Psalm 70 and 71 … Consider Him, Our Continual Rock of Habitation

Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come;
You have given commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress,
(71:3).

While Psalm 71 does not mention David as its author, scholars believe because of the language and its placement in the Psalter, Psalm 70 possibly could have been the introduction to Psalm 71, which would attribute both Psalms to David; and both Psalms express an urgency and desperation for immediate relief. Within these two Psalms, five times David cries out, save me, and also repeats his request for God to hasten or not delay, five times.

We’ve probably all been there, not sure if we can wait one more minute, let alone one more day, for God to intervene. But tucked within these urgent and repeated pleas for quick relief from his circumstances, is perhaps an even more critical need; the need for abiding assurance and rest in the midst of the adversities. And perhaps faith and hope for relief are best fueled in what may well be the most helpful prayer that could ever be uttered in times of distress, “Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come…” (71:3).

Because let’s be honest. Sometimes God’s timing just doesn’t seem to match up with ours. The trial lingers, the answer seems delayed, confusion and pain mount, and hope wanes. Yet, in this one request, when the answer to our prayers seems to be suspended somewhere in the heavenlies and beyond our reach, confidence and comfort are perpetually available in Him, Our Continual Rock of Habitation

Consider Him, Our Continual Rock of Habitation

  • He is Our Rock of Habitation; our Perfect Justice when life is unjust.
    • “The Rock! His work is perfect,
      For all His ways are just;
      A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
      Righteous and upright is He
      , (Deuteronomy 32:6).
  • He is Our Rock of Habitation; our Defense when we feel defenseless.
    • “I love You, O Lord, my strength.”
      The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
      My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
      My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
      I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
      And I am saved from my enemies
      , (Psalm 18:1-3).
  • He is Our Rock of Habitation; our only Hope when we feel hopeless.
    • For who is God, but the Lord?
      And who is a rock, except our God,
      32 The God who girds me with strength
      And makes my way blameless?

      33 He makes my feet like hinds’ feet,
      And sets me upon my high places,
      (Psalm 18:31-33).
  • He is Our Rock of Habitation; our Exalted and Living Savior when we need saving.
    • The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock;
      And exalted be the God of my salvation
      , (Psalm 18:46).
  • He is Our Rock of Habitation; our Security when we feel insecure.
    • My soul waits in silence for God only;
      From Him is my salvation.
      He only is my rock and my salvation,
      My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken,
      (Psalm 62:2).
  • He is Our Rock of Habitation Who equips us for battle.
    • Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
      Who trains my hands for war,
      And my fingers for battle;
      My lovingkindness and my fortress,
      My stronghold and my deliverer,
      My shield and He in whom I take refuge,
      Who subdues my people under me
      , (Psalm 144:1-2).
  • He is Our Rock of Habitation; He is Christ.
    • …for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ, (1 Corinthians 10:4).

How do we respond to Him, Our Continual Rock of Habitation?

When David penned his prayer, “Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come,” was he asking God to become something that He wasn’t? Of course not.

Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come;
You have given commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress,
(71:3).

David knew God’s command had been given to save him. But in the meantime, until salvation came to bring rescue from his circumstances, he was asking for faith to live in the place of believing God’s Word, to live in His strength and shelter from the storms brought on by the enemy and his own emotions and fears.

So while we certainly can pray and ask the Lord to hasten His deliverance, that should not be our all-consuming thought. Instead, when we find ourselves awaiting His supernatural intervention in our hardships, let us choose to believe His Word and abide in Him, Who abides in us, Our Continual Rock of Habitation

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you,” (John 14:16-17).

And while we wait, let us follow the examples given in today’s Psalms.

  • Let us seek to grow more in love with Him each day, that we would overflow with joy and gladness even in our trials, that our lives would exalt Him, Our Continual Rock of Habitation.
    • May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
      And may those who love Your salvation say continually,
      “May God be exalted!”
      (70:4).
  • Let us determine to strengthen our hope through praise and our witness as we declare the innumerable ways we have experienced the mighty deeds of Him, Our Continual Rock of Habitation.
    • But as for me, I will hope continually,
      And will praise You yet more and more.
      15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
      And of Your salvation all day long;
      For I do not know the sum of them.
      16 I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God;
      I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone,
      (71:14-16).
  • Let us trust His hand in all our troubles and distresses, confident that He will revive us and bring us to Himself, Our Continual Rock of Habitation.
    • You who have shown me many troubles and distresses
      Will revive me again,
      And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
      (71:20).
  • Let us ask the Lord to increase our influence as we live out our life in faith and the comfort we have received from Him, Our Continual Rock of Habitation.
    •  May You increase my greatness
      And turn to comfort me,
      (71:21).
  • Let us refuse to listen to the lies of the enemy. Oh, that we would cling to the truth; we are eternally secure in Him for we have been redeemed by His righteousness in Christ, Our Continual Rock of Habitation.
    • I will also praise You with a harp,
      Even Your truth, O my God;
      To You I will sing praises with the lyre,
      O Holy One of Israel.
      23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You;
      And my soul, which You have redeemed.
      24 My tongue also will utter Your righteousness all day long;
      (71:22-24).

When we find ourselves facing injustice, feeling defenseless and hopeless, wondering whether or not salvation is on the horizon, when our security in the battle is weakening, we have a choice to make. Will we choose to live lost in our own feelings about our misery, or will we choose to rest in His abiding assurance in the midst of our adversities?

The choice is ours. Oh, in the waiting, may we choose to trust and thank Him for the help of His strength and presence. For when we do, we will be lifted above the disappointments, discomforts and distresses to sing our praises and be filled with His hope, joy and peace by the power of His Holy Spirit, Our Continual Rock of Habitation.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him,
(Psalm 28:7).

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, (Romans 15:13).

Let’s Grow Together!

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