Psalm 61

How much does stable government add to our lives? Psalm 61 yearns for an enduring Kingship so as to have access to God’s holy place and to sing God’s praises. This too raises the question, what is the ultimate goal during a period of peace? This is a Psalm grounded in the hope of enduring, national renewal.

Psalm 61 does not identify a moment in Biblical time when the Psalmist sang these elegantly-woven verses. Psalms were collected long after King David’s life. Classical commentators tend to ascribe the words to David, but differ as to the moment of this composition: fleeing from King Saul; fleeing from his son, Absalom; in the midst of battle with Aram, which may have included Petra. Others read the Psalm as Messianic, relating to an Israel in exile praying for renewed Jewish sovereignty or even the World to Come. Last, the speaker may well be an Israelite looking back on David’s life with the prayer for a God-fearing Royal, grounded in kindness and truth, to rule again.