But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying – Psalm 70:5
Meaning of Psalm 70:5
The meaning of the verse, “But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying” is that David is asking God to make haste and help Him. The Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart and had a special relationship with Him. In this verse, David is crying out to God to help him without delay because God is his only savior and help, and he can depend on no one else but him. In the previous verses of the same chapter, David asks God to turn his enemies away and bless those who rejoice in God. Here, David is a man in need asking God to come to his rescue.
Interpretations of Psalm 70:5
Psalm 70:5 is not a commonly quoted bible verse but is interpreted in different ways by the church and people. Here are some examples.
Interpretation #1 All Christians are needy
The interpretation of the verse, “But I am poor and needy” is that Christians are, in general needy people. The reader believes that David openly declaring to be needy is the reality of every Christian. The Bible encourages believers to come to God and ask for help and protection openly. Also, most churches especially preach on the importance of seeking God in times of need rather than other human beings. The Bible also discourages self-dependence and self-reliance in every aspect and advises on depending or waiting on God.
Interpretation #2 A believer must beg God for help
The meaning of the verse, “But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God” is that every believer’s protocol is to beg God for help when they are in trouble and need rescuing. Every character in Bible had to come to God in times of trouble and request him for help. The character could have been the king of a country or a priest. Their requests were not heard until they came in the presence of God and knelt down to pray. Hence, this makes the reader believe that a Christian has to beg God for help.
Interpretation #3 Pleading and humility please God
The interpretation of the verse, ““But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying” is that it pleases God when his children come pleading to him for help. The Bible says that a humble heart pleases God, and the reader believes that pleading is a sign of humility. It is humility when one accepts that one needs help and is ready to plead and request for it. It also shows that he or she is ready to let go of their need to control a particular situation and let someone else take over, and in this situation, it is God. The reader understands that God likes it and responds faster when he sees his children coming to him and crying for help.
Interpretation #4 God does things in his own time
In this interpretation, the reader believes that God believes in doing things in his own time. A good section of preachers teaches that God does not exist in the same space-time continuum as the world does. He does not measure time as humans do. It is also said that a human’s lifetime is almost like a second passed by for God, who is called the creator of the universe. Hence, when God does something, he does it according to his time and will and not according to humans.
Interpretation #5 David depended on God for everything
The interpretation of the verse, “But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying” is that David was very dependent on God for everything. The reader believes that David was a humble man and sought God’s guidance and help in everything he did. According to Bible, David was a man after God’s own heart. This could be because David always accepted that he was nothing without God. The Bible also shows that David did everything in his life after seeking God’s approval and guidance. Hence, David wanted to share his life example with the readers so he or she could learn from it.
Historical background of Psalm 70:5
The book of Psalms is a collection of hymns and songs largely composed by King David. The Psalms date between the 15th – 13th centuries BC and 400 BC. Most of the psalms have been turned into songs of worship churches sing. This Psalm contains only five verses and is fairly identical to Psalm 40. The title of Psalm 70 says that it is meant to put God in remembrance of his compassion and promises. The fifth verse is the last verse of the chapter, which witnesses David calling out to God in helplessness to come and rescue him as soon as possible.
Literary Devices of Psalm 70:5
The verse of Psalm 70:5 is a cry of need from a man to God. The verse has some notable literary devices. Here are few examples.
Parallelism – The verse Psalm 70:5 is parallel to the verse Psalm 40:17 with similar meanings, as the speaker, David, is asking God to help him.
Juxtaposition – The verse Psalm 70:5 is a good example of juxtaposition as the author David is pleading to God out of fear and desperation. However, in the second part of the verse, he is confident that God will deliver him from the enemies and help him.
Assonance – The verse has a good use of vowel sounds, and a few are used in repetition. For example, the sound of /a/ in ‘make haste unto me’ and the sound of /e/ in ‘thou art my help and my deliverer’.
Consonance – There is a good use of consonant sounds in repetition, making it a good example of consonance. For example, the sound of /d/ and /t/ in ‘But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me’ and the sound of /l/ in ‘O God: thou art my help and my deliverer’ and the sound of /r/ in ‘my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying’.
Theme – The major theme of the verse Psalm 70:5 is desperation. The minor themes help and remember God.