lord” (in verses 1, 4, and 5).
Psalm 70:1 ” [Make haste], O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD.”
The phrase, “make haste”, is supplied from the following clause in (Psalm 40:13). It is, “be pleased, O Lord”, or “Jehovah”.
“Make haste to help me, O Lord (see note on Psalm 22:19).
We see David in a state of urgency with his prayer. Many times we feel that God has not heard our prayer, because we are not immediately answered.
Verses 2-3: “Ashamed” confusion, and confounding are three means by which God dissuades the enemy.
Psalm 70:2 “Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.”
In Psalm 40:14 it is added, “together” (see note on Psalm 40:14). He was assured that the more they raged, the nearer they were to destruction, and he the nearer to his deliverance.
“That seek after my soul”: Or “life”. In (Psalm 40:14), it is added, “to destroy it”; for that was the end of their seeking after it.
“Let them be turned backward”: (see note on Psalm 40:14).
David is asking the Lord to make the people, who are trying to destroy him, ashamed. This is as if David is saying, I can’t show them, but you show them for me. Lord, make them ashamed of themselves for attacking one of yours.
Psalm 70:3 “Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.”
In Psalm 40:15 it is, “let them be desolate”; which seems to respect their land and houses, here their persons (see notes on Psalm 40:15). By this we are taught not to mock at others in their misery, lest the same fall on our own necks.
“That say”: In Psalm 40:15 it is added, “to me”; not to his people, but himself.
“Aha, aha”: Rejoicing at his calamity and distress. The Targum is, “we are glad, we are glad” (see notes on Psalm 40:15, and compare with Ezek. 25:3).
Their reward on judgement day will be everlasting punishment. The expression (aha, aha), is used by the devil’s followers. This just shows who they really are.
Psalm 70:4 “Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.”
The only change in this verse (from Psalm 40:16), is in the insertion of the word “and” in the beginning of the second clause, “and let such as love,” etc.
In the last lesson, we gave the meaning of this. Those that seek God, find Him. We said it before and it bears repeating again. Those who have found the Lord have much to be joyful about. They are the redeemed, and they should say so. The praise of the Lord should never cease from the lips of the redeemed. God should be magnified, not only with our lips, but by the lives we live as well.
Psalm 70:5 “But I [am] poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou [art] my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.”
In Psalm 40:17 it follows, yet “the Lord thinketh on me”; instead of which it is here (see notes on Psalm 40:17).
“Make haste unto me, O God”: Which repeats for sense the same petition (as in Psalm 71:1).
“Thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying”: (In Psalm 40:17 it is), “O my God”.
Jehovah is the name of God here. Those who need and want God will be helped of God. The Lord came to help those who needed help, as we see in the following verse.
Matthew 9:12 “But when Jesus heard [that], he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”
Notice, the use of “my” in the 5th verse above. This shows that salvation, deliverance, and for that matter, all gifts from God are for the individual. It is a decision we must make one at a time, that we need and want God in our life.
Psalm 70 Questions
- Why was David’s prayer so urgent (in Psalm 70:1)?
- David wanted God to make his enemies ____________ for what they were doing.
- The expression ______ _______ is used by the devil’s followers (in verse 3).
- Who is David saying is to be magnified?
- Those that seek God, ______ ______.
- What 2 things did David say he was (in verse 5)?
- What seems to be the purpose (of chapter 70)?