Psalm 71:17
O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBTODWESTSK
Psalm 71:17. O God, thou hast taught me from my youth — By the instruction of my parents, by thy word and Spirit enlightening and convincing me, and also by my own experience, namely, concerning thy righteousness last mentioned, the wondrous effects whereof I have received and declared from time to time. Observe here, reader, as it is a great blessing to be taught of God from our youth, from our childhood to know the Holy Scriptures, and the important truths revealed, the privileges exhibited, and the duties inculcated therein; so those that have been favoured and received good in this way, when they were young, must be doing good when they are grown up, and must continue to communicate what they have received.

71:14-24 The psalmist declares that the righteousness of Christ, and the great salvation obtained thereby, shall be the chosen subject of his discourse. Not on a sabbath only, but on every day of the week, of the year, of his life. Not merely at stated returns of solemn devotion, but on every occasion, all the day long. Why will he always dwell on this? Because he knew not the numbers thereof. It is impossible to measure the value or the fulness of these blessings. The righteousness is unspeakable, the salvation everlasting. God will not cast off his grey-headed servants when no longer capable of labouring as they have done. The Lord often strengthens his people in their souls, when nature is sinking into decay. And it is a debt which the old disciples of Christ owe to succeeding generations, to leave behind them a solemn testimony to the advantage of religion, and the truth of God's promises; and especially to the everlasting righteousness of the Redeemer. Assured of deliverance and victory, let us spend our days, while waiting the approach of death, in praising the Holy One of Israel with all our powers. And while speaking of his righteousness, and singing his praises, we shall rise above fears and infirmities, and have earnests of the joys of heaven. The work of redemption ought, above all God's works, to be spoken of by us in our praises. The Lamb that was slain, and has redeemed us to God, is worthy of all blessing and praise.O God, thou hast taught me from my youth - See Psalm 71:5-6. That is, God had guided and instructed him from his earliest years. He had made known to him his own being and perfections; he had made his duty plain; he had led him along the dangerous path of life.

And hitherto have I declared - I have made known. That is, he had done this by public praise; he had done it by his writings; he had done it by maintaining and defending the truth. In all situations of life, up to that time, he had been willing to stand up for God and his cause.

Thy wondrous works - See Psalm 9:1, note; Psalm 26:7, note. Doings or acts which were suited to attract attention; to awe the mind by their greatness; to inspire confidence by their wisdom.

17-21. Past experience again encourages.

taught me, &c.—by providential dealings.

17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.

18 Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every One that is to come.

Psalm 71:17

"O God, thou hast taught me from my youth." It was comfortable to the Psalmist to remember that from his earliest days he had been the Lord's disciple. None are too young to be taught of God, and they make the most proficient scholars who begin betimes. "And hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works." He had leaned to tell what he knew, he was a pupil teacher; he continued still learning and declaring, and did not renounce his first master; this, also, was his comfort, but it is one which those who have been seduced from the school of the gospel, into the various colleges of philosophy and scepticism, will not be able to enjoy. A sacred conservatism is much needed in these days, when men are giving up old lights for new. We mean both to learn and to teach the wonders of redeeming love, till we can discover something nobler or more soul-satisfying; for this reason we hope that our greyheads will be found in the same road as we have trodden, even from our beardless youth.

Psalm 71:18

"Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not." There is something touching in the sight of hair whitened with the snows of many a winter: the old and faithful soldier receives consideration from his king, the venerable servant is beloved by his master. When our infirmities multiply, we may, with confidence, expect enlarged privileges in the world of grace, to make up for our narrowing range in the field of nature. Nothing shall make God forsake those who have not forsaken him. Our fear is lest he should do so; but his promise kisses that fear into silence. "Until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation." He desired to continue his testimony and complete it; he had respect to the young men and little children about him, and knowing the vast importance of training them in the fear of God, he longed to make them all acquainted with the power of God to support his people, that they also might be led to walk by faith. He had leaned on the almighty arm, and could speak experimentally of its all-Sufficiency, and longed to do so ere life came to a close. "And thy power to every one that is to come." He would leave a record for unborn ages to read. He thought the Lord's power to be so worthy of praise, that he would make the ages ring With it till time should be no more. For this cause believers live, and they should take care to labour zealously for the accomplishment of this their most proper and necessary work. Blessed are they who begin in youth to proclaim the name of the Lord, and cease not until their last hour brings their last word for their divine Master.

Taught me; partly by thy word and Spirit, convincing and assuring me; and partly by my own experience of thy righteousness last mentioned, the wondrous effects whereof I have received and declared from time to time, as it here follows.

O God, thou hast taught me from my youth,.... The corruption of human nature; the weakness and impotence of it, to everything that is spiritually good; and the need of continual strength and grace from Christ, to go to him for righteousness and strength, life and salvation, and to walk by faith on him; the doctrine of justification by the righteousness of Christ, and the insufficiency of his own; the will, ways, and worship of God; and all the duties of religion, prayer, praise, &c. and whoever were the instruments, or whatever were the means, of teaching David these things, he ascribes it to God. Whether his parents, or the priests and Levites, taught him the sacrifices and ordinances of the law, it was the Lord that blessed instructions to him; and that taught him by providences and precepts, and by his Holy Spirit. And a wonderful blessing it is to be taught of God, and not of men, things relating both to doctrine and practice; and it is an addition to it to be taught these things early, as David was from his youth; and therefore the Lord was so soon the object of his faith and trust, Psalm 71:5; and, as Timothy, from a child, was acquainted with the holy Scriptures, and the things contained in them, which are able to make wise unto salvation, Isaiah 29:13;

and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works: not only of nature and providence, but of grace; the treasuring up of all grace, and the blessings of it in Christ; the work of redemption by him; the work of regeneration and conversion by his Spirit; and the perseverance of the saints by his grace and strength; which are all wonderful and amazing. And as the psalmist saw his interest in these things, and had an experience of them, he declared them to others for their encouragement, and to the glory of all the three Persons; see Psalm 66:16.

