“Getting old is not for sissies” as the saying goes and the writer of Psalm 71 knows it. We are not given the writer’s name, though his terminology has a lot in common with David’s psalms. What we may suppose, because of his references to old age is that he is elderly. We have the customary references to enemies, but we don’t know much about the situation.
Here’s what we do know: The writer has lived long enough to have multiple experiences at the hand of God – and not all of them pleasant. But on the whole, God has become the one constant he can count on. For the elderly, consistency and familiarity are important. Whatever day of trouble he is seeing now, he is confident, based on the past, that God will once again come to his aid.
I appreciate so much the attitude expressed in verse 18: “ Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” He is concerned for the young, that they come to know the advantage of trusting in the Lord and making Him a constant companion. One day, they will be in his shoes. They will need to know what he knows now.
A close walk with God is not automatic. You have to be convinced it is important and you have to cultivate that relationship. These are matters the writer wants to pass on and that is always the attitude of the faithful: spreading the knowledge of God to all.