David seeks God upon former experience. (1-4) He vows to serve God. (5-8)
Verses 1-4 David begins with prayers and tears, but ends with praise. Thus the soul, being lifted up to God, returns to the enjoyment of itself. Wherever we are, we have liberty to draw near to God, and may find a way open to the throne of grace. And that which separates us from other comforts, should drive us nearer to God, the fountain of all comfort. Though the heart is overwhelmed, yet it may be lifted up to God in prayer. Nay, I will cry unto thee, for by that means it will be supported and relieved. Weeping must quicken praying, and not deaden it. God's power and promise are a rock that is higher than we are. This rock is Christ. On the Divine mercy, as on a rock, David desired to rest his soul; but he was like a ship-wrecked sailor, exposed to the billows at the bottom of a rock too high for him to climb without help. David found that he could not be fixed on the Rock of salvation, unless the Lord placed him upon it. As there is safety in Him, and none in ourselves, let us pray to be led to and fixed upon Christ our Rock. The service of God shall be his constant work and business: all must make it so who expect to find God their shelter and strong tower. The grace of God shall be his constant comfort.
Verses 5-8 There is a people in the world that fear God's name. There is a heritage peculiar to that people; present comforts in the soul, earnests of future bliss. Those that fear God have enough in him, and must not complain. We need desire no better heritage than that of those who fear God. Those abide to good purpose in this world, who abide before God, serve him, and walk in his fear; those who do so, shall abide before him for ever. And these words are to be applied to Him of whom the angel said, the Lord shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and of his kingdom there shall be no end, ( Luke 1:32 ) . God's promises, and our faith in them, are not to do away, but to encourage prayer. We need not desire to be better secured than under the protection of God's mercy and truth. And if we partake of that grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ, we may praise him, whatever be our outward circumstances. But renewed experience of God's mercy and truth towards his people in Christ, is the main matter of our joy in him, and our praise unto him.
Psalms 61:1-8 . Neginah--or, Neginoth Separated from his usual spiritual privileges, perhaps by Absalom's rebellion, the Psalmist prays for divine aid, and, in view of past mercies, with great confidence of being heard.
1-3. From the end--that is, places remote from the sanctuary ( Deuteronomy 28:64 ).
2. heart is overwhelmed--literally, "covered over with darkness," or, "distress."
to the rock--( Psalms 18:2 , 40:2 ).
higher than I--which otherwise I cannot ascend.
3. shelter . . . and strong tower--repeat the same sentiment.
4. I will abide--So I desire to do (compare Psalms 23:6 ).
trust in the covert, &c.--make my refuge, in the shadow (compare Psalms 17:8 , 36:7 ).
5. the heritage--or, part in the spiritual blessings of Israel ( Psalms 21:2-4 ).
6, 7. the king--himself and his royal line ending in Christ. Mercy and truth personified, as in Psalms 40:11 , 57:3 .
7. abide before God--literally, "sit as a king in God's presence," under His protection.
8. Thus for new blessings will new vows of praise ever be paid.