The Daily Office: Day 79- A Rock That Is Higher Than I
Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus
1 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. 5 For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
6 Increase the days of the king's life, his years for many generations. 7 May he be enthroned in God's presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.
8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.
David writes Psalm 61 during a time of exile and danger. Most Bible experts believe it is written during the time when he is fleeing from his treacherous son, Absalom. He feels as if he is as far away from home as one could possibly get. He is hiding in the "ends of the earth." He cries out to God to lead him from this place of exile to a rock that is "higher than he is."
God is always leading us up, to a higher place, from the location where we find ourselves. He leads us from a place of sorrow to one of joy. He lifts us from a place of confusion to a place of clarity. He brings us from a place of desperation to one of hope. He transports us from a place of bitterness to one of forgiveness, etc…
David's favorite metaphor for God is a rock. He probably first came up with this image as he fled from Saul and had to hide out in the mountains and find protection there. David was safest when he hid in the highest peak, hidden from the armies of Saul. God places us in those high rocks of safety where the enemy of our souls cannot find us. David was far away from the tabernacle, where the ark of the covenant was, and yet he could experience the presence of the Lord in these high places of safety.
Hundreds of years before, Moses was placed by God in a high place, in the cleft of a rock where he experiences the profound reality of God's manifest presence. Fanny Crosby, who was blind, writes of the believer's experience of being secure in that high place.
He Hideth My Soul
1. A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, A wonderful Savior to me; He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, Where rivers of pleasure I see.
- Refrain: He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, That shadows a dry, thirsty land; He hideth my life in the depths of His love, And covers me there with His hand, And covers me there with His hand.
2. A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, He taketh my burden away, He holdeth me up and I shall not be moved, He giveth me strength as my day.
3. With numberless blessings each moment He crowns, And filled with His fullness divine, I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God! For such a Redeemer as mine.
4. When clothed with His brightness transported I rise To meet Him in clouds of the sky, His perfect salvation, His wonderful love, I'll shout with the millions on high.
Think about your present condition and state of mine. Is there a "higher place" where you would like God to lead you? Ask Him to bring you to that high rock.
O Lord, I often feel as if my worries and fears are like the armies of Saul or Absalom sent to destroy me. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I so that I can experience your presence. Hide me in the depths of your love, for it is there that I am safe and joyful in your presence. Amen.