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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.

7. He shall abide before the face of God for ever. This is only a simpler way of expressing what he had said before, I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever. He refers to the security and peace which he would enjoy under the protection of God, who would effectually preserve his life. By the face of God, must be meant the fatherly care and providence which he extends to his people. So numerous are the dangers which surround us, that we could not stand a single moment, if his eye did not watch over our preservation. But the true security for a happy life lies in being persuaded that we are under divine government. There follows a prayer that God would appoint mercy and truth for preserving the king. And this admits of two meanings. As clemency and truth are the best safeguards of a kingdom, it would not be altogether unreasonable to suppose that David prays here to be endued with these dispositions, as a means of establishing his throne. But the other meaning is perhaps preferable, that God would gird himself with clemency and truth in order to the preservation of the king. The Hebrew term מנה, manah, signifies not only to prepare, but to set over, or appoint; and he speaks as if the true defense of the kingdom was only to be found in the mercy and faithfulness of God. He uses the expression prepare, or command, to intimate how easily God can provide the means necessary for preserving his people. In the concluding words, he expresses his resolution to persevere in the constant celebration of the praises of God, with a view to fulfilling the vows which he had contracted — and this again may lead us to remark the agreement which ought ever to subsist between the two parts of invocation: for David, while he applied to God for help, under the pressure of calamity, showed himself uniformly grateful when he had experienced deliverance.

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