O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
17. thou hast taught me &c.] He has been a life-long disciple in the school of God. Cp. Isaiah 8:16; Isaiah 50:4; Isaiah 54:13.

have I declared] Have I been declaring, habitually and constantly.

thy wondrous works] A special term for the singular and conspicuous works of God, both in nature (Job 5:9), and in His dealings with His people (Exodus 3:20), particularly in the great crises of their history (Psalm 78:4; Psalm 78:11; Psalm 78:32), which declare His power and love, and arouse the admiration of all who behold them. The word includes ‘miracles’ commonly so called, as one limited class of ‘the wonderful works of God,’ but is of much wider application. To recount and celebrate His marvellous works is the duty and delight of God’s saints. Cp. Psalm 9:1; Psalm 26:7; Psalm 40:5.

17–20. Past mercies are the ground of hope alike for the Psalmist and for the nation.

Verse 17. - O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Hitherto, i.e., have I always had thy guidance and instruction, and hitherto have I always had occasion to praise thy Name. Hence I am confident with respect to the future. Psalm 71:17In view of Psalm 40:15 (Psalm 70:3), Psalm 35:4, Psalm 35:26; Psalm 109:29, and other passages, the reading of יכּלמוּ, with the Syriac, instead of יכלוּ in Psalm 71:13 commends itself; but there are also other instances in this Psalm of a modification of the original passages, and the course of the thoughts is now climactic: confusion, ruin (cf. Psalm 6:11), and in fact ruin accompanied by reproach and shame. This is the fate that the poet desires for his deadly foes. In prospect of this he patiently composes himself, Psalm 71:14 (cf. 31:25); and when righteous retribution appears, he will find new matter and ground and motive for the praise of God in addition to all such occasion as he has hitherto had. The late origin of the Psalm betrays itself again here; for instead of the praet. Hiph. הוסיף (which is found only in the Books of Kings and in Ecclesiastes), the older language made use of the praet. Ka. Without ceasing shall his mouth tell (ספּר, as in Jeremiah 51:10) of God's righteousness, of God's salvation for he knows not numbers, i.e., the counting over or through of them (Psalm 139:17.);

(Note: The lxx renders οὐκ ἔγνων πραγματείας; the Psalterium Romanum, non cognovi negotiationes; Psalt. Gallicum (Vulgate), non cognovi literaturam (instead of which the Psalt. Hebr., literaturas). According to Bttcher, the poet really means that he did not understand the art of writing.)

the divine proofs of righteousness or salvation עצמוּ מסּפּר (Psalm 40:6), they are in themselves endless, and therefore the matter also which they furnish for praise is inexhaustible. He will tell those things which cannot be so reckoned up; he will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord Jahve, and with praise acknowledge His righteousness, Him alone. Since גּברות, like the New Testament δυνάμεις, usually signifies the proofs of the divine גּבוּרה (e.g., Psalm 20:7), the Beth is the Beth of accompaniment, as e.g., in Psalm 40:8; Psalm 66:13. בּוא בּ, vernire cum, is like Arab. j'â' b (atâ), equivalent to afferre, he will bring the proofs of the divine power, this rich material, with him. It is evident from Psalm 71:18. that בגברות does not refer to the poet (in the fulness of divine strength), but, together with צדקתך, forms a pair of words that have reference to God. לבדּך, according to the sense, joins closely upon the suffix of צדקתך (cf. Psalm 83:19): Thy righteousness (which has been in mercy turned towards me), Thine alone (te solum equals tui solius). From youth up God has instructed him, viz., in His ways (Psalm 25:4), which are worthy of all praise, and hitherto (עד־הנּה, found only in this passage in the Psalter, and elsewhere almost entirely confined to prose) has he, "the taught of Jahve" (למּוּד ה), had to praise the wonders of His rule and of His leadings. May God, then, not forsake him even further on עד־זקנה ושׂיבה. The poet is already old (זקן), and is drawing ever nearer to שׂיבה, silvery, hoary old age (cf. 1 Samuel 12:2). May God, then, in this stage of life also to which he has attained, preserve him in life and in His favour, until (עד equals עד־אשׁר, as in Psalm 132:5; Genesis 38:11, and frequently) he shall have declared His arm, i.e., His mighty interposition in human history, to posterity (דּור), and to all who shall come (supply אשׁר), i.e., the whole of the future generation, His strength, i.e., the impossibility of thwarting His purposes. The primary passage for this is Psalm 22:31.

Psalm 71:17 Interlinear
Psalm 71:17 Parallel Texts

Psalm 71:17 NIV
Psalm 71:17 NLT
Psalm 71:17 ESV
Psalm 71:17 NASB
Psalm 71:17 KJV

Psalm 71:17 Bible Apps
Psalm 71:17 Parallel
Psalm 71:17 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 71:17 Chinese Bible
Psalm 71:17 French Bible
Psalm 71:17 German Bible

Bible Hub

Psalm 71:16
Top of Page
Top of Page