Psalm 61:3
For you have 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. The third strophe reverts to prayer; but the prayer now breathes more freely with a self-conscious courage for the strife. The fortified city (עיר מצור) is not Rabbath Ammon; but, as becomes evident from the parallel member of the verse and 2 Kings 14:7, the Idumaean chief city of Sela' (סלע) or Petra (vid., Knobel on Genesis 36:42, cf. Psalm 31:22; 2 Chronicles 8:5; 2 Chronicles 11:5 together with Psalm 14:5). The wish: who will conduct me equals Oh that one would conduct me (Ges. 136, 1)! expresses a martial desire, joyful at the prospect of victory; concerning מי נחני, quis perduxerit me, vid., on Psalm 11:3. What follows is not now to be rendered: Not Thou (who but Thou), Elohim, who...(Hitzig) - for in order to have been understood thus and not as in Psalm 60:3, Psalm 44:10, the poet could not have omitted אשׁר - on the contrary, the interrogatory הלא is the foundation on which the supplicatory הבה is raised. The king of Israel is hard pressed in the battle, but he knows that victory comes from above, from the God who has hitherto in anger refused it to His people, inasmuch as He has given power to Edom to break through the defensive forces of Israel (vid., Psalm 44:10). עזרת (not עזרת equals עזרה) is, as in Psalm 108:13, equivalent to עזרתה. The view that it is equal to עזרתי, the suffix being cast away, is not confirmed in this instance, vid., on Psalm 16:6, cf. Psalm 3:3. How vain is human succour, has been seen only very recently in the case of the kings of Zobah and Ammon, who have succumbed in spite of their confederates. Israel prays for its victorious power from above, and also obtains it thence, as is most confidently expressed in v. 14. עשׂה חיל, to do valiantly, to show valour, is equivalent to: to be victorious, as in Psalm 118:16. In God does Israel conquer, and God, who is in Israel, will by means of Israel tread down Edom in accordance with its deserts.
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