It’s a low point in life when your children rebel against you. I’m not talking about disobedience familiar to all young children but the hate of an adult child out to cause you great harm and pain. David faced this when his son Absalom started a revolt against him, “stealing the hearts of the Israelites” (2 Samuel 15:6) and leading them into battle against his father. David fled Absalom’s attack, “weeping as he went” (2 Samuel 15:30). David would eventually weep and mourn over Absalom’s death in battle at the hands of Joab (2 Samuel 18:14-15, 33). While David was on the run from his son, he likely wrote Psalm 61 in distress and worship to the Lord.
Like David had done many times before, he asked the Lord to hear his cry and prayer (v. 1). His heart was heavy, perhaps heavier than it had ever been, with anguish over his son’s rebellion. It felt like he was at “the ends of the earth” (v. 2), a million miles from home and the Lord. David was troubled and deeply wounded. The Lord can only heal our deepest wounds. David felt like he was in a pit of despair as he wrote the words many after him have cried out as well, “Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I” (v. 2c). When we are at our lowest point, we can call out the Lord, and He will lift us to where He is as He never faints or grows weary. David recalled all the times in the past the Lord had been his refuge and strength (vv. 3-5). We must remember how good God has been to us in our hopelessness. David desperately needed the Lord to give him shelter, refuge, and strength once again.
David desired his throne and kingdom to be sustained not only for his life for the future of Israel (v. 6). Perhaps he is praying for God to spare his son Absalom and make him a possible successor to the throne the right way instead of anointing himself as king (2 Samuel 15:7-12). We must pray for our kids, especially when they rebel and are away from the Lord and us. David was also concerned about his dynasty because he wanted to live and reign as king for the Lord a long time and see Israel worship Him, not be turned away from Him through the rebellion of his son Absalom. David trusted the Lord would protect him through His love and faithfulness (v. 7). David started his psalm with a cry of distress but ended it with a song of praise (v. 8).
- In your distress, do you trust the Lord’s love and faithfulness enough to sing praises to Him?
- When you are at your lowest, do you reach up to the “Rock that is higher”?
- Are you spending time weeping over your children in prayer to the Lord?
Lord, help me trust You even when those to me betray me. Help me pray earnestly for my children. You are the Rock that is higher than I. Your love and faithfulness have sustained and protected me before, and You will do it once again. May I not get stuck in fear and worry. May I worship through my sorrow and pain. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.