you are my strong refuge. - JCCT (Japanese Christian Community of

Psalm 71:1-7, 17-18 (NIV)
In you, LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness, rescue me and
deliver me;
turn your ear to me and save me.
3 Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
Psalm 71:1-7, 17-18 (NIV)
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of
the wicked,
from the grasp of those who are evil and
cruel. 5 For you have been my hope,
Sovereign LORD,
my confidence since my youth.
6 From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s
I will ever praise you.
7 I have become a sign to many;
you are my strong refuge.
Psalm 71:1-7, 17-18 (NIV)
Since my youth, God, you have taught
and to this day I declare your marvelous
18 Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
詩篇 71:1-7、17-18 (新改訳)
13 すると、たちまち、その御使いといっしょに、多く
14 「いと高き所に、栄光が、神にあるように。地の上
(Hymnal 204 verse 1)
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and pow’r.
(新聖歌 229番 1節)
千歳の岩よ わが身を囲め
裂かれし脇の 血潮と水に
罪も汚れも 洗いきよめよ
chitose no iwa yo waga mi o kakome
sakareshi iwa no chishio to mizu ni
tsumi mo kegare mo arai kiyomeyo
(新聖歌 229番 2節)
か弱きわれは 律法にたえず
燃ゆる心も たぎつ涙も
罪をあがなう 力はあらず
kayowaki ware wa okite ni taezu
moyuru kokoro mo tagitsu namida mo
tsumi o aganau chikara wa arazu
(新聖歌 229番 4節)
世にある中も 世を去る時も
知らぬ陰府にも 審きの日にも
千歳の岩よ わが身を囲め
yo ni aru uchi mo yo o saru toki mo
shiranu yomi nimo wabaki no hi nimo
chitose no iwa yo waga mi o kakome
The world is facing global financial crisis and even
our best leaders seem unable to manage it. On
March 11, a wide section of the Pacific tectonic plate
suddenly crashed under the plate on which Japan sits.
This violent shifting of the Earth’s crust set off the
tsunami reaching heights of up to 130 feet, and
penetrating inland as far as six miles. It also set off
the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
power plant. Recovery is
proving to be painfully
Somewhere along your own path, you’ve likely
encountered a bend in the road. Suddenly you faced
circumstances you never expected or wished to
Life is not going to be easy. But I do believe that it
can be victorious. Today let’s open the Bible and
learn from someone who recorded his feelings in
Psalm 71.
Who wrote this psalm? We usually find the author’s
name inscribed at the top of the psalm. Turn to
Psalm 23 and at the top of the chapter you’ll read, “A
Psalm of David.” But Psalm 71 is interesting: The
author has chosen to remain anonymous. All the
same, I feel confident that it was written by David,
who writing a sequel to Psalm 70. These verses flow
from the previous verses from Psalm 70 and there is
a fascinating and quite tragic story to be found in the
background if we peek behind the curtains.
There was a time in King David’s life when one of his
sons, a young man named Adonijah, tried to usurp
his father’s throne. David had promised the title to
another of his sons, Solomon. So political turmoil
and family warfare were all entangled. Here is elderly
King David, nearing the end of his amazing life. He
has brought the young nation of Israel to its greatest
peak of power and stability. In the midst of building
a dynasty, he has already survived a previous family
insurrection. Besides, Absalom, another son, had
turned on his father and attempted to seize the
But King David charged all the commanders
concerning Absalom, he said, “Deal gently for my
sake with the young man”. Now Absalom happened
to meet the servants of David in the battlefield.
Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went
under the thick branches of a big oak. His head got
caught in the branch of the oak tree and he was left
hanging and spears killed him.
The king covered his face and cried out with a loud
voice, “ O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my
son! Would I have died instead of you, O Absalom,
my son, my son!”. The whole nightmare seems to be
coming to pass again. David’s aging heart was
burdened with a deep grief. Had the served God so
long for such a reward as this?
Some Christian have the odd impression that being a
believer will exempt them from all problems.
