The Lord is my rock -
2. I stand on him as my foundation, and derive every good from him who is the source of good. The word סלע sela signifies those craggy precipices which afford shelter to men and wild animals; where the bees often made their nests, and whence honey was collected in great abundance. "He made him to suck honey out of the rock," Deuteronomy 32:13.
3. He was his fortress; a place of strength and safety, fortified by nature and art, where he could be safe from his enemies. He refers to those inaccessible heights in the rocky, mountainous country of Judea, where he had often found refuge from the pursuit of Saul. What these have been to my body, such has the Lord been to my soul.
4. מפלתי mephalleti, he who causes me to escape. This refers to his preservation in straits and difficulties. He was often almost surrounded and taken, but still the Lord made a way for his escape - made a way out as his enemies got in; so that, while they got in at one side of his strong hold, he got out of the other, and so escaped with his life. These escapes were so narrow and so unlikely that he plainly saw the hand of the Lord was in them.
5. My God, ,doG אלי Eli, my strong God, not only the object of my adoration, but he who puts strength in my soul.
6. My strength, צורי tsuri . This is a different word from that in the first verse.
Rabbi Maimon has observed that צור tsur, when applied to God, signifies fountain, source, origin, etc. God is not only the source whence my being was derived, but he is the fountain whence I derive all my good; in whom, says David, I will trust. And why? Because he knew him to be an eternal and inexhaustible fountain of goodness. This fine idea is lost in our translation; for we render two Hebrew words of widely different meaning, by the same term in English, strength.
7. My buckler, מגני maginni, my shield, my defender, he who covers my head and my heart, so that I am neither slain nor wounded by the darts of my adversaries.
8. Horn of my salvation. Horn was the emblem of power, and power in exercise. This has been already explained; see on 1 Samuel 2:1; (note). The horn of salvation means a powerful, an efficient salvation.
9. My high tourer; not only a place of defense, but one from which I can discern the country round about, and always be able to discover danger before it approaches me.
The Lord is my rock - The idea in this expression, and in the subsequent parts of the description, is that he owed his safety entirely to God. He had been unto him as a rock, a tower, a buckler, etc. - that is, he had derived from God the protection which a rock, a tower, a citadel, a buckler furnished to those who depended on them, or which they were designed to secure. The word “rock” here has reference to the fact that in times of danger a lofty rock would be sought as a place of safety, or that men would fly to it to escape from their enemies. Such rocks abound in Palestine; and by the fact that they are elevated and difficult of access, or by the fact that those who fled to them could find shelter behind their projecting crags, or by the fact that they could find security in their deep and dark caverns, they became places of refuge in times of danger; and protection was often found there when it could not be found in the plains below. Compare Judges 6:2; Psalm 27:5; Psalm 61:2. Also, Josephus, Ant., b. xiv., ch. xv.
And my fortress - He has been to me as a fortress. The word fortress means a place of defense, a place so strengthened that an enemy could not approach it, or where one would be safe. Such fortresses were often constructed on the rocks or on hills, where those who fled there would be doubly safe. Compare Job 39:28. See also the notes at Isaiah 33:16.
And my deliverer - Delivering or rescuing me from my enemies.
My God - Who hast been to me a God; that is, in whom I have found all that is implied in the idea of “God” - a Protector, Helper, Friend, Father, Saviour. The notion or idea of a “God” is different from all other ideas, and David had found, as the Christian now does, all that is implied in that idea, in Yahweh, the living God.
My strength - Margin, “My rock” So the Hebrew, although the Hebrew word is different from that which is used in the former part of the verse. Both words denote that God was a refuge or protection, as a rock or crag is to one in danger (compare Deuteronomy 32:37), though the exact difference between the words may not be obvious.
In whom I will trust - That is, I have found him to be such a refuge that I could trust in him, and in view of the past I will confide in him always.
My buckler - The word used here is the same which occurs in Psalm 3:3, where it is translated “shield.” See the notes at that verse.
And the horn of my salvation - The “horn” is to animals the means of their defense. Their strength lies in the horn. Hence, the word is used here, as elsewhere, to represent that to which we owe our protection and defense in danger; and the idea here is, that God was to the psalmist what the horn is to animals, the means of his defense. Compare Psalm 22:21; Psalm 75:4-5, Psalm 75:10; Psalm 92:10; Psalm 132:17; Psalm 148:14.
And my high tower - He is to me what a high tower is to one who is in danger. Compare Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” The word used here occurs in Psalm 9:9, where it is rendered “refuge.” (Margin, “A high place.”) See the notes at that verse. Such towers were erected on mountains, on rocks, or on the walls of a city, and were regarded as safe places mainly because they were inaccessible. So the old castles in Europe - as that at Heidelberg, and generally those along the Rhine - were built on lofty places, and in such positions as not to be easily accessible.
Every heart is moved or drawn of Jesus Christ. As you become students of Scripture the Spirit of God takes the things of God and impresses them upon the soul. The golden threads that extend from the souls of those who make God their strength will fasten through the threads of influence to other souls and draw them to Christ. This is the work to be done by those who place on the foundation stone precious material, for they cooperate with Jesus Christ. HP 171.6Read in context »
Show Points of Truth, Not Only Illustrations—The canvassers are not obtaining that healthful experience in their work which they should have. In their handling of the books they are being educated to present before the public the beautiful cover and many illustrations rather than the points of truth contained in the books. In doing this they are patterning after the world, and they fail to make God their dependence and trust. “What is the chaff to the wheat?” God asks (Jeremiah 23:28).—Manuscript 131, 1899. PM 303.3Read in context »
Let us be sure that our own souls are right with God, so that the Lord can teach us and guide us, and reveal His will to us. Please consider these things. And let us be much with God in prayer. The Lord is our helper and strength and fortress. If we walk humbly with God, and fear and glorify His name, He will be in our thoughts and hearts, and we shall become assimilated to His image. Let us diligently search our own hearts, and obtain that wisdom that God alone can give. TDG 24.4Read in context »