O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not– Psalm 71:17-18
Psalm seventy-one might well be called a Psalm for the seasons of life. In verse six David said, “By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou are he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.” He acknowledges God’s watchcare over him from his birth and through his early days. And in verse seventeen He says that God had taught him from his youth.
He no doubt was taught by his mother whom he describes as being God’s handmaid, and he was taught by the unfolding of divine providence in his life. He learned about God’s enabling grace when he killed a lion and a bear; he learned that “the battle is the Lord’s” when he gained victory over Goliath; he learned that God alone was his defense when he was hated and pursued by Saul.
And then as he looks toward the declining years, when his hair would turn gray and his strength would fail, he prays that the Lord will not forsake him. But as he anticipates the changes that come with old age, he is not absorbed with his own problems. His desire is to show the strength of God to the younger generation that is following him. In fact he says, “My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long.”
How much better to talk of the righteousness and greatness of God than to bemoan the failures of the past or the discomforts of the present. May we all, whether young or old, join in praising our sovereign God Who cared for us even before we recognized our own needs and will not forsake us as the frailties of old age remind us that the crossing into the heavenly land is not far away.(From, “A Good Thing”)