Psalm 61

Psalms 61 Devotions
by Pastor Mark Hudson


            The outline by Kidner is:1-4 a prayer for security; 5-8 thanksgiving for the assured answer.  When we see `a Psalm of David’ we don’t know if it was written by, for, or to David.  There is one letter in Hebrew that can mean all those things.  And the superscription or heading is part of the Psalm or part of the Bible.  That is not what the editor of your English Bible included.  The problem is we just don’t always know the significance of the superscription.

            Here the author is pleading with God to hear his deepest cry, his prayer to God.  He is not talking to a friend but to the Creator of heaven and earth. There are different ways to refer to God as strong or a protector.  Strong right hand (Ex 15:6, Ps. 21:8); refuge (II Sam 22:3; Ps 14:6; Ps 31:2); tower of strength (Prov. 18:10); and a rock (Dt. 32:4, 31; II Sam 22:2-3, 32, 47).  Often these phrases are grouped together.  Especially notice II Samuel 22:2-3, “2 He said, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, 3my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.”

            In v. 2, the author may be in a foreign country or feeling abandoned.  He does not ask to go to a physical or literal rock.  He wants God.  He needs God.  He needs a powerful God.  This is what he so clearly states in v. 3.  God is a refuge – a place of safety.  God is a tower of strength against the enemy.

            While we may question the need for a tower against enemies it may be due to the fact that we have no enemies.  It may be that we are the anomaly not the Bible. How many people in the world have enemies that oppress them?  How many leaders know, not just sense, but know there are people who want to take them down?

            This Psalmist longs to be protected by God v. 4.  Here, the author does not think God has a tent or wings but this is a poetic expression that deserves to be sung, memorized, or contemplated.  Doesn’t this verse evoke more pleasing images than just saying, “God is my protector?”

            Kidner’s perspective is that the author is thanking God in advance for answered prayer.  He begins with a request: “Hear my cry, O God” in v. 1 and in v. 5, the Psalmist boldly states, “For Thou has heard my vows, O God.”  This person is not only making vows but intends to keep them.  This kind of obedience is what worship demands. 

            The blessing the King (who may be the author) more than hints at something better than long life in v. 6 -7, which states “His years will be as many generations.  He will abide before God forever.”  The blessing for this King is that he is part of the Messianic line.  Another King will follow him.  But this King will be the King of every King, the Lord Jesus Christ.

            Father, help me to pray to you when my heart is faint.  I often complain to others as if they can help.  But you are a rock, a refuge, and a tower of strength against the enemy.  I confess that I need to be reminded of your great power.  May your church be strengthened to lead others to Christ and strengthen the faith of the faithful.  Help me, Father, to praise Your name forever.