Psalm 61

1650 psalter

The Righteous One, when an outcast, looking for the day of His Restoration

The exact period and experience in David’s life when this was written is subject to diverse opinions. But we know it was when he was separated from the means of grace, for it seemed as if he was at the “end of the earth.” His experience was overwhelming, and yet the eyes of his soul were nevertheless fastened on God, his Rock. At such a time God is a rock, a shelter and a strong tower. Though the tabernacle was denied him, the tabernacle above would be his abiding portion.

He not only looked for the preservation and extension of his life, but in vv. 6 & 7, there is the recognition of One who was greater. A King was to come who, through death, would be raised to life and immortality, the God-Man who would dwell in the presence of God for ever. God’s mercy and truth would preserve Him in life and death, and through Him, His people.

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: Salzburg, St Andrew, Old 44th

St Andrew
Old 44th

Psalm 61

¹O God, give ear unto my cry;
Unto my pray’r attend.
²From th’ utmost corner of the land
My cry to thee I’ll send.

What time my heart is overwhelm’d,
And in perplexity,
Do thou me lead unto the Rock
That higher is than I.

³For thou hast for my refuge been
A shelter by thy pow’r;
And for defence against my foes
Thou hast been a strong tow’r.

⁴Within thy tabernacle I
For ever will abide;
And under covert of thy wings
With confidence me hide.

⁵For thou the vows that I did make,
O Lord my God, didst hear:
Thou hast giv’n me the heritage
Of those thy name that fear.

⁶A life prolong’d for many days
Thou to the king shalt give;
Like many generations be
The years which he shall live.

⁷He in God’s presence his abode
For evermore shall have:
O do thou truth and mercy both
Prepare, that may him save.

⁸And so will I perpetually
Sing praise unto thy name;
That having made my vows, I may
Each day perform the same.