The title to Psalm 70 includes the instruction (or explanation): “To bring remembrance.”
As is often the case with the Psalms, Psalm 70 is non-specific. It doesn’t give us background information for its inception like Psalms 51 and 52. There aren’t even any internal details like Psalm 45, which is the royal wedding Psalm. To be sure, David had something in mind when he wrote Psalm 70, but the Holy Spirit inspired him to write it generally enough that all of God’s people–even us believers 3,000 years later–could sing this song, too, importing our own circumstances into our understanding and use of the Psalm.
Whatever we’re in, wherever we are, Psalm 70 is a powerful weapon in the fight of faith. It’s a weapon of remembrance. This is what Jonah teaches us from his lectern between gills and…stern: “As my life was fading away, I remembered Yahweh. My prayer came to You, to Your holy temple” (Jonah 2:7 HCSB).
When surrounding by death-dealers–natural or supernatural–it’s too easy to forget the One who makes them tremble. I love the explanation of Zechariah’s vision of the four horns and four craftsmen. The horns are the oppressors of God’s people: the stock image for a Hebrew of strength and power. Four craftsmen–regular, blue-collar nobodies–come against those horns. When Zechariah asks what on earth they could possibly be coming to do, the answer is given: “These craftsmen have come to terrify them, to cut off the horns of the nations that raised their horns against the land of Judah to scatter it” (Zechariah 1:21 HCSB).
Those who sought the death and destruction of God’s people, those who wielded terror, would themselves be terrorized. It seemed impossible; even God acknowledged that the people didn’t think it possible: “Though it may seem incredible to the remnant of this people in those days”; but His answer was to bring remembrance to them: “should it also seem incredible to Me?” (Zechariah 8:6 HCSB).
The prayer of verse 4 is only possible because, as Jesus promised, seeking is never fruitless (Matthew 7:7). God has promised to never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:8), and He hears the cries for mercy (Jonah 2:2). When the death-dealers rain down the fiery darts of doubt, despair, affliction, and hopelessness, we need to hear the word of 1 John 3: God is greater. God is greater than our sin, and God is greater than our enemies. Satan wants us to see him as a fiery dragon; God wants you to see him as a dangerous dog on a leash. His leash.
We need to remember the gospel that is the power of salvation for all who believe.
We need to remember the joy and gladness found in seeking Jesus, knowing He will be found.
We desperately need to remember. Thank God for Psalm 70.