My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds. Psalm 71:15
An orca whale, who researchers have named “Granny,” apparently knew the importance of her role in the life of her “grandbaby whale.” The young whale’s mother had recently died, and the orphaned whale was not yet old enough to thrive without protection and support. Granny, though in her eighties (or older), came alongside to teach him what he needed to know to survive. Granny corralled some fish for the younger whale instead of consuming them herself, so he would not only have a meal but would also learn what to eat and where to find the salmon he’d need to live.
We too have the distinct honor and joy of passing on what we know—we can share about the wonderful works and character of God with those coming after us. The aging psalmist asks God to allow him to “declare [His] power to the next generation” (Psalm 71:18). He earnestly wishes to share with others what he knows of God—His “righteous deeds” and “saving acts”—that we need to flourish (v. 15).
Even if we don’t have the gray hairs of old age (v. 18), declaring how we’ve experienced the love and faithfulness of God can benefit someone on their journey with Him. Our willingness to share that wisdom might just be what that person needs to live and thrive in Christ even in adversity (v. 20).
Who has nurtured your relationship with God? Who needs your wisdom today?
Dear Father, thank You for sending me wisdom through those who’ve walked ahead of me. May I do the same for others in Your power and love.
A song of age and experience, Psalm 71 is one of many psalms that are anonymous. It seems to have been written by someone who’d lived for a while, as the author cited a point in the past when he was young (vv. 5–6, 17) and is anticipating a time when he’ll be “old and gray” (v. 18). In verse 19, the writer seems to capture what he wants to pass along to the coming generation—a right relationship with the God who does great things and is utterly unique beyond all else in the universe. No wonder the psalmist closes with such lavish expressions of praise (vv. 22–24)!