Thoughts on Psalm 70 and sore knees

The comedian Brian Regan has said that you know you’re getting old when you can pull a muscle in your sleep. There are days in which we feel our human frailty more than others. To be sure, the aching back, the sore knees, and the like are a part of, what we might call, growing closer to eternity. So we mumble things like, “I can’t wait for heaven” or “this back won’t hurt in its glorified state” and we say this with a slight chuckle but with a real hope that this is the case. However, if we can borrow an phrase from Schaeffer, how shall we live today? We are right to believe in a future new heaven and earth in which Christ will gloriously reign but we have to ask, how is He being exalted now in the world of sore knees?

David sets up a memorial in Psalm 70 that reminds us of this very tension. He brackets the Psalm with a cry for the Lord to “hasten” to his side for help (vv. 1, 5). There appears to be shades of an eschatological hope in future glory while at the same time a present trust in the Lord (vs. 4b, 5). So in this present, ugly, painful, and even sneering world (vs. 3) we can still say, “Let God be magnified” (vs. 4c). So rather than making the “most” out of a difficult situation, David exhorts us to make the most of God even while the back still aches.

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