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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 61

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book PsalmsScott on the Psalms

Verses 1-8

Psalms 61:1-8

V. 1, 2. This psalm seems to have been composed, when David was driven by Absalom’s rebellion, like an exile, beyond Jordan, to the extremities of the promised land, and far from the sanctuary of God.

(Notes, Psalms 12:1-3; Psalms 42:1-8; Psalms 63:1-4. 2 Samuel 15:13-16; 2 Samuel 15:23-30.) His heart was overwhelmed with complicated distresses, as by an inundation. The divine mercy, support, and protection formed the rock, on which he desired to rest his soul, out of the reach of the tempestuous waves, which dashed and raged below : yet he was like the ship- wrecked mariner, who is exposed to the raging billows, from which he would be secured, if he could reach the summit of a rock that is close to him ; but it is far too high for him to climb it without help. Thus David found, that he could not by faith and hope ascend the " Rock of " salvation," and be established on it, unless the Lord led him to it and helped him to ascend it, and to stand firm upon it. (Marg. Ref. Note, Psalms 40:1-5.)

V. 3. Nothing doth more strengthen our faith, than ’ the remembrance of God’s succour in times past.

(Marg. Ref. Notes, Psalms 3:3-5; Psalms 71:17-18. Psalms 116:2. 1 Samuel 7:12; 1 Samuel 17:34-37. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11.)

V. 4, 5. The Psalmist, though now driven away from the courts of God, rested assured that he should be restored again to them, and perpetually enjoy the comfort and benefit of public ordinances : (Note, Psalms 27:4-6:) but he seems also to have looked through the shadow of the earthly sanctuary, to " the holy places not made with " hands," and to have exulted in hope of the eternal felicity of heaven ; as now abiding under the covert of the Almighty, and being " kept by his power through faith " unto salvation." For it can hardly be supposed, that he meant his temporal authority, which was given to him alone, by that " heritage of those that fear the name of " God," which had been given him in common with other pious persons, in answer to his earnest prayers and solemn vows.

For ever. (4) For ages This must imply far .more, than the one age, which David lived on earth, and which at the time when this was written was drawing near to a close. (Notes, Psalms 145:1-2. Psalms 146:2.) Wings.] (Marg. Ref. Note, Ruth 2:11-12.) ’Wings of the cherubim,’ say some. These indeed covered the mercyseat. (Notes, Exodus 25:10-21.) But they were placed in the holy of holies, and inaccessible to the worshippers, and were emblems of the angels looking into the mysteries of redemption, and joining in the worship of the redeemed.

(Notes, 1 Peter 1:10-12. Revelation 5:11-14.)

V. 6, 7 David might here mean himself as king of Israel : though apparently deposed, he trusted, that he should yet live, and reign over the people of God, for some time to come; and his kingdom would be continued in his posterity to future generations, according as God had mercifully promised, and would faithfully perform. But the King Messiah, as descending from him, who was to reign for ever over the house of Israel, and by whom the mercy and truth prepared for sinful men was to be conferred, seems to have been especially intended. (Note, John 1:17.) Whatever became of David’s personal interests, he rejoiced in the prospect of the Messiah’s kingdom ; and prayed for the faithful performance of God’s gracious promises, which form the stability of his mediatorial throne. ’ The Chaldee paraphrast expounds ’ this passage of Messiah only ; ’ Thou shall add days to ’ the days of King Messias ; his years shall be as the generation of this world, and of the world to come.’ ’ Bp. Home.

V. 8. Marg. Ref .Note, Psalms 66:13-16.


When removed from other comforts, we should more earnestly seek consolation from God ; and when cares, fears, sorrows, or temotations, like a wild deluge, overwhelm our hearts, our cries unto him should be more fervent than ever. No outward situation can exclude us from communion with God through Jesus Christ ; but without divine assistance, we can neither climb, nor take shelter in, that Rock of salvation : when therefore we perceive that there is safety in him and none in ourselves, we should pray fervently for the Holy Spirit of promise, that we may by his gracious teaching and assistance, " believe to the " saving of our souls." As genuine experience is acquired, encouragement will abound : for we shall more readily trust in the covert of his wings, when he has been hereto* fore " a Shelter for us, and a strong Tower from our enemies." When we have the opportunity we should keep close to the ordinances of God : and we should remember, that he hears our vows, and witnesses our pious desires, intentions, and engagements ; and therefore we should daily perform them. If he have given us the goodly " heritage of those that fear his name," (Note, Psalms 106:4-5,) we shall have enough : our anointed King is alive for evermore ; and all his true subjects shall live by him and with him, and thus " abide before God for ever." Being made partakers of that grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ, we may rejoice and sing praise unto him, whatever be our outward circumstances : and while, according to our engagements, we are daily employed in his pleasant service, we may cheerfully hope to sing praises to him for ever and ever.

Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 61". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsp/psalms-61.html. 1804.
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