God, A Warm Embrace in a Cold World

Ahhhhh, what a wonderful thing it is to feel the heat of a warm stove on a cold day! A blankie. A cup of hot chocolate. The embrace of a friend. Sometimes even trouble has to find a corner to hide in.

That's the essence of Psalm 71—a man with troubles, but a man who has wrapped himself in the embrace of God and, no matter how serious the trouble, he is comforted.

The "punch line" (or one of many) is the first verse: "In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame."

Not a chance. The one who places himself, or herself, within the safety of the "rock" (vs. 3) will never have reason to regret the decision.

It's not that things have always been easy. To: "Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter...", the psalmist adds, "...you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again" (vss 20, 21).

The writer can't hold back his praise of the One who comforts him in spite of everything. Though he doesn't fully understand God and His ways or explain His deeds, he can't be silent about Him: "My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure" (vs. 15).

"I will ever praise you...I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more...I will praise you...for your faithfulness, O my God...My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I, whom you have redeemed. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long..." (vss. 6b, 14, 22-24).

This is lifetime of experience, a lifetime knowing the comforting embrace of the One who was with him from birth (vss. 17, 6) and who will not abandon him in old age (vss. 9, 18). In today's society where both young and old are throwaways, the message of the psalmist brings hope and inspires confidence.

The warm embrace of God, our Father, our Provider, our Redeemer, our Eternal Hope—how can we help but be grateful.


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