With The End In Sight

Psalm 71

Even when I am old and gray, O God, do not abandon me, until I tell the next generation about your strength, and those coming after me about your power.” (Psalm 71:18, NET) 

In 1836 Charles Simeon retired after fifty-four years of ministry at Holy Trinity, Cambridge. A friend, discovering that he was still rising at 4 a.m. to light his own fire and spend time alone with God, remonstrated, ‘Mr. Simeon, do you not think that, now you are retired, you might take things more easily?’ ‘What?’ replied the old man, ‘Shall I not now run with all my might when the winning-post is in sight!’ [1]

2020, or the year of COVID-19, challenges us. New information barrages us daily, sometimes hourly. As I write this public schools in this area are trying to make decisions while public health, state and federal officials change their counsel on a weekly basis. Parents are confused. Teachers and staff express concern. Students crave a return to normalcy. 

Psalm 71 is a backwards look at the constant presence of God over a long and challenging lifetime. The psalm is also forward look as the writer desires to communicate how God’s presence will shape an up and coming generation.

During these uncertain days the goal , the winning-post Charles Simeon refers to, is unchanged. The days God provides will be challenging. God’s uniqueness is unaltered. God’s standards are unchanged and God’s promises are undeniable. 

Who will tell the up and coming generation? 

[1] Motyer, J. A. (1994). The Psalms. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 530). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

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