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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

May 30 2023

Today, Tuesday May 30

“Lead Me to the Rock…”

Psalm 61:1-8

To the Chief Musician. On a stringed instrument. A Psalm of David

Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

For You, O God, have heard my vows; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name. You will prolong the king's life, His years as many generations. He shall abide before God forever. Oh, prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him! So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may daily perform my vows.”

Spurgeon called Psalm 61 a pearl, little but precious! David could have written this psalm during any of the many times he was in danger, but perhaps the best context is the rebellion under Absalom (2 Sam. 15-18). David prayed about a foe (v. 3), protection for his life (v. 6), and the security of his throne (v. 7, where "abide" means "be enthroned"). The psalm opens with David crying out in distress but closes with him singing praises to God.

There was an urgency in David's cry because he was overwhelmed by what was happening and fainting under the pressure. He was obviously not at "the ends of the earth," but he felt that way, for he was away from home and away from the sanctuary of God. He was describing "spiritual geography" and his need to know the presence of God in what was going on. The image of the Lord as "rock" is a familiar one in David's writings (Psalms 18:2, 31, 46; 62:2, 6, 7). A rock is a symbol of strength, stability, and security.

I can’t help but think of one of my favorite hymns, The Solid Rock. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand: all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.” Paul told the church at Corinth that when the people of Israel came out of Egypt with Moses that they “all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:3-4).

David needed the Lord to “lead him”, to lead him to this Rock, to help him and sustain him (Psalm 62:2, 6, 7). We are never so far away that we can't pray to God, or, as in the case of Jonah, so far down (Jonah 2). David looked back at his life and was encouraged to remember that God had never failed him in any crisis (v. 3), and He would not fail him now. To David, God's home was the tabernacle, the place where His glory dwelt; and David longed to be back in Jerusalem to worship and adore his Lord (v. 4).

"I will trust in the shelter of Your wings", probably refers to the cherubim on the mercy seat that covered the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies (Psalms 36:7-8; 57:1; 63:2, 7). David was not a priest, so he couldn't enter the Holy of Holies, but he could abide in the Lord and find refuge in Him (Psalms 46:1; 90:1). God's "wings" provided safety right where David was, so he didn't need his own "wings" to fly away (Psalm 55:6-8).

When David became king, he made some promises to the Lord and to the people, and he intended to keep those promises. All during his wilderness exile, while hiding from Saul, David obeyed the Lord (Psalm18:19-27), and he sought to be a shepherd to the nation. Why would the Lord care for David all those years, give him his throne, and then allow him to be replaced by his wicked son? His throne was his heritage from the Lord (16:5-6), just as the land of Israel was the heritage (possession) of God's people (37:9, 11, 22, 29, 34).

David’s requests in verses 6-7 relate to God's gracious covenant with David (2 Sam. 7). The Lord promised David a throne forever and a dynasty forever (Psalm 89:36), and this has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Luke 1:30-37; Acts 2:22-36). David's concern was not for his own name or family but for the future of Israel and God's great plan of redemption. His own throne was in jeopardy at that time, but he had confidence that God would keep His promises.

"He shall abide before God forever " (v. 7) meant "May King David live out his full life," protected by God's mercy and truth, but to believers today it means, "May Jesus Christ reign forever!" The throne of glory is secure, for God has set His King on His holy hill of Zion! (Psalm 2:6).

In view of this, let's follow David's example and trust the Lord, call on Him, obey Him "day after day," and sing His praises.

God bless!

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