Somehow they feel that they’re issued the spiritual
ID cards that say, “This absolves the holder from any
kind of pain or trouble while living on this planet.” It
simply doesn’t work that way. We Christians have no
immunity whatsoever to pain or suffering. In Psalm
71 we find a poet who knew quite a bit about
suffering. We find this in verse 20.
“You, who has shown me many troubles and
distresses, Will revive me again, And will bring me up
again from the depths of the earth.”
God sends trouble into our lives to strengthen us and
to make us better children in His family. David
recognizes this and, in essence, says, “God, You did it.
You have shown me severe troubles.” Doesn’t that
seem like a strange thing to thank God for? No,
because the psalmist realizes God’s immense love for
us. And those whom the Heavenly Father loves, He
chastens. The question should not be asked ”why”
but “what” we could learn and how we can grow
from it.
Parents are less likely to be shocked. They can
remember times when they had to allow their
children to experience hardships they might easily
have prevented. Wise parents love their children
enough to allow them to experience pain, for that
socking pain can teach things the wisest words of a
parent couldn’t. Some things can’t be learned
through lectures; they must come at the cost of
burned fingers or skinned knees.
Parents understand that and they’re able to
comprehend the fact that God is another Parent – a
perfect one – who must allow suffering in His own
children to facilitate their growth. Loving parents
find themselves taking their hands off but not taking
their eyes off. They know deep in their hearts that
their beloved children will come out of it wiser and
more mature, but those parents suffer just the same
in watching their children learn from pain.
One of the obstacles of our living is “aging”.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not
forsake me when my strength fails”
Could your enemy be a faceless foe such as aging?
David answers in the affirmative in this verse. Aging,
of course, will bring illness, as much as we may
choose to live in denial of that fact.
Two years ago, all alone in my hospital in Chicago, I
had surgery where the doctor removed my right
kidney. 9 months later, I found myself lying in the
bed of an ambulance being taken to the hospital in
Houston with heart trouble. I know exactly what the
psalmist felt. When the reality of it came to pass, I
simply had to face it. One of the facts about
humanity is aging. If one doesn’t age, it makes them
non-human. How we response to all these trials
makes all the differences. Our choices will determine
what kind of people we turn out to be.
Most of us live under the illusion of invulnerability;
meaning that we are invincible. Particularly when
we’re young. “You will not have your parents and
money forever” (Japanese proverb). We tend to live
in this illusion until a serious crisis bursts that
pleasant bubble. Suddenly everything we’ve
believed about life seems to be shattered and our
lives are in chaos.
Psalm 71:7 says it this way: “I have become as a
wonder to many, but You are my strong refuge.”
What was David talking about here? David was a king
so he knew that everyone was looking up to him. But
instead of giving himself credit he first turned to God
and humbly admitted that God was his strong refuge.
“You are a rock of habitation, to which I may
continually come; You are my rock and my fortress.
He was wise enough to know the limits of his own
wisdom. If you’re lacking in that ability and painfully
aware of your limitations, come to the only One in
the entire universe who is indeed invulnerable.
“In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer
through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
In Psalm 71:12, David cries out, “Make haste to help
me!” In other words, “Lord can You speed it up just a
little bit? This is an emergency!”
David could feel all the despair and panic of any man
in pain. Do these things such as emergencies put
priority in when God answers our prayers? Is God
ever taken by surprise? Does He panic? For each of
these questions, the answer can only be an emphatic,
“No!” This is a tremendously difficult perspective for
us to master and maintain: We move in time, but God
operates in eternity.
He sees the end from the beginning. He cannot be
taken by surprise, for our past, present, and future
are before Him and in His grip all at once. An
emergency to you or me is an opportunity in the
great mosaic of His purposes, a useful occasion for
building our trust, stretching our faith, teaching us to
hope, and nurturing our patience. This is known as
perspective, the lens through which you choose to
look at the things that matter in life.
How will you choose to deal with your personal crisis
– as an emergency or an opportunity? A stumbling
block or a steppingstone? The moment you and I can
begin to see things through the heavenly lens, the
picture becomes bearable – and we find new
When David saw the worst life had to dish out for
him, he could still remember the perfection and
faithfulness of God:
“In You, O LORD, I put my trust; let me never be put
to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and
cause me to escape; incline Your ear to me, and save
me. Be my strong habitation, to which I may resort
continually; You have given the commandment to
save me, for You are my rock and my fortress” (vv. 13)
Whenever we face trials, we need to remember who
God is. David made references to God’s character
throughout his prayer and praise in this psalm.
