Posted: December 16, 2010
Let us begin to study Psalm 61 this week. In this text we find it is the time when Absalom takes David’s throne and David has fled. He was taken into the house of a close friend by the name of Barzillai. It is during this time he hears that Absalom has been hung in a tree. By this David knows that Absalom has sinned away his Day of Grace, for David knows that cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. David is overwhelmed by this state of affairs. He offers this very personal, practical, and devotional thought in Psalm 61. It will be that which will be a leaning post for a many weary pilgrim down through the ages. The title speaks to the chief musician upon Neginah, a Psalm of David. The Word Neginah speaks of the fact David wrote the words and music, played the Instrument, and sung the song. It was very intimate and personal and helpful to all who read and meditate upon it.
Let us look at the first four verses that are divided from the second stanza by the word Selah. It is in these verses we have David’s petition unto the Lord. There are three major requests in this petition and the first is Lord, hear me. The word ‘cry’ is a continual loud scream. It is a word that carries a heavy sound of desperation. The word hear means to give constant attention to. The word attend means to lift up the ears and mark well what is said. The word O when used with the word cry gives a grave sense of desperation. Let us remember Absalom has died hanging on a tree. David is probably sensing that his son has gone to Hell. I don't know if there would be any greater horror than to think a loved one is in Hell. I noticed often in the Old Testament there is a great desire for God to hear their prayers. We know from I John 5 that if He hears our prayers we have the petition we have requested of Him.
I noticed also in this prayer there is a petition of Lord, help me. If verse 2a David was overwhelmed in his heart and immediately turned to the Lord. David said if I was to transverse the earth from end to end I could not find any to help me like thee O Lord. May this be our immediate response in a time when we are overwhelmed in our heart.
In verse 2b-4 David closes the petitions with the request of Lord, hide me. In this request for hiding David mentions five possible places for God to hide him. The number five is always associated with grace. What better place to find security and safety, but the grace of God. One of the hiding places is mentioned in the phrase lead me to a rock that is higher than I. This speaks of the city of Petra where there was a lofty rock that when entered could not be entered by the enemy. David mentions that God has been for him in the past a shelter. The word is only used 2 times in the Bible here and in the book of Job. It means a refuge of hope and trust. The third hiding placed is called a strong tower. The phrase means a high place that becomes a place of rest in a bed of flowers. Oh, what a place to be in when overwhelmed in your heart. David seeks to abide in God's tabernacle as a fourth hiding place. The phrase means to be a continual overnight guest in God's tent. The last hiding place is to trust in the cover of his wing. It is a picture of the frightened chick hiding under the mother hen. Any one of these hiding places would be wonderful by itself, but David desires all five at one. Oh how safe one would be in the hiding place of God's grace. Selah, well what you think about that.