MEDITATING ON THE PSALMS  – “A life-changing glimpse at God”
PSALM 70 – O LORD, Do Not Delay (ESV) or
“Let God Be Exalted” (title and notes from James Montgomery Boice: Psalms, Vol. 2)
1  Make haste, O God, to deliver me!
            O LORD, make haste to help me!
2   Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek my life!
            Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt!
3   Let them turn back because of their shame who say, “Aha, Aha!”
4   May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you!
            May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
5   But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God!
            You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay!
Clearly Psalm 70 is the shortest psalm of the Psalter, but is packed full of magnificent treasure and truth.  Let’s dig deep to find it.
First, let’s look at the Hebrew names of God mention in this exquisite psalm. Verses 1 and 5 contain ELOHIM (the All-Powerful One; Creator) and Hashem (the Name); verse 4 says, “Let ELOHIM be magnified.”  I particularly like this translation better than “God is great!”  It goes a step further saying that God deserves to be magnified because He is so great and is the All-Powerful One, the Creator over all; so let’s remember to magnify Him, our great and awesome God. 
The Psalmist’s Plight
What is immediately apparent about Psalm 70 is that the writer is in serious trouble and that he is calling on God to help him quickly before it is too late.  We do not know what his trouble was, though it clearly had to do with enemies, who were not only mocking him, saying, “Aha! Aha! [we’ve got him now – NLT] (v. 3), but were also seeking to take his life (v. 2).  With the exception of the years in which David was hiding from King Saul and the time, much later, when he was forced to flee Jerusalem because of the rebellion of his son Absalom, we do not know what these specific dangers might have been.  But we discern from this as well as from other psalms that David faced such dangers much of the time [pgs. 585-586 by Boice].
That is an important thing to notice.  David was the beloved king of Israel, who reigned powerfully and well for forty years.  He was installed, blessed and approved by God, who called him, “a man after his own heart” (I Sam. 13:14). David was nearly always in close fellowship with God.  Yet he had constant troubles and was in nearly constant danger for his life [p. 586]. 
We should not even be surprised if our situation seems desperate, as is David’s case here.  Look how often he uses the word hasten  or its synonyms.  The idea occurs twice in verse 1: “Hasten, O God, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me.” Then it occurs twice more at the end of the psalm, in verse 5: “Come quickly to me, O God… O LORD, do not delay.” Four times in just five verses!  Have you ever felt like that? It may be a situation at work or in your family. It may involve a serious illness. You may be telling God, “I need help now.  If you don’t step in and help me right away, it will be too late.”
The Psalmist’s Prayer
What do you do in such times? The answer for those who know God is to pray, turning to God. For however desperate the situation seems to us, we can know that it is never desperate for God but rather is under his control.  This is why Paul told the Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7) [p. 586].  What a great passage to put to memory… not to be anxious about anything but to take everything to God in prayer laying it there and then experience the peace of God.  Wow! That’s amazing truth!
So here is another important thing to notice.  Psalm 70 is a prayer throughout. In it, David prays for three things: 1) For himself: for quick deliverance in the first verse, 2) For his enemies: for their shame and confusion in the second and third verses, and 3) For the righteous: for their delight in God in the fourth and fifth verses [pgs. 587-588.]  It is a great thing when the people of God can say in any circumstance, “Let God be exalted!” For He will be!  It is fitting when we can acknowledge this and praise God openly [p. 589].
“Even So, Come, Lord Jesus”
The very last line of this psalm returns us to the note struck at the beginning: “O LORD, do not delay.” This is a prayer that the Lord might make haste, come quickly, or not delay; it is the psalm’s watchword and theme.  It is a cry often on the tongues of God’s people today. Like the saints in the Book of Revelation, they cried to God, saying, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth… (Rev. 6:10).
Life is one long trouble, since ours is a sinful, evil world.  However, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but be of good courage, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) [p. 590]. And the Lord Jesus Himself is speaking giving us much hope: “I am coming soon” (Rev. 22:20). To us, the coming of Jesus may seem long delayed, but it is not long in the great sweep of history.  What we must do, despite our weariness… is to endure, looking to him who is our present help and ultimate deliverer.  “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith… (Heb. 12:1-2) [p. 591].


Questions to consider when applying this truth:
Do I magnify my great God on a daily basis?
Do I take all my anxieties and troubles to Him constantly?
Do I long for His coming?  Do I pray for it faithfully?
If so, that’s wonderful!  If not, please begin.  It’s life-changing!
Personal notes by Lisa Patton

 (Bible notes from Ryrie, MacArthur and/or Boice)