Psalm 61:3
For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
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(3) A strong tower.—Comp. Proverbs 18:10.

61:1-4 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.For thou hast been a shelter for me - A place of refuge; a place where I have found safety. He refers here to what had occurred in former times. God had protected him when in danger, and he pleads that fact as a reason why God should now interpose and deliver him. That reason seems to be founded on two considerations:

(a) God had thus shown that he had power to deliver him; and

(b) it might be expected that God who is unchangeable, and who had interposed, would manifest the same traits of character still, and would not leave him now.

Both of these are proper grounds for prayer.

And strong tower from the enemy - See the notes at Psalm 18:2.

3. shelter … and strong tower—repeat the same sentiment. No text from Poole on this verse.

For thou hast been a shelter for me,.... Or "refuge" (y), from avenging justice; a hiding place and covert from the storms and tempests of divine wrath; a shadow and a screen from the heat of Satan's fiery darts, and the blast of his terrible temptations, Isaiah 25:4;

and a strong tower from the enemy: from Satan the devouring lion, from furious persecutors, and every other enemy; see Proverbs 18:10; and this experience the psalmist had of protection from the Rock in former times made him desirous of being led to it now.

(y) "asylum", Tigurine version, Vatablus; "perfagium", Cocceius; "refugium", Michaelis.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
3. For thou hast been a refuge for me,

A strong tower from the enemy (R.V.).

He appeals to past experience. “In Thee have I taken refuge” is the constant cry with which faith approaches God (Psalm 7:1; Psalm 11:1; Psalm 16:1; Psalm 31:1; Psalm 57:1; Psalm 71:1; &c.). In Psalm 18:2 David addresses God as “my Rock in whom I take refuge.” We may see from Jdg 9:51 what ‘a strong tower’ meant literally: for the metaphor cp. Proverbs 18:10.

Verse 3. - For thou hast been a Shelter for me. In the past thou hast often been my "Shelter" or my "Refuge" (comp. Psalm 18:2; Psalm 44:7, 11; Psalm 48:3, etc.); be so once more. And a strong Tower. A migdal - a fortress, like the great fortress of the south (Exodus 14:2) - the Magdolus of Herodotus (2:149). From the enemy. If the psalm is David's, "the enemy" is probably Absalom. Psalm 61:3Hurled out of the land of the Lord in the more limited sense

(Note: Just as in Numbers 32:29. the country east of Jordan is excluded from the name "the land of Canaan" in the stricter sense, so by the Jewish mind it was regarded from the earliest time to a certain extent as a foreign country (חוצה לארץ), although inhabited by the two tribes and a half; so that not only is it said of Moses that he died in a foreign land, but even of Saul that he is buried in a foreign land (Numeri Rabba, ch. viii. and elsewhere).)

into the country on the other side of the Jordan, David felt only as though he were banished to the extreme corner of the earth (not: of the land, cf. Psalm 46:10; Deuteronomy 28:49, and frequently), far from the presence of God (Hengstenberg). It is the feeling of homelessness and of separation from the abode of God by reason of which the distance, in itself so insignificant (just as was the case with the exiles later on), became to him immeasurably great. For he still continually needed God's helpful intervention; the enveloping, the veiling, the faintness of his heart still continues (עטף, Arab. ‛tf, according to its radical signification: to bend and lay anything round so that it lies or draws over something else and covers it, here of a self-enveloping); a rock of difficulties still ever lies before him which is too high for his natural strength, for his human ability, therefore insurmountable. But he is of good courage: God will lead him up with a sure step, so that, removed from all danger, he will have rocky ground under his feet. He is of good courage, for God has already proved Himself to be a place of refuge to him, to be a strong tower, defying all attack, which enclosed him, the persecuted one, so that the enemy can gain no advantage over him (cf. Proverbs 18:10). He is already on the way towards his own country, and in fact his most dearly loved and proper home: he will or he has to (in accordance with the will of God) dwell (cf. the cohortative in Isaiah 38:10; Jeremiah 4:21) in God's tabernacle (vid., on Psalm 15:1) throughout aeons (an utterance which reminds one of the synchronous Psalm 23:6). With גּוּר is combined the idea of the divine protection (cf. Arabic ǵâr ollah, the charge or proteg of God, and Beduinic ǵaur, the protecting hearth; ǵawir, according to its form equals גּר, one who flees for refuge to the hearth). A bold figure of this protection follows: he has to, or will trust, i.e., find refuge, beneath the protection of God's wings. During the time the tabernacle was still being moved from place to place we hear no such mention of dwelling in God's tabernacle or house. It was David who coined this expression for loving fellowship with the God of revelation, simultaneously with his preparation of a settled dwelling-place for the sacred Ark. In the Psalms that belong to the time of his persecution by Saul such an expression is not yet to be found; for in Psalm 52:7, when it is desired that Doeg may have the opposite of an eternal dwelling-place, it is not the sacred tent that is meant. We see also from its second part that this Psalm 61:1-8 does not belong to the time of Saul; for David does not speak here as one who has drawn very near to his kingly office (cf. Psalm 40:8), but as one who is entering upon a new stage in it.

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