Psa. 61:4 I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.
There is nothing worse than to be cut off from the presence of God. That’s what this Psalm is about, King David had been exiled, not only had he lost his throne, he was cut off from the house of God. He had been replaced by his son Absalom. If the betrayal wasn’t bad enough, David had lost access to the place of his presence. The tabernacle was the place of the manifest presence of God. To David, this was a death sentence. The situation brings to mind one of David’s other songs, “One thing have I desired of the Lord and that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord”.
Once someone has experienced the glory of the Lord, to lose access to His presence is not an option. David was crying out to God from what he called the ends of the earth, he was crying out not for his throne but to be restored to the house of God. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on today’s verse.
“He who communes with God is always at home. The divine omnipresence surrounds such a one consciously; his faith sees all around him the palace of the King, in which he walks with exulting security and overflowing delight. Happy are the indoor servants who go not out from his presence. The best of all is that our residence with God is not for a limited period of time, but for ages; yea, for ages of ages, for time and for eternity: this is our highest and most heavenly privilege, I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever. I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Often does our sweet singer use this figure; and far better is it to repeat one apt and instructive image, than for the sake of novelty to ransack creation for poor, strained metaphors. The chicks beneath the hen how safe, how comfortable, how happy! How warm the parent’s bosom! How soft the cherishing feathers! Divine condescension allows us to appropriate the picture to ourselves, and how blessedly instructive and consoling it is! O for more trust; it cannot be too implicit: such a covert invites us to the most unbroken repose.”
For us today, the place of his glory is the local church. This is the place where the glory dwells. If you love His presence, you understand David’s desperation. If you go to a church that welcomes and experiences His glory, you too can not stand to be separated from that blessing. If necessary, you also will cry out from the ends of the earth.