>The Higher Rock (Psalm 61)

>Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I… (Psalm 61:2b).

Psalm 61 begins with a plea for God to hear the Psalmist’s cry and prayer:

Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint (1 & 2a).

Even if one never travels to far points of the globe, everyone has times when they feel far from the companionship of others. We all have times when our hearts feel faint.

Those are the very times we can call on God and ask him to lead us “to the rock that is higher than I” (2b). This picturesque phrase is a wonderful image of being lifted up onto a firm rock in the middle of a battle. Surrounding enemies surge against the rock, but it is higher. It is a place of refuge.

This has long been one of my favorite verses from the Psalms and it is one I often notice our pastor include in his prayers. The very words fill my heart with peace.

The next verse confirms the refuge imagery:

For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy (3).

Truly God is our refuge!

The next petition in Psalm 61 asks for God’s continued protection:

Let me dwell in your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! (4)

God is our dwelling place. We can think of God as our address. How wonderful it is to think of dwelling forever in God’s tent! How comforting it is to imagine sheltering under strong outstretched wings, safe from life’s howling winds and raging storms!

The Psalmist David then expresses his confidence in God as though God has already taken action on his behalf:

For you, O God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name (5).

The next two verses seem to apply specifically to King David:

Prolong the life of the king;
may his years endure to all generations!
May he be enthroned forever before God;
appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him! (6 & 7).

But they may be understood to apply to David’s great heir, Christ, who does endure to all generations; who is enthroned forever before God. As God’s annointed ruler, David asks God to appoint his steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him. As prohets, priests, and kings appointed by God to rule over our spheres of life, we too may seek the protection of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.

Once again, David concludes his Psalm with his continued commitment to proclaim God’s praise:

So will I ever sing praises to your name,
as I perform my vows day after day (8).

Like David, I find tremendous comfort in the image of the rock that is higher than I. I love to think of God as my dwelling place. Meditating on these marvelous truths moves me to write for God’s glory, and keeps me motivated to perform my daily tasks.

May God lead each of you, too, to the higher rock!


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