Psalm 61 – Tower God

Bible opened to Psalm 61 with Green and Black's Organic Mint Dark Chocolate on zebra plate

Today’s passage: Psalm 61

Today’s chocolateGreen & Black’s Organic Mint Dark Chocolate

You know, I could swear David has described God as a tower before.

But no: the Hebrew word for “tower,” migdal, only appears twice in the Psalms. We’ve seen it once before in Psalm 48, which says, “Walk about Zion and go around her; count her towers” (48:12). That’s not a metaphor for God! Those are the literal towers of an actual physical location! And Psalm 48 isn’t even by David; it’s a psalm of the sons of Korah! And like me, you might think that the well-known verse “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe” is from the Psalms, but like me, you would be mistaken. It’s Proverbs 18:10.

So I was wrong. The tower is not one of David’s favorite metaphors for God. In fact, in Psalm 18:2, David describes God as just about every defensive fortification except a tower: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” It’s almost as if he’s gone out of his way not to say, “The Lord is a tower,” just to prove me wrong.

Psalm 61, today’s passage, is the only place in the psalms where the word “tower” is used to describe God. David writes: “For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy” (3). The psalm is about David’s reliance on God to protect him from enemies without, but frankly, I need protection from error within. As we’ve seen today, I am all too prone to error when left to my own devices. Nearing the psalm’s conclusion, David prays to God, “Appoint lovingkindness and truth that they may preserve [the king]” (7). I’ve gotta admit: I need God’s lovingkindness and truth to preserve me too.

Question of the Day: Have you ever been appallingly incorrect about the Bible? How did you come to see your error?

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4 thoughts on “Psalm 61 – Tower God

    1. Thanks! The prophets are hard for me to understand in particular, so I hesitate to form opinions on them at all unless the text is very clear on what it intends to communicate. Sometimes it’s super-easy to be wrong.

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  1. I am 69 years old and have been “in” the Bible since beginning a relationship with God at 17. I have been ignorant and wrong too many times to list. The solution for me is to stay “in” the Bible and to stay connected to God. Being right about the Bible is not an end in itself; connecting with the Creator is… to which the Bible helps lead us.

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    1. It’s true. The Bible isn’t a textbook–and even if it were, even a textbook is intended to communicate things. God wants to communicate to us through the Bible. And I suppose there are things God wants to communicate through textbooks, too, insofar as he permits them to exist in this world and allows us to come across them sometimes, but I doubt you’ll ever find a blog called “Chocolate Textbook.” :)

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