The Billboard of Life

Have you noticed that some signs along the road catch your attention more than others? Some signs make me want more information while others I easily forget or even avoid. This morning I was impressed with the writer of Psalm 71 because he says that our lives are a “sign” to others.  Verse 7 says,

“I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge.” (NIV)

What is interesting about the word “sign” is summarized well by John Goldingay when he notes,

“A sign (môpēt) is an extraordinary act of God, usually associated with a national event such as the exodus (e.g., 78:43; 105:5, 27). Only here is the idea applied to God’s dealings with an individual . . . Here too it is not the suppliant’s affliction that constitutes the solemn sign . . . but the suppliant’s deliverance by Yhwh.”[1]

In our passage, the writer viewed his life as a “sign” or “example” of God’s protection and deliverance through his many troubles. In reality, he saw his life as a declaration of God’s faithfulness. This perspective impacted his attitude and how he lived his life.

What message is the billboard of my life telling others about my belief in God? If I believe my life, like the Psalmist’s is a “sign” or “example” to others of God’s extraordinary protective care, my life becomes the opportunity to declare that to others by the way I live especially when challenging times come.

Father, thank you for this amazing reminder of your faithful care of your children.  You have not abandoned us to live life on our own, but you walk with us through life.  When trouble comes, may I not complain or endure them with drudgery, but rather, may you help me to live above my circumstances knowing that you are my provider, protector, deliverer and faithful friend. May my life be another “sign” of your extraordinary care for your children.

[1] John Goldingay, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament: Psalms 42–89, ed. Tremper Longman III, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006), 370.

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