Scripture Sunday: Psalm 61:2

I’m doing something a little different now with Scripture Sunday. I have selected a verse, and instead of just giving you an interpretation, I’m going to share the verse and what I learned about that verse through commentary. This week’s verse is Psalm 61:2.

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“From the end of the Earth will I cry to you, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

The writer of this Psalm is unknown, but widely believed to be David. If the Psalter is in fact David, then this verse was a prayer written during a time of exile and fear. It is thought that David composed this Psalm during his flight from Absolom.

Psalm 61:2 is a prayer to God. The Psalter begins the prayer with tears, but ends it with praise. Let’s break it down into parts and discuss it.

“from the end of the Earth will I cry to you:” The Psalter, likely David, had been driven away from the lands he knew by the violence of his enemies. It is believed he felt death was near and the “end of the earth” refers to the end of his life here on earth. The writer believed he had one foot in the grave, so to speak.

“when my heart is overwhelmed:” here the Psalter speaks about a heavy sadness or fear enveloping his heart. Bible scholars liken this to a garment like a mourning cloak wrapping around a sad heart. The writer is saying we can draw near to the throne of grace no matter where we are. We can lift ourselves in prayer to God when we’re fearful, alone, distressed or overwhelmed.

“lead me to the rock that is higher than I:” Literally, lead me to the rock that is too high for me to climb by myself and place me there. The rock in which the Psalter speaks is an elevated symbol of security that can’t be obtained without Divine help. Christ is the rock of our salvation and we are only truly safe within Him.

Psalm 61 is a prayer to God, but it’s also a vow to praise God. The writer desired to rest his soul on the rock of Divine mercy, but he couldn’t reach that rock by himself- he needed the Lord’s help. The Psalter was asking God to be restored in His presence.

When we feel overwhelmed or bogged down, let’s remember to ask God to restore us to His presence, and place us upon his rock of Divine mercies.

Are you feeling overwhelmed today? Lay it at his feet.

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