To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David.
1 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. 4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. 5 For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name. 6 Thou wilt prolong the king’s life: and his years as many generations. 7 He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him. 8 So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.
What a beautiful Psalm to meditate on this morning! When life throws its arrows at me, I can run to the One who can give me shelter. When ole slew foot is roaring like a hungry lion trying to devour me, I can run to the One who can hide me under His wings! Joy, oh joy! There is nothing too great for me to experience because my Shepherd will not allow me to be given more than I can handle.
David knew how to start his day, didn’t he? God’s people used this Psalm as a morning prayer. It was sung at matins. I am to prepare myself for the day first thing in the morning – to give the Lord my first moments – to give Him of my first fruits of the day. This particular Psalm is a motivational one to me. No matter how dark my life is at the moment, this Psalm picks me up! Like David, when my heart is overwhelmed, the Lord will lift me up and put me in His refuge.
There are five beautiful refuges listed in our Psalm today:
- Rock – David cried and begged the Lord to lead him to the rock “that is higher than I.” God’s children are able to claim this wonderful place. I have stood at the top of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and looked upon the valley below. I felt as though nothing could harm me there. I was able to overcome anything when the Lord gave me these mountain top experiences. I don’t have to be on a mountain top to experience this. All I have to do is open God’s Word and the Holy Spirit places me there.
Habakkuk 3:19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.
It is the Lord who gives us strength in time of need – it is He who can keep our feet on solid ground. The Lord, Jesus Christ is our Rock (1 Cor. 10:4). Our feet will not stumble on the Rock of our salvation!
- Shelter – This word is only used twice in Scriptures. First in Job 24:8 and again in today’s Psalm. Both times, it refers to a rock being used as a shelter. One can have a lean-too as a shelter but that would provide only partial shelter. A rock, however, is solid and can withstand the strongest winds. It’s solid and the rain can’t permeate it. Our Shelter, Jesus Christ, does not provide only a partial shelter for me but a complete one – a solid one – one that cannot be shaken. My salvation through Jesus Christ provides me with a complete shelter and cannot be shaken by anyone.
- Strong Tower – People of old would run to the top of the strong tower when they were attacked by their enemies. It is here that they found a haven. The term “strong tower” is only used three times in the Word. Once in Judges 9:51 where people used the strong tower for protection. The other two times in reference to the Lord (Psalm 61:3 and Proverbs 18:10).
~Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD [is] a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
As a child of the King, I can turn to my Heavenly Father and speak His name in desperation and He will be my strong tower and will keep me safe. It amazes me how I can go to bed fearing certain events but yet I know that all things will work out according to His plan! I do not have to fear because my God never sleeps. He is in complete control!
- Tabernacle – This word means a dwelling place, habitation. God’s chosen people built a tabernacle where God dwelt with them in the wilderness. But I do not have a tabernacle made with hands. I can dwell with my God at all times because at salvation, His Holy Spirit began his habitation within me. Praise the Lord that I do not need to go to a specific place to dwell with God. He is with me at all times!
- Covert – I love this word. I love how David considers being covered by God’s wings as a place of refuge. Just as a mother hen covers her chicks from harm’s way under her wings, so does our Lord. The term “thy wings” is used five times in Scriptures. Five is the Bible number for grace! What grace is shown to God’s children, Amen? I can run for cover under His wings at any time!
Five places of refuge are given to the believer in today’s Psalm. As I said above, five is the Bible number for grace. What grace God has bestowed upon us to provide us with five different places of refuge! We don’t have just one place of refuge – we have five. We have God’s complete grace in our lives! We have His complete love and mercy!
Is it any wonder why David said, “Selah” at the end of verse 4? He wanted me to stop and take a rest here to think on what I just read! Praise the Lord!