Psalms 71:1-8 – “By Thee Have I Been Holden Up From The Womb”

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“By thee have I been holden up from the womb”

“In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust”, “be thou my strong habitation”, “deliver me, O my God”, “for thou art my hope”, “by thee have I been holden up”, are some of the key phrases that take us in the direction that God had the psalmist inspired to go, to reassure us of our complete and utter dependence upon God, who is our hope and the one who holds us up and delivers us from all our fears.

Psa 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Being able to trust in God and see him as our hope is something that God continues to demonstrate is possible not by our might or power but by His strong hand which is His spirit that delivers us through the storms of this life.

Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Psa 107:30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

The act of trusting God and coming to see our inability to do so is very graphically illustrated in type and shadow by Israel, who were not given a diligent spirit nor a desire to obey God which would bring his favour and deliverance from all their fears.

Heb 3:17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

Their lack of faith and short term memory of all the wondrous deliverance from Egypt that God brought for them (Exodus 14-15) was written for our sake to help us never take for granted the gift and measure of faith we have been given and how it is expedient that that faith is tried in the fire of this life if it is going to be found to be of any value to God.

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

We can learn from Israel’s journeys that God is not a respecter of persons and that every step of the way our deliverance and steadfastness are dependant upon God, who has Christ working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure, including these verses.

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

1Co 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

This psalm is full of examples of the opposition that is needed against our souls (things that cause us to keep under our body) in order to bring us to see what a strong refuge God is against our enemies both within us and without, and how boasting is excluded by the law of faith.

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

One graphic example of overcoming opposing forces is the experience at the Red Sea, where Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians (Exo_14:31), which is a type of how insurmountable sin is unless the Lord sets us free (Psa 71:9, Psa 71:13).

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Our strength does fail us, and God knows exactly how much patience and faith we have, so part of the exercise of our faith is to come to see that we would be altogether sifted like wheat except for one glorious fact that all these victories of old in Israel’s day point to Christ.

Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

Christ is the end G5056 [telos] of the law and brings us into remembrance of his suffering and our need to be connected to this process of dying daily that nourishes us spiritually. If Christ is working with us today, He is working with us in every spiritual battle and has declared victory already before the battle even ensues (se below plus Isa 46:10). The exercise of our faith is still needed (to fight the good fight of faith must happen for God’s elect regardless of the fact that Christ knows the outcome) and greatly to be desired seeing it is the means by which we can go unto perfection on the third symbolic day.

Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Num 14:9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Mar 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

Our failure to overcome in battle (our falling seven symbolic times) is there to demonstrate what happens to us without the body of Christ (Gideon’s army) and when our own conceit blinds us to the reality of God’s sovereignty over the light and darkness within in without, meaning those who believe and those who don’t.

Pro 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

God is merciful to deal with us so that we don’t forget, among other things, that Joseph’s brothers are being sacrificed for us and are serving us in their unbelief. The body of Christ needs each other to overcome, and we need an unbelieving world that serves us now in their unbelief.

Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
Rom 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Whether it is a story of David in battle against Goliath, or Israel in a situation of war where they are way outnumbered (Gideon’s army), all of this is to reinforce in our minds the gift of faith, the shield of faith that we take with us on our journey of spiritual warfare against powers and principalities. We can press on, we can go from glory to glory together as the body of Christ thanks be to God who is our “strong refuge”, and it is the prayer of faith “which worketh by love” that we pray for each other, as Christ did for Peter, that is key to us not failing or fearing because we can and will be convinced that we’ve been strengthened and can be strengthened through Christ who strengthens us to endure all things.

Php 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

This study starts to look at the way in which God creates the struggles and circumstances in our lives so that we are brought low and made to see this need for each other’s prayers, provoking us unto love and good works. God is moulding and shaping the body of Christ so that the witness of His faith and love grows stronger and more effective, a witness that demonstrates that we are “of one heart and of one soul”.

Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

Act 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

We will see next week how the second half of this Psalm ‘explodes’ with praise and thanks to God for the victory which the psalmist now understands is coming to him from God alone after He shows him “great and sore troubles” (Psa 71:20, Act 14:22).

God destroys our confidence in our flesh or the flesh of any man, and brings us from “the depths of the earth” so that we can praise and sing unto the Holy One of Israel who is making a new creation through this process of judgment which is upon the elect today.

