“A Wing And A Prayer” – One Year Bible Reading (Psalms/Proverbs) – March 18

Psalm 61:1-8    A Lament Psalm by David

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Psalm 61:1-8    A Wing And A Prayer

Psalm 61 is another lament psalm.  But it begins a collection of psalms centering on believers’ confidence in God, from Ps. 61-68.  It was probably written during the rebellion of David’s son, Absalom (cf. 2 Sam. 15—18).

Does David really think that God won’t hear him (v. 1)?  Why does he start so many of his poems by asking God to hear him?  I believe he is expressing his earnestness.  He really is getting serious with God.  If he had a New Testament, he’d know that God will hear the earnest prayer of a believer, like Elijah for example (cf. James 5:16-18).

There used to be a popular Christian group called The Second Chapter of Acts.  They sang a great song based on verse 2.  It’s called, appropriately, “Psalm 61” and it’s on their How The West Was One album.  Maybe you can still find it or download it.  It’s a great sentiment and good song.

David again affirms that God has been a person he can flee to for comfort and protection, He is a “tower” and a “refuge” (cf. Ps. 62:8).  David would like to move into God’s tent and live with Him (v. 4a).  We’ll get to do that someday!  It will probably be better than just some canvas though.

Isn’t it comforting to think of being under God’s wings (v. 4b)?  David had used wings imagery before in Psalm 55:6.  He would’ve liked Paul McCartney.

In the Old Testament, Jews could promise to do things for God as vows but they were not to be taken lightly (v. 5a, cf. Num. 30:2-3).

David knew that God would reward him for trusting Him (v. 5b).  Today we would call that salvation (cf. John 3:16).  David figured he wouldn’t be entering into eternity in his near future.  He believed God would prolong his life on earth (v. 6).  It is often the case that God will allow the righteous to live a long life though there are exceptions like heroes of the faith like Jim Elliot or Paul Little who died at too young of an age.

David believed he would rule for a long time.  The word “abide” in verse 7 means “to be enthroned.”  He mercifully asked for God’s hesed, His binding, covenantal “lovingkindness” (v. 7b).

David ends by stating his intent to sing praise to God throughout eternity (v. 8).  Some people think Heaven will be boring.  It will be more exciting than the writers of Scripture could convey on paper.

Some think we will all be playing harps all the time in Heaven.  Hey, what’s wrong with that?  I play guitar, bass, clarinet, and saxophone.  Not at the same time, though.  I would love to play the harp.  After all, it was alright for Harpo, wasn’t it?  I will have all eternity to learn the harp and lots of other instruments, if I want.

Wiersbe ends his commentary on this psalm with an illustration of alliteration, “[David] sings forth a song of salvation, a paean of praise, an opus of optimism. It is a song of sanguinity, a thesis of trust, and a work of wonder.”

David desires to pay his vow of praise every day to the Lord.  The writer of Hebrews said, “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” (cf. Heb. 13:15).  What a great promise to make!

And David made that promise while his life was being threatened.  What faith David had!  Wouldn’t you love to have the faith of David?  I would!

Proverbs 11:16-17   Sword Swallowers

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We tend to think of women as “gracious” (v 16).  Men can be “ruthless.”  If women are true to form, they are honored.   Violent men may obtain wealth but they won’t be honored.  See how Solomon did that there?    That kind of comparison really brings out the meaning.

In the same way, a kind and “merciful” man helps himself out by having a generous disposition (v. 17a).  But a cruel man draws cruelty against himself (v. 17b).  As Jesus once famously  said, ” . . . all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword” (Matt.  26:52).

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