She said that when she felt that she was being pulled in a direction she did not wish to go, "You're putting words in my mouth." Perhaps we have said such words a time or two. Here the psalmist almost seems to be putting words in our mouths. And what wonderful words, as they teach us to say things that sometimes it is difficult to say. They lead us back to the regions of hope and trust. To a God who has been with us from our birth. To deliverance, rescue, and salvation in the face of whatever it is that engulfs us in anxiety or leads us to despair.
Part of putting words in our mouths is to teach us again about that important word "righteousness." To hear of God's righteousness may be a frightening thing. But here God's righteousness is defined precisely as God's power to deliver, to rescue and to save. To know God's righteousness is to know God as our rock and our fortress. And to know that truth has a way of putting the words of hope and trust in our mouths once again.
O God of righteousness, when we have difficulty finding the words that speak of hope and trust, come to rescue us once again with the sure and certain news that you are indeed our rock and our fortress. Amen.
Psalm 71:1-6 (NRSV)
1 In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me.
3 Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you.