July 23rd Psalm 61
A Psalm of David
Confidence in God’s protection
1: Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. 2: From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3: For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. 4: I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. 5: For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name. 6: Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and his years as many generations. 7: He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him. 8: So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.
To the chief musician, to Jeduthan
A Psalm of David
Depending on God
1: Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. 2: He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. 3: How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence. 4: They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah. 5: My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. 6: He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. 7: In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. 8: Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. 9: Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity. 10: Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. 11: God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. 12: Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.
Today we are reading Psalm 61 & 62. In Psalm 61 David calls on the Lord to hear his prayer. It is a cry of desperation because he is in dire straights. He says ‘from the end of the earth’ I will cry to you. David has had to escape for his life and he is overwhelmed by the oppression of his circumstances. He asks the Lord to lead him to a rock that is higher than him. He no doubt is looking for a place of security where he can find both rest and peace - a place where he can see an enemy coming from far away. David says do this because you have always been a shelter for me and a strong tower where I can have peace from my enemy. David says, I want to continually live in your presence and I will trust myself to you in a secret place under your wings. Then he pauses to think about that. He says You O Lord have heard my vows and you have given to me the treasure of all those who fear your name. Lord I believe that you will prolong my life and see many generations. And I will live one day before you O Lord forever. So may mercy and truth preserve me. Then I will sing praises to your name for ever and ever and every day I will perform the promises that I have made to you. This Psalm was sent to Jeduthan who was a choir master. Psalm 62 is a Psalm of David with a similar theme. David says, Lord it is the truth that I am waiting on you because you are the only one that can save me. Then David describes the Lord saying He is my rock, my deliverer and my defence. He is my high ground who gives me an advantage before the battle. He comes to my aid in the midst of battle and he protects me after the battle. Therefore I will not be shaken. Then David addresses his enemies, he says, How long will you think up ways of doing hurt to me? Don’t you know that you will be killed – all of you? You will be like a wall that is about to fall down and a tottering fence that is rotten. You conspire to throw me down, you love to tell lies about me. You bless with your mouth but under your breath you curse me. Think about it! Then David speaks to himself saying, My soul waits for the Lord because he will do all that you expect from him. Only in the Lord is my safety and deliverance and security and because of this I will not be shaken. God is my deliverance, my glory, my security, my refuge. I will trust in the Lord at all times and I will pour out my deepest longings to him. Because he is a place where I can hide. Think about that. Men of low standing think they are great and men of high standing tell lies and all of them together are completely pointless. David speaks to them saying, Don’t trust in oppression and don’t become careless in the increase of wealth from robbery. Don’t set your minds on cash. God has spoken once, no twice saying, that ‘all power belongs to him’ and the Lord is the source of all mercy because the Lord brings righteous justice to all men according to their deeds. This is of course the situation under law. God brings judgment on the wicked and blessing on the righteous, but under Grace the Lord gives the righteousness of Christ to those who put their trust in what he alone has done for them. David was not saved as a New Testament believer is, he lived under the Mosaic Law. And the salvation he spoke of was the deliverance of his life in the time of battle.