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Psalm 61

Assurance of God’s Protection

To the leader: with stringed instruments. Of David.


Hear my cry, O God;

listen to my prayer.


From the end of the earth I call to you,

when my heart is faint.


Lead me to the rock

that is higher than I;


for you are my refuge,

a strong tower against the enemy.



Let me abide in your tent forever,

find refuge under the shelter of your wings. Selah


For you, O God, have heard my vows;

you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.



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!



So I will always sing praises to your name,

as I pay my vows day after day.

5. For thou, O God! hast heard my vows. He here shows the grounds upon which he had spoken of his abiding under the wings of God. The sudden joy which he experienced arose from the circumstance of God’s having heard his prayers, and made light to spring out of darkness. By his vows we must understand his prayers, according to a common figure of speech by which the part is taken for the whole, having made vows when he prayed. In general, he would acknowledge himself indebted for his restoration entirely to an interposition of Divine power, and not to any dexterity which he had shown in gaining time for the collection of his forces, 406406     “Quamvis prudenter colligendis viribus tempus sumpsisset,” etc. — Lat. “Combien qu’il eust use de prudence a donner ordre a son affaire, et prendre temps pour amasser forces,” etc. — Fr. nor to any assistance which he had derived, either from the favor of the priests or the exertions of his soldiers. Had the letter ל, lamed, been prefixed to the Hebrew word יראי, yirey, which is rendered fearing, there would have been no reason left to doubt that the words which follow were of the nature of a general assertion, to the effect, that God has given the inheritance to those who fear him. As it is, they may be construed to mean, that God had given David the inheritance of those who fear him. Still I prefer attaching the more general sense to the words, and understand them as intimating that God never disappoints his servants, but crowns with everlasting happiness the struggles and the distresses which may have exercised their faith. They convey an implied censure of that unwarrantable confidence which is indulged in by the wicked, when favored, through the divine forbearance, with any interval of prosperity. The success which flatters them is merely imaginary, and speedily vanishes. But inheritance the word here employed by David — suggests that the people of God enjoy a species of prosperity more solid and enduring; their momentary and short-lived troubles having only the effect of promoting their eternal welfare. He praises God that those who fear his name are not left to the poor privilege of rejoicing for a few days, but secured in a permanent heritage of happiness. The truth is one which cannot be questioned. The wicked, having no possession by faith of the divine benefits which they may happen to share, live on from day to day, as it were, upon plunder. It is only such as fear the Lord who have the true and legitimate enjoyment of their blessings.

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