This week, I celebrate my 46th birthday. Normally, this is a pretty mundane number. There is really not much to celebrate in the terms of actual years I've been here. But this year, I will still celebrate wisdom.
I came across Psalm 71 in my daily Bible reading this morning, and I realized King David prayed often for the same things I do now; only slightly different context, and before the birth of Jesus. I have the privilege of praying after Jesus came to Earth - the first time. And therein lies the wisdom gained...not just from understanding the difference between Bible times and the present, but also the benefit of God's amazing timing.
First of all, verse 9: "Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone." Although I can still do many things, including some things I couldn't do when I was younger due to lack of knowledge (such as Wing Chun), every year I feel age creeping in more and more. The pain in joints, brought on for years of heavy weightlifting combined with carrying a gun on the hip every single day, reminds me how old I am. I can relate to the psalmist praying to God not to cast him away. Sometimes the aches and pains of age make me think such things, and it's easy to imagine - if I hurt this much now, what in the world will it feel like when I really am old? Therefore I can easily hope and pray that God doesn't forget me as these pains get worse. And I certainly cannot lift the amount of weight I used to. Sure, my arms and shoulders aren't really much weaker than they were five years ago... but the joint pain in knees and lower back and right hip make the very thought of doing the lifts I used to do hard to even imagine now.
In verse 10, the author shows concern for enemies: "For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together."
Although I am not paranoid enough to think any one person or group is 'out to kill me,' I think metaphorically speaking, I am always concerned about certain enemies and their conspiracy. Who would those enemies be? The main enemy is Satan. And anyone who is paying attention has seen how worldly influential media has come out more and more against the very idea of Christianity. The 'nuclear family' that is biblical in origin is constantly attacked. Between debauchery and sexual deviance and confusion, all promoted and condoned by 'the state' in nations across the globe, it's a wonder the parents doing things the right way even dare to have children now. If you know who the real elite influencers are in the world, you'll discover they are staunch supporters of depopulating the planet. They use their money and power to shape society and governments around them, to bring an eventual end to people like me. So in a sense, yes - they are out to conspire to kill me, and anyone else that thinks or believes as I do.
The author goes on to say that 'They' say, "God has forsaken him. Pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him." I've written a few posts in the past about 'THEY' and 'THEM.' These are the very elites I already mentioned, conspiring against Christianity itself. Since they make their success off the idea that there is no God, they convince others that we believers are without our Maker. They hold no sacred hope for Jesus returning, or an after life with God our father, so they come after our beliefs and our way of living, hoping we lose hope altogether, and give up.
Every year longer I live on this Earth, I long for God to be closer to me. Verse 12 shouts out to God in my mind, "Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly God, to help me." I have spoken to fellow believers, and they are like me; they see the world changing and want Jesus to return soon. Perhaps age combined with my slow gain of wisdom is one of the things that drives my fascination with eschatology in the first place. But I long for the coming Savior.
"May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered in scorn and disgrace." In other words - Justice...I seek justice. I see all the schemes of the 'enemy' through research and awareness and discernment, and I cannot help but wish that every single schemer wither up and die. I know that part isn't very Christian of me, but spiritual injustice should offend us all - and it's rampant throughout the world. I know I am being quite honest, perhaps too much so, when I say this is what I want to happen to the enemy. But I am not the one who wants to do it; I want the righteous justice of God Almighty to do it.
Here is where the advantage I have over King David, or anyone else who may have written this Psalm comes in; since I know about Jesus' first arrival in Bethlehem, His 3 year ministry while He was here on Earth that led up to His crucifixion, and His powerful Resurrection - I know that all these things that the Psalmist writes about, are indeed coming. That is the great thing about hope in Christ. No matter how bad things get; no matter how much older I get; no matter the aches and pains, both mentally and physically - Jesus is coming, and all will be made new. But these days of age keep alerting me to more and more things in this world, that are perhaps not as wholesome or harmless as they first used to present themselves. Yet I don't think I can help others see those things, until they also decide to follow Jesus. I do not think I can do anything to convince someone, because it isn't my own abilities that give me this wisdom or sight; it is the Holy Spirit. I think that those who are seeking the Father through the Son, who've accepted the true identity of Christ, and are thankful - I think those are the people who continue to seek His Wisdom, and therefore more discernment as the Day of the Lord approaches. It is not my own wisdom I gain through the process of age, but it is God's call upon my life that grants wisdom. I pray that more and more people hear that call, and that they answer the call through faith in Christ. These things are not something that just comes easy to people, including myself. I am still distracted by influences in this world. My vivid imagination and love of story sometimes gets me swept away from the reality of the gospel, and I need to re-focus and refresh often. At least God has blessed my spiritual walk enough to keep reminding me, 'hey, knucklehead...I'm coming soon, remember?'
I pray many others come to realize God's truth. I try to spread the message, although I know I am not always the best messenger. But I am thankful for every year He grants me, to continue the effort. God bless you all-