I’ve wondered a lot about the circumstances surrounding Psalm 61. The heading says it is “of David,” but when? The psalm begins with a plea to God on behalf of the psalmist, and ends with a plea for the king. Perhaps, in the prayer for the king, David is prays for himself in the third person – but that seems a bit strange.
Perhaps this was a prayer of David before he became king, a prayer uttered under Saul’s monarchy. If so, was it before Saul turned against him, or after? While it strains the imagination to believe it would be after, such a view adds more meaning to the prayer. David would be praying for the welfare of his enemy.
Here’s what we can know: the writer calls to God “from the ends of the earth.” This is a frequent phrase in the Old Testament referring to the land of the gentiles – or boarders beyond Israel. And so, what we know, is that an alienated child of God understands that his Lord is not bound by politics or geography, but can call upon the Lord wherever the psalmist finds himself. In days gone by, David has done this and God has always been there. David expects that will continue to be true and that his relationship with God will continue “day after day.”