Psa 71:21 Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Our first verse tonight:

We put our trust in God when we say with Christ “Luk 22:42 …”nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

The ‘less’ of ‘nevertheless’ is to not do the will of God, and unless Christ is in us working both to will and to do of our Father’s will (Php 2:13), we will just naturally take the spiritual road most commonly travelled and not the narrow way (Mat 7:14, Joh 14:6).

The trust that God is developing in Christ body is a profound trust that loses it’s life and is not concerned about the gentile spirit of the unconverted masses (Mat 6:32).

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Pro 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Pro 3:8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
Pro 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

Christ will honour and is honouring our Father by giving “the firstfruits of all thine increase” none of which will be lost (Joh 17:12). In the end however, some will weep bitter tears and be ashamed (H954 disappointed, or delayed) simply because they were not granted to come to true repentance in this age (2Co 7:10).

“…let me never be put to confusion” H954 בּוּשׁ bûsh boosh
A primitive root; properly to pale, that is, by implication to be ashamed; also (by implication) to be disappointed, or delayed: – (be, make, bring to, cause, put to, with, a-) shame (-d), be (put to) confounded (-fusion), become dry, delay, be long.

God’s elect will understand intimately that repentance is a gift of a loving Father, having wept bitter tears ourselves as we come to learn and be convinced that He has always been the One doing all things, including the bringing of a few to true Godly repentance in this age, so we can then in turn show mercy to those who are delayed by God for our sake. [Gale’s analogy of waking a family up in the morning, starting with the youngest]

Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Mat 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

On to our second verse:

Deliver us in your righteousness as opposed to having us deliver ourselves from our own sense of what is right and wrong. If God inclines His ear unto us and saves us, it will be because we were delivered “in thy righteousness” knowing that we bring nothing to the altar, which is the huge lesson that we all must learn if we are truly going to be one body connected to one head who is able to “save” us.

Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Joh 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Joh 21:18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
Joh 21:19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Let us continue…

What a hopeful prayer! The psalmist knows that his enemies are too great for him, and God has made it this way so that he may utter these words “be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort”. This makes me think of how our inheritance is in the saints today and how we “resort” together as the body of Christ and learn that God is “my rock and my fortress”

Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Now we will examine the next two verses.

We all know who this wicked man is and how unrighteous and cruel we all would be except the Lord stay the hand of Satan and strengthen us through Christ.

2Sa 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

Verses 4 and 5 are connected thoughts because it is here that we will know deliverance from the wickedness within us. The ability to hope and trust in God will be made manifest as a result of God dealing with the wickedness within us, the “unrighteous and cruel man”.

Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

This next verse is very symbolic of the life of Christ and His body who are being matured in the church, with Christ’s mother being a type of the church (Luk 1:28, Luk 2:35).

Christ was “holden (H5564) up from the womb” (which is ‘shown favour’ or ‘established’) not just in the womb of his mother which symbolizes the church but his entire life (Luk 2:40, 2Pe 3:18). And Jeremiah is another example of this predestined conditioned (type and shadow) that God has given to the elect to experience before the rest of humanity (Jer 1:5-7)

A primitive root; to prop (literally or figuratively); reflexively to lean upon or take hold of (in a favorable or unfavorable sense): – bear up, establish, (up-) hold, lay, lean, lie hard, put, rest self, set self, stand fast, stay (self), sustain.

We are called to be “holden (H5564) up from the womb” and to go unto maturity so that we may, God willing, be used to help bring in the later harvest of humanity who will also be “holden (H5564) up from the womb” of the ‘earth, earth, earth’ condition (“my mother’s bowels”) that we all must come out of spoken of in Jeremiah 22:29.

The connection is made in this verse to praise unto God for the increase that He gives us in the womb – the church. We give thanks and worship Him in spirit and in truth because He has mercifully shown favour to us and lifted us, and is lifting us out of the womb or Babylon, which is the deliverance of which Jeremiah speaks, in type and shadow, for God’s elect and eventually all the world (Jer 23:4-6).

Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Joh 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

We are a peculiar people or “a wonder unto many”, we who are seated in heavenly places worshipping God in spirit and in truth, a truth that has been taken away from the world for today.

Isa 20:3 And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder (H4159) upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;

Isa 3:1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,

God has set in motion this witness being proclaimed throughout the body of Christ and has provided us “strong refuge” so that what has begun within us can and will be accomplished in Christ through whom we can endure all things.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Our last verse is something I pray God will manifest more and more abundantly in His people. We ought to be a people with praise continually on our lips and with a spirit of gratitude that honours God continually.

Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

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