The evil ones (Ps 62:3-62:4)

“How long will you assail a person?

How long will you batter your victim?

All of you!

You are like a leaning wall!

You are like a tottering fence!

They only plan

To bring down a person of prominence.

They take pleasure in falsehood.

They bless with their mouths,

But inwardly they curse.”

Selah

David addressed the evil ones directly, all of you. He wanted to know how long would they assail people and batter their victims. They were like a leaning wall or a tottering fence. They only wanted to bring down the important people. They actually enjoyed lies. They blessed with their mouths but were inwardly cursing. This section ends with a musical interlude meditative pause, a Selah.

Sing to God (Ps 61:8-61:8)

“So I will always sing praises

To your name.

As I pay my vows

Day after day.”

This psalm ends with a song and a vow. David or the psalmist had vowed to daily sing the praises of God, not an uncommon vow.

God save the king (Ps 61:5-61:7)

“You!

O God!

Have heard my vows!

You have given me the heritage

Of those who fear your name.

Prolong the life of the king!

May his years endure to all generations!

May he be enthroned forever before God!

Appoint steadfast love

Appoint faithfulness

To watch over him.”

The psalmist or David said that God had heard his vows. He had a great heritage because he too feared God. However, he wanted the life of the king to be prolonged. If this was David, he was asking for his own life to be continued. The king would bring safety to all. The king should have steadfast love and faithfulness. Long live the king! This does not seem like the exile when there was not a king. Perhaps it was a longing for a king that was no more.

God provides shelter (Ps 61:2-61:4)

“Lead me to the rock

That is higher than I.

You are my refuge.

You are a strong tower

Against the enemy.

Let me live in your tent forever!

Let me find refuge

Under the shelter of your wings!”

Selah

David wanted to be led to a high rock. God was his refuge like a strong tower against his enemies. He wanted to live forever in the tent of God. He wanted to find refuge in a shelter under the wings of God. This idea of the wings of God as shelter is quite common. The reference to a tent is probably a reference to the temple which is far away. This section ends with a musical interlude meditative pause, a Selah.

Cry for help (Ps 61:1-61:2)

To the choirmaster leader, with stringed instruments, a psalm of David

“Hear my cry!

O God!

Listen to my prayer!

From the end of the earth

I call to you,

When my heart is faint.”

Psalm 61 is a simple choral psalm of David that used stringed instruments. The psalmist or David wants God to hear his cry. He wanted God to listen to his prayer, like the usual plea. However, he speaks from the ends of the earth, as if he were in exile. He calls to God, not Yahweh, when his heart is faint.