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Young At Heart Bible Study: The Book of Psalms Psalms 61-62

Psalm 61: Lead Me To The Rock

(1) [To the chief Musician upon Neginah, a Psalm of David.] Hear my cry, O

God; attend unto my prayer. (2) From the end of the earth will I cry unto

you, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than


• This song for the Chief Musician is a neginah or poem. Little is known about the

background of the Psalm, except that David seems to be in exile. From this we

can suggest that it comes from the time when Absalom had taken the throne.

• This is a prayer uttered aloud, not a mere inward thought of the heart. David’s

heart was overwhelmed – literally, the word means “covered,” as with a garment.

It means that his heart was enveloped in pain and sorrow.

• The rock that is higher is of course a picture of God. It is also symbolic of Christ,

the Rock of God who saves us by lifting us out of the mire of our sinful condition.

(3) For you have been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

• The image of towers and shelters was a popular one for the Israelites. God, and

even the Name of God, was viewed as a tower in which people could find safety.

(4) I will abide in your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the covering of

your wings. Selah. (5) For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given

me the inheritance of those who fear your name.

Psalms Bible Study Psalms 61-62

• There are several images here which seem to have been important to the

Israelites. First, David expresses the thought that he will be in God’s Presence

forever. This is an important idea in his thinking, most memorably in Psalm 23

(“dwell in the house of the Lord forever”), but it refers to the here and now as well

as the afterlife. In this case he speaks with confidence that he will be restored to

his throne. Do we have this confidence when we meet with reversals?

• Another common picture found in verse 4 was that of finding shelter like a baby

bird. Jesus Himself used this imagery. David knows he can find refuge there

because he knows God has heard his prayers and vows.

• Finally we see the image of the inheritance. Each family’s inheritance of land was

viewed as a sacred, personal trust from God. In a symbolic sense the inheritance

meant God was giving you a place of favor from which no one could evict you. It’s

also important to note that this blessing comes to those who fear the Lord.

(6) You will 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 to your name for ever, that I may

daily perform my vows.

• David did not expect that Absalom would be victorious; he expected his life to be

preserved and to extend to several generations. This came to pass as he lived long

enough to see grandchildren, being about 70 years old when he died.

Psalms Bible Study Psalms 61-62

• He asks God to prepare mercy and truth for him. All believers and all those in

leadership need to walk in the mercy of God and in the truth of God – these two

things will preserve us.

• He will bless God forever so that he may continue to worship him.

Psalm 62: Pour Out Your Heart Before Him

It has been suggested that this Psalm also comes from the time when David had been

temporarily put off his throne by Absalom’s rebellion. The psalm is meant to encourage

people to trust in the Lord. The song was given to the Chief Musician, in this case

Jeduthun, but we have no additional details about it.

(1) <To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.> Truly my soul

waits upon God; from him comes my salvation. (2) He only is my rock and

my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.

• David’s soul was waiting on God, although more literally it means his soul was

silent or quiet before God. He had a calm expectation of help from the Almighty

and so would not allow his heart to become agitated or anxious.

• David took God as his rock and his salvation (yeshua) and, as we would say, he

“accepted no substitutes.” Often we fall into the temptation to lean on other

things for our security or our hope.

• He would not be greatly moved. He didn’t expect to have no trouble whatsoever,

but he knew that because God was for him his faith could not be destroyed.

Psalms Bible Study Psalms 61-62

Circumstances would challenge him but they could not move him away from his

position in God. This echoes Paul’s thought in Romans 8 that nothing can

separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Are we

shaken? Sometimes. Are we cast away? No!

(3) How long will you imagine mischief against a man? You shall be slain,

all of you; as a bowing wall shall you be, and as a tottering fence.

• Of course David is the man of whom he is speaking. All the conspirators would

fail. Absalom was killed in part due to his own vanity – the thing in which he

gloried, his hair, proved to be his undoing.

• David uses the image of unstable construction to tell us that this conspiracy is

unstable and can fall apart at any time.

(4) They only consult to cast him down from his place; they delight in lies;

they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.

• All of their plotting was designed to remove him from his throne. Here we see

the hypocrisy of those who were close to the king. They spoke well of him but we

really cursing him in their hearts. People who deal in lies may ultimately do more

than just lie – they may act.

(5) My soul, wait only upon God; for my expectation is from him. (6) He

only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; 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.

Psalms Bible Study Psalms 61-62

• David was a master at speaking to himself and encouraging himself. At Ziklag,

when all the men’s wives and children were stolen away, it tells us that “David

encouraged himself in the Lord.” Here we see how it is that he did it –

principally, by reminding himself of who God was and reminding himself of the

power of being in a covenant relationship with God.

• His soul waiting upon God means, again, to rest. His soul can do this because his

expectation is from Him: in other words everything he was looking for and

hoping for was from God.

• He describes God in four images having to do with safety and being hidden: a

rock; salvation; defense (a cliff or, figuratively, altitude); and a refuge (shelter).

• Importantly, David says his glory was in God. Most wealthy and powerful men

face the temptation of pride – and surrender to it! – but David does not seem to

have been greatly tempted in this area. He was so passionately in love with God

that he would even become undignified in front of the people, laying aside his

kingly robes to dance before the Lord with all his might. This type of behavior

was greatly offensive to those who value appearances.

(8) Trust in him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before him;

God is a refuge for us. Selah.

• A lifetime of experience had taught him that God was always trustworthy. He

encourages us to cry out to God!

Psalms Bible Study Psalms 61-62

(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.

• David was not impressed with anyone – he did not favor rich or poor. This isn’t

an insult to ordinary people, as in the Hebrew he literally said that the “sons of

Adam are vanity.” His point is that no man is worth trusting in comparison to

the value of trusting in the Lord. Having had great wealth, he nevertheless knew

the folly of trusting in your own riches or resources, and certainly he would not

trust in any wicked schemes.

(11) God has spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongs unto

God. (12) Also unto you, O Lord, belongs mercy: for you render to every

man according to his work.

• Here David gives us some powerful reasons to trust God:

o God has all power

o God is merciful

o God is just