Psalms 61

Worship Together in Psalms 61


David is far from his home in Jerusalem because his son, Absalom, tried to become the king. As described in Psalm 60, at this time, he maybe in Syria or Edom after he had run away for a while. At this period, he sometimes felt somber because he don't believe he could do anything in this situation.  This is why he said "my heart is fragile" in verse 2. He didn't feel courage anymore to have brave enough to fight again but just wanted to die. But he knew that this was wrong, so he asked God for His help. He thought of many things occurred to him, and that made him reflect on God. To David, God was like a special rock where he could hide and regain the strength.


詩 篇 61 Chinese Union Version (CUV)


 大 衛 的 詩 , 交 與 伶 長 。 用 絲 弦 的 樂 器 。

1 神 啊 , 求 你 聽 我 的 呼 求 , 側 耳 聽 我 的 禱 告 !

2 我 心 裡 發 昏 的 時 候 , 我 要 從 地 極 求 告 你 。 求 你 領 我 到 那 比 我 更 高 的 磐 石 !

3 因 為 你 作 過 我 的 避 難 所 , 作 過 我 的 堅 固 臺 , 脫 離 仇 敵 。

4 我 要 永 遠 住 在 你 的 帳 幕 裡 ! 我 要 投 靠 在 你 翅 膀 下 的 隱 密 處 ! ( 細 拉 )

5 神 啊 , 你 原 是 聽 了 我 所 許 的 願 ; 你 將 產 業 賜 給 敬 畏 你 名 的 人 。

6 你 要 加 添 王 的 壽 數 ; 他 的 年 歲 必 存 到 世 世

7 他 必 永 遠 坐 在 神 面 前 ; 願 你 預 備 慈 愛 和 誠 實 保 佑 他 !

8 這 樣 , 我 要 歌 頌 你 的 名 , 直 到 永 遠 , 好 天 天 還 我 所 許 的 願 。

PSALMS 61 - English Standard Version (ESV)

Lead Me to the Rock (To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David.)

1 Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer;

2 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,

3 for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

4 Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah

5 For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

6 Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations!

7 May he be enthroned forever before God; appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

8 So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day.

Psalm 61 Bible Study note from

The Psalms 61 consists of four sections: 

Verses 1 ~ 4: David sings that he will ask God for help when he feels depressed. It appears that he feels that he so stresses that he don't even want to live anymore.

Verse 5: David knows that God has heard his Prayer.

Verses 6 – 7: David (or maybe someone else) prays for the king. The King may refer to the kings after him of David himself.

Verse 8: David writes that he will always *praise God.

Some Bible scholars think that David wrote only verses 1 - 5. Someone else wrote verses 6 - 8 so that people could use the psalm after David died. Maybe David wrote verses 6 - 8 so that people could pray for the new king when David was dead!

You will find the words always and forever in this psalm. The word list says that they mean the same thing. With their usual meaning, this is true. But in this psalm we use "always" when David says while he is a man on earth. We use "forever" for when his body dies and his spirit lives with God in Heaven. Heaven is the home of God. We do not know where it is until we see God someday.

The Bible tells us not to draw pictures of God. But the Bible itself draws us many word images of God. There are several in this psalm.

1. God is a rock, verse 2. The rock is a safe place where David can go when his enemies are fighting him. God is not a rock, but he is *like a rock. When David is with God, it is *like being on a very high rock. His enemies cannot reach him.

2. God is a *tower, verse 3. Old towns often had walls around them. This kept the enemies out of the town. The walls had tall parts or *towers. The soldiers could see their enemies from the *towers, but the enemies could not reach the soldiers! *Towers made the soldiers feel strong. God is not a real *tower, but he makes people strong.

3. God has a house, verse 4. When David was alive, many people had a *tent. This was a house made of animal skins. They could move the *tent from one place to another place. When someone asked you to come into their *tent, it meant that they would keep you safe in it. David thought that God had a very big *tent and that he would be safe in it. Because David says "forever" he means that God’s *tent is either in *heaven or heaven itself. The Hebrew Bible says, "I want to live in your forever house". It was the house or *tent; that would be *for ever. David wanted to be in it ….. forever!

4. God has *wings, verse 4. A bird has *wings; it flies with them. Also, it keeps its baby birds under them, to make them warm and safe.

God does not have *wings, but he does for people what a mother bird does for its babies. God keeps people safe.

In verse 5 David says that God has answered his *prayer. Some Bible students translate "the inheritance" as "the answer". "The inheritance" means the land of Israel, the Promised Land. "The people that are afraid of your name" are the people that serve God. Here it means David’s people. "Afraid of" is difficult to translate. It does not mean that they thought that God would hurt them, but that God was more powerful than they were. In English, we say that they were "in *awe" of God. If Psalm 61 is about David fighting the Syrians, then the *inheritance is the land that David got in the fight. If it is about Absalom wanting to be king, then the *inheritance is the land of Israel that David got back when Absalom died. An *inheritance is something that someone gives you. God gave David’s people the land that he had promised them. That is why we call it "The Promised Land".

5. Verses 6 and 7 make a *prayer that we can always pray for our leaders. It is important that our leaders have God’s "kind love and *truth". It will make them good leaders.

6. In verse 8 we do not know what David promised to do. Maybe he said, "If you give me help, God, I will always serve you".

Thinking about this Psalms 61:

A) Look for things where you live that help you to remember God. Look in Psalm 36 in this set for some ideas.

B) If you have a Bible read in:

2 Samuel 8 for the story of David in Syria

2 Samuel chapters 15 to 19 for the story of Absalom.

C) Pray for the leaders of your country that God will give them his kind love and Truth.

Reference: Word list

Awe ~ afraid of someone greater than you, but still loving them.

Forever (and ever) ~ always, with no end.

Harp ~ an instrument (thing) that makes music.

Heart ~ part of our body; the Jews thought that you used your *heart to think; so to know it "in your heart" or "by heart" means that you remember it.

Heaven ~ the home of God.

Higher ~ more than high.

Inherit ~ when someone that dies gives you something.

inheritance ~ what someone that dies gives to you.

like ~ another word for "as".

Praise ~ (noun, or being something) words that say that someone or something is very good.

Praise ~ (verb, or doing something) say that someone or something is excellent.

Praise God ~ say how great that God is.

Prayer ~ words that you say when you pray.

SELAH ~ a word often used in the psalms; we do not know what it means, probably stop and think, or pray, or make music.

Shelter ~ a cover from the wind, rain or danger.

Stringed instruments ~ for making music, *like the guitar and *harp and violin.

Tent ~ a small house made of animals’ skins.

Tower ~ a tall, safe building made of stone and wood.

Truth ~ words that are true.

Wings ~ what a bird uses to fly with.

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