A Word for Today | Psalm 61:2
Yesterday we saw from Psalm 61:1 that the Lord is near to those who call out to him from isolation. It is clear, however, that David was not only lonely but also in danger. We see this in verses 2 and 3, with their memorable lines for pleading to God for help: “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.”
It is not surprising that David referred to God as his “Rock,” since during his years of flight from King Saul his best hiding places were the rocky caves at Adullam and En Gedi. David saw these refuges as symbolic of God’s sovereign protection. In Psalm 62:5-6, he says, “God alone. . . . is my rock and my salvation.” In Psalm 61, where David speaks of a rock that is too high for him, he probably means a place of refuge that is high enough to be out of reach to his enemies. The problem is that he, too, finds it a hard place to reach. Perhaps David is referring to a settled attitude of faith and the peace that it gives, which he finds hard to attain with his unsettled heart. So he asks God to lift him up to that secure place of faith where he can look down on his foes without fear.
The true Rock of our salvation is Jesus Christ (see 1 Cor. 10:4; Ex. 33:22). Like David’s rock, Jesus is high above us as the Son of God and in His perfect life of obedience. And like David, the safety that Christ offers is one that we cannot reach unless God helps us. We must believe in Jesus, but our hearts are unable to do so until God converts us with regenerating power. Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (Jn. 6:44). The way to be saved, then, is to cry to the Father to give us the faith that will lift us up to Christ and His salvation.
Even after coming to faith, believers will sometimes find that we cannot enjoy the blessings of salvation as we should, without God’s gracious hand lifting us up to them. Jesus offers us assurance of salvation, peace of conscience, and a settled hope because of His finished work. Yet we must pray in order to experience the reality of these gifts, asking God to raise us to the rock of safety and peace. If you find it hard to experience the blessings that Christ has given to you, then David urges you to pray for them: “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Surely, this is the kind of prayer Jesus promised that God would answer: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Lk. 11:9). After all, if earthly fathers are willing to bless their children who ask, Jesus urges us: “How much more with the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Lk. 11:13).
In Christ’s Love,