Having lived through 6 hurricanes in my lifetime, finding safe refuge from a storm takes on a whole different meaning. I wasn’t being attacked and I wasn’t in a war zone, I just wanted to feel safe. Today, my safe refuge is my confident Hope in my Salvation in Jesus Christ. It’s knowing that no matter what this crazy, evil world throws at me, I know that this earth is not my home and my home is in Heaven with my Savior.
That’s what this psalm is all about. It’s feeling far from God, yet knowing that He and only He is your safe refuge. Let’s dig in…
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.
1 O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
2 From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
3 for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
4 Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings! Interlude (Selah — pause and ponder)
5 For you have heard my vows, O God.Psalm 61 NLT
You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.
6 Add many years to the life of the king!
May his years span the generations!
7 May he reign under God’s protection forever.
May your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over him.
8 Then I will sing praises to your name forever
as I fulfill my vows each day.
More than likely, King David wrote Psalm 61 when his son, Absalom, rebelled against him and David was forced to flee from Jerusalem. We find that story in 2 Samuel 15. Naturally, David cried out to God because he was in need of safe refuge.
He was far from home, far from the temple and he felt far from God. Have you ever felt that way? I have. Long ago, I was stuck in a situation, that for me — from my human eyes — seemed hopeless. However, when as a last resort, I turned to God (I wasn’t a true believer back then), He solved my problem. Unfortunately, I waited until all else failed and there was nothing else I could do before turning to Him.
Today, I commit each day to Him first and put anything that could possibly go wrong in His hands before it can possibly happen! That’s trusting God. That’s knowing that God is always my safe refuge and that I have Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding — through Christ alone.
As always, the folks at Spoken Gospel give us excellent insight into this psalm…
David is about to faint. He is far away from God’s temple in Jerusalem and asks God to lead him to a high rock that will lift him closer to God (Psalm 61:1-2). He trusts God will come to his rescue because God has been a refuge in the past. God was like a fortress to him in the face of his enemies. He hid himself in God like a strong tower against the advancing armies (Psalm 61:3). David longs to dwell with God forever (Psalm 61:4). David wants to be covered in God’s love. Like a chick under the wings of its mother, he prays that God would be all he can see, hear, and feel (Psalm 61:4).
David vows to stay near God’s presence in hopes of being given what God has vowed to him (Psalm 61:5). God promised that a son of David would eternally rule in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 7:16). David seems to understand that as long as a son of David sits on the throne, God’s presence will continue to dwell in the land and be near all God’s people (Psalm 61:6). So David desperately hopes for the day when his son, God’s eternal King, will rule in love and faithfulness (Psalm 61:7).
Where is the Gospel?
Despite David’s prayer, his sons were all unable to live long enough or well enough to secure God’s presence for their people. They failed to hold their kingdom together, and God’s people were ultimately scattered among foreign nations far from God’s presence. With no king to rule and David’s throne vacant, closeness to God was not possible. But God did not forget his promise to David.
He sent a king who would lead all people to the high rock of his presence and rule over them in love forever. That king is Jesus. Jesus is the current descendant of David’s throne whose days never end and whose reign is eternal (Revelation 11:15). Jesus is the King who gives us eternal access to God. Like a rock that lifts his people close to God, Jesus’ Kingship secures God’s people in God’s presence (1 Peter 2:4, 9).
While he lived, Jesus longed to gather God’s people under his wings where they could enjoy God’s closeness for themselves (Matthew 23:37). Like David longed to be near God, God also longs to be near his people. And because Jesus is enthroned forever God will never be parted from his people again (Matthew 28:20). If you feel far from God and faint-hearted like David, come to Jesus. He is the rock that lifts you up. He is the King who brings God’s presence near. And you are now the temple he longs to live in forever.
See for Yourself
I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see the God who lifts his people to himself. And may you see Jesus as the rock and eternal King who brings God’s presence to live in us.Spoken Gospel
Do YOU Have the Holy Spirit — Your Safe Refuge — in YOUR Heart?
You CAN receive the Holy Spirit as a FREE gift from Jesus when you repent and surrender your life to Him. So what are you waiting for?