Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, 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, 18

The writer of this Psalm had a very godly perspective about life. His outlook was such that both the young and the old can relate to and benefit from it. He writes as an older man, “Now also when I am old and grayheaded.” He reminisces of his childhood, “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth.” He speaks of his consistency and faithfulness throughout life when he says, “hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.”

From this text, we would do well to consider the purpose of life, as well as the stages of our lives. As the aged writer thought of his past, he testified that he had “declared thy wondrous works.” From his youth until the time of his writing, he had sought to verbally acknowledge God’s goodness and His acts. It had been his purpose in life to give God praise and tell others of His greatness. As the psalmist thought to the future, he asked God to help him that he might show “thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” His purpose for his future was the same as it had been for his past. He wanted to serve God faithfully in his latter years, and especially wanted to inform the coming generation of God’s greatness and His power. We need this kind of singleness of purpose in our day, and for all age groups. Whether young or old, we all share in the responsibility and privilege of telling others of Christ and seeking to influence them in a godly direction. How are they going to hear if we do not tell them? This is the great purpose of our lives.

We can see in our text that this faithful servant found purpose in every stage of his life. This is such an important lesson for all. Wherever we are in our Christian journey, there is a work for us to do. It is important that young people serve the Lord in their youth. It is equally important that those who have graduated into adulthood continue with their spiritual growth and purpose. In the final stages of our lives, we can still have a vision for the work of God and our part in it. God will never forsake us. He will strengthen us for His work in every stage of life.