READ PSALM 61
Yesterday we saw David’s supplication progress from desiring God to be a rock to which he can climb for physical safety, to asking God to be a mother to him. And David follows this request with a qualifier: “For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.”
What do you think this means?
How does this relate to David’s supplication?
David is telling God on what terms he is making this request: because of his personal relationship to God (vows) and his corporate relationship to God (as a member of the nation of Israel). David knows that God will hear his prayer and be these things to him – a rock, tower, tent, and sheltering wings – because David is in personal relationship with God and in corporate relationship with God as a member of God’s people, Israel.
What does David ask God for in verses 6-8?
Does anything strike you as odd about this request?
David appears to be making an extravagant request. Whether or not David is king at the time of this writing (scholars debate this), we know that his kingship physically cannot endure for multiple generations. It seems as though David is asking for his future kingship or his current kingship to be eternal, but we know that just isn’t humanly possible.
Here in Psalm 61 we have one of the first Messianic Psalms we are considering in this study! David is asking God not for his own kingship to be eternal, but for God to send the eternal King to occupy the throne. That King is Jesus.
David knows that his immediate salvation would deliver him to the throne to rule as a temporary, human king over the nation. And this is a good and right request! He’s been anointed king and should take his place of humble authority over the nation, ruling with grace, mercy, and justice. But David also knows that he is not the ultimate king, and that he and his people are waiting for a final King to come and occupy the throne for all eternity. This King will rule with ultimate grace, mercy, and justice, and his rule will never end.
What familiar word/phrase do we find in verse 7?
What do you think David is indicating by using this word/phrase?
David is appealing to God’s steadfast love – His covenantal faithfulness! He is asking God, “Send the Messiah our way, just like you promised.” David knows that his prayers will be fruitful because God has made a promise to send the Messiah to ultimately save and secure His people.
What tone does David’s prayer have at the beginning? At the end? How has he grown through prayer?
Where David’s prayer starts off with weary exhaustion, it ends with a formidable sense of God’s ongoing covenant faithfulness. David has grown through this prayer and in this prayer. He may have opened with eager supplication, but he concludes with submission to God’s eternal grace.
David’s concluding sense of praising God “day after day” is mirrored in the hymn by George Herbert:
Surely Thy sweet and wonderful love
Shall measure all my days;
And as it never shall remove,
So neither shall my praise.
PRAY & REFLECT
Supplication: Ask God to provide for your needs. Ask Him to keep His covenantal promises in sending Christ to us again when He establishes His Kingdom.
Submission: Confess to God that your immediate needs fall incredibly secondary to your need for Christ. Ask Him to reframe your prayers in light of this glorious reality.