Psalm 61: Hear My Cry
March 14, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Perhaps you need help today? One biographer of Winston Churchill said that he could imagine Churchill preaching, but he could not imagine him praying. There is something about the act of prayer that for many practically minded, successful people appears to be degrading and abasing—groveling even. We can take succor from such illusions of our own self-sufficiency until we find that we are facing a problem too big for us to handle.
There are no, or very few, atheists in an airplane as it crashes. Few, if any, would not pray then. It is then of extraordinary relevance to such practically minded, successful people to read these psalm-prayers of David (like this one in Psalm 61) and realize that they were written by David. That is a warrior; that is a king; that is a rock star musician. This is someone who in terms of the world’s eyes had achieved the impossible. Youngest child, simple shepherd boy, he took on Goliath (literally) and won. But how did he achieve these victories of his?
“You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied… all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”(1 Samuel 17:45, 47).
Over and over again, David proved the lesson of this truth: God, as he puts it here in this psalm, is the “higher rock” (61:2). So when David is “faint,” when it feels like he is calling to God “from the ends of the earth” (a powerful equivalent to our common metaphor of feeling like our prayers “bounce off the ceiling”), he prays that he would be led to the “rock that is higher than I,” his “refuge,” his “strong tower against the enemy” (61:2-3). God has “heard his vows” (61:5), and he promises that David will continue to “perform his vows day after day” (61:8). He knows that he will have “the heritage of those who fear your name” (61:5).
David is saying that he has trusted God, he has given his life to God, and therefore—from a New Testament perspective—in the name of King Jesus, this king David comes to God and asks for help. Perhaps you need help today? Would you put to one side any self-sufficient reliance on your own resources, swallow your pride, and ask God to “hear your cry” (61:1)?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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