Psalm 61 – Let Me Dwell In Your Tent Forever

Where do you go to feel safe? David's place of safety was in the presence of God. In Psalm 61 David prays to stay always in God's presence.


Psalm 61 is numerically complex. It is divided into two parts with the meaningful center being verse 5a

For You, O God, have heard my vows Psalm 61:5

The first section of the psalm is 29 words long and there are 29 words after the meaningful center. The number 29 is the numerical value of the Hebrew word for "I take refuge" found in verse 4. It is highly likely that David intended this word to be a structuring device because taking refuge in God seems to be a primary theme of the psalm.

Another interesting structural element is the fact that the word "God" is the center word in the psalm and the second of 3 occurrences of the word "God".

By use of these devices David reminds us that God is our refuge and the center of our hope and security.

Hear My Cry

Psalm 61:1-4

The psalm begins, like many of the psalms, with a cry for help. David is weary and needs a place of refuge.

Life has a way of wearing us down, but David knows exactly what to do when he is weary. He uses 5 different word pictures to paint a beautiful image of security in the midst of the storms of life.

  1. Rock (Psalm 61:2) - God is a solid unmovable rock where we can weather the storm.
  2. Refuge (Psalm 61:3) - God is a place of shelter in the storm where the trials of life cannot destroy us.
  3. Tower (Psalm 61:3) - God is a military tower where we can be safe from the attacks of the enemy.
  4. Tent (Psalm 61:4) - God invites us to His tent, His home, where we can dwell in His presence forever.
  5. Wings (Psalm 61:4) - God is a mother bird covering us with her wings so that nothing can harm us.

David knows that the safest place to be is in the presence of God.


God's Promise

Psalm 61:5-8

David is confident that God has heard his cry and now asks for God to bless him with long life in His presence. Some of the language appears to be hyperbole as David asks to be "enthroned forever". Yet we know that his descendant, Jesus, is now enthroned in God's presence. Although the language is typical royal hyperbole for David, it is reality for Jesus our Eternal King.

The psalm ends with a promise to never stop praising God.

So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day. Psalm 61:8


Where do you go to find relief from the storms of life? David tells us to go to God. He is our refuge and He is our place of safety.

In His presence we can find strength and join David in praising His name forever.

Jerry Wyrick

This post is part of a series on the Psalms.

by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory

Posted in General Worship, Psalms and tagged , , .