“My mouth is filled with Your praise, and with Your
glory all day long. I will hope continually and praise
You yet more and more. I will also praise You with a
harp, even Your truth, O my God. My lips will shout
for joy when I sing praises to You.” (v.8, 14, 22, 23)
David understood that there was one thing he must
do when trials were swirling around his head. He
must never forget that God is righteous and good,
that He is a God who can be trusted.
Things may be bad, and they can always be worse,
but God never changes. He is never any less in
control. We can sit at the feet of God and say with
bottom of our heart, “You know what you are doing.
You make no mistakes!”
In 1955 five young
missionaries who were the
graduates of Wheaton
College in Illinois went to
Ecuador to reach the Auca
Indians who lived deep in the
eastern jungle. One day they
went into the jungle with a
small airplane. Let me read
from the book Through the
Gate of Splendor by Elizabeth
At four-thirty sharp Marj Saint (pilot’s wife) eagerly
switched on the radio receiver in Shell Mera. This
was the moment when the big news would come.
Had the men been invited to follow the Aucas to
their houses? What further developments would
Nate be able to
report? She looked
at her watch again.
Yes, it was at least
four-thirty. No
sound from Palm
At about nine-thirty Johnny’s report came through.
“I found the plane on the beach. All the fabric is
tripped off. There is no sign of the fellows.” Radio
Station HCJB, was also informed and news
Flashed around the
world. “FIVE MEN
By noon, all possible forces, which might contribute
to their rescue, including the prayers of thousands of
people in all parts of the world, were set in motion.
While the rescue party was finding the bodies in the
muddy waters of the Curaray, a violent tropical storm
darkened the scene in a fury of wind and rain.
Marji and the other wives accepted the final news
that all five were dead. They all gathered that
evening with the children in the living room and
opened the Bible and read various passages about
The women were thankful that their men had been
faithful to the Lord. Marilou went to the piano and
began to play the song that the men had sung the
morning they left for Palm Beach.
We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender.
We go not forth alone against the foe.
Strong in Thy Strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go.
We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,
And needing more each day Thy grace to know,
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go.
Year 2000, almost 50 years later, deep in the
Ecuadorian jungle, the home land of the Waorani
(Auca), a new airstrip had been hacked out of the
jungle. This was the first of a dozen flights that would
carry in bags of cement, fuel for chain saws,
generators, cement posts, boxes of nails, and may
other building materials unavailable in the jungle.
The cargo was the stuff of which their dreams of a
Bible College in the jungle, a place where the
Waorani (Auca) would be trained to reach out to
their own people with the good news that Jesus
Christ saves sinners, even those who were involved in
the killing of five missionaries on Sunday 8th January
“Birth is the beginning and death is the end of the life
chronicle of most men. But there are those, like Nate
Saint and four companions, who learn to walk with
God and dissolved in the dimension of the eternal
through the gate of splendor. They Their witness did
not cease with what men call death. “No man is a
fool who gives what
he can’t keep…and
Gains what he can’t
loose!” (Jim Elliot)
“The world and all the evil in it will pass away, but
whoever does the will of God will live forever.” (1
John 2:17)
Let’s sing the hymn that they sang together and
reclaim our confidence in God as our prayer for the
New Year resolution.
(Hymnal 347 verse 1)
Be still, my soul!
the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul!
thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways
leads to a joyful end.
(新聖歌 303番 1節)
安かれ わが心よ 主イェスは 共にいます
痛みも 苦しみをも 雄々しく 忍び耐えよ
主イェスの 共にませば
耐え得ぬ 悩みはなし
yasukare waga kokoro yo
Shu Iesu wa tomoni imasu
itami mo kurushimi omo
ooshiku shinobi taeyo
Shu Iesu no tomoni maseba
tae enu nayami wa nashi

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