“Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you” (Psalm 71:6, ESV).
I read the above verse during my morning time with the Lord. There is something mysterious about it. On one level, the Psalmist demonstrates such a depth of confidence and trust in the God of heaven. He knows that his creator was there before the beginning and at the end beginning. If this sounds a little crazed, then join the club. In another sense, this text reveals the transcendent nature of God, which is exactly what the Psalmist bases his hope and trust.
From my perspective, it does not seem plausible that author of Psalm 71 arrived at verse six overnight. He must have walked with God for some time. This would allow the Psalmist to see God at work in ways that would deepen his faith and trust in the creator. Those words suggest that they were acquired after some years under his belt. It is also possible that the Psalmist grew in his understanding and knowledge of the Lord in a very brief time. Maybe he banked on God at an early age and never looked back for a minute.
Either way, the verse strikes my heart in fascinating and elusive ways. I wonder if I find the same hope and confidence in knowing that God new me in the womb. Is my relationship with him at a place where I can say that I leaned upon him while in my mother’s womb? At the risk of repeating myself, I must stress the irregular nature of this passage in the seventy-first Psalm. If I asked any believers in Christ, or even myself, to give a one sentence praise for the Lord, I seriously doubt anyone would say anything similar to the above passage.
My next thought may frustrate my readers and followers. I do resonate with Psalm seventy-one on some level. There is something about it that is good and right, especially if I embrace the sovereignty of God in all things. This begs the question as to my overall point. It seems to me that my gut reaction toward praising or giving thanks to God would not bring to mind how he was with me before I was born. Now, if I took additional time to turn over some things, then I can see arriving at the same conclusion as the Psalmist.
Therein lies the heart of the matter…taking time. It is evidence of maturity and wisdom. Instead of rushing to give the first answer that pops into mind or the “right” answer, it behooves me to think it through a bit. Do I value my God and our relationship in such a way as to give a thoughtful or heartfelt response? I can say and believe many Christian truths. The bigger question pertains with those truths affecting transformation within me. It is important to understand and believe who God is in the right way. It is equally vital to allow the right belief about God to transform me. That is the goal.