Our reading today begins with Psalm 61. It is really two prayers ending with commitments by David to keep his vows (61:5, 8). He begins with a petition for God to hear him (v. 1) in all places and at all times (v. 2). And his prayer is that God would lead him “to the rock that is higher than I” (v. 2). This is the king praying to be led to the King, his greater Son that God promised. He prays God would do this as his refuge Who preserves him (v. 3). David equates being led to the rock with being in God’s preserving presence (v. 4). David then appeals to the vows he has made (v. 5). This is his promise of faith, which itself is a gift of God who has given David “the heritage of those who fear Your name.”
David then prays for God to prolong the life of the king (v. 6). But this is not a prayer about himself. This is the King, the Rock that is higher than he. This is evident from his prayer that the life of the King would endure to all generations. The prayer for Him to be enthroned forever is a direct reference to the Davidic Covenant (v. 7). He prays for God’s hesed love and faithfulness to keep Him. It is this faithfulness of God that is the basis for David’s vow of faith (v. 8).
Psalm 65 is a hymn of praise to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is also the Savior of men. David begins by praising God as Savior. Vows of faith are due to Him (65:1). Verse 3 is an overt assertion of the need for God to atone for our sin. When – not if, when – sin prevails against us, it is only God Who can atone for our sins. Verse 4 speaks of the divine prerogative in salvation. It is those God chooses to bring near to Himself that can be in His presence because of the atonement He provides. And God’s presence is all we need. Verse 5 literally says “with awesomeness and righteousness you answer.” The righteousness God responds to us with is why He is God of our salvation, and the only Savior there is.
David now turns to God as Creator and Sustainer. The God Who was at the beginning is the God Who sustains His creation. He established the mountains (v. 6), and commands the seas and the people of the earth (v.7). Verse 8 points to the creation revealing God. God makes it rain (v. 9) which is a reminder of His presence. With the rain, God waters the plants of the earth causing them to grow in their seasons (vv. 10-12). The flora and fauna of God’s creation are sustained by His grace, and show forth His glory (v. 13).
Psalm 86 is a prayer that centers on verse 11. David wants to be taught by God to obey and fear Him, and he surrounds this prayer with repeating prayers. In verses 8-10, David says the nations will glorify God’s name because He is Creator. In verses 12 and 13, David says he will glorify God’s name because He is Savior. His hesed love has saved David. In verse 7, David says God helps him in times of trouble, and in verse 14, David prays to God for help in a time of trouble. In verses 5-6, David praises God for His forgiveness and hesed love, and in verse 15, praises His grace, mercy, and hesed love. In verses 1-4, David twice identifies himself as a servant of God and prays for grace, and in verses 16 prays for grace as a servant of God. He ends the Psalm with a prayer for God’s favor, and a declaration that He is David’s Helper and Comforter.