More Moments About Psalms 61-62

Kellye Schiffner Carver

David describes God as a rock, fortress and refuge, which is a theme continued from Psalm 61. (Psalm 61:2-3; 62:2, 6-7) Remember, David was no stranger to rocks and fortresses during his life. Although he was a warrior king walking the halls of palaces and the lines of battlefields, he also spent time sheltered in caves hiding from his enemies. Digging into the Hebrew enriches our understanding of these powerful images.

The Hebrew word for rock is tsur, which literally means a rock or cliff. This is the same word used in Exodus when God commanded Moses to strike a rock with his staff to produce water. (Exodus 17:5-6) The Hebrew word for "fortress" (or "stronghold" or "high tower" in some translations) is misgab, which means "a secure height, retreat, stronghold."

We see similar uses in other psalms and in 2 Samuel 22:2-3, where David sings, "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence." Finally, the Hebrew word for refuge, "machaseh" or "machseh," means shelter. Several of the prophets use this word to describe God in Isaiah 25:4, Jeremiah 17:17 and Joel 3:16. With God as His stronghold, David affirms he will not be shaken or moved.

Major Moment: Psalm 61: The Lord can be trusted and is worthy of obedience. Psalm 62: For God alone we wait.

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