When his son Absalom rebelled against him, David had to flee from Jerusalem to save his life. Out of that experience he wrote this psalm. "Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy" (vv. 1-3).
David was asking for God's help and strength. He may have been in a cave when he wrote these words or hiding in a shelter in the wilderness. We don't know. But his true Rock was God. His true Shelter and his true Strong Tower was God. It's good to know that when we are away from the safety of home and city, we still have the safety of the Lord.
David was abiding. "I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings" (v. 4). This means the Holy of Holies, where the wings of the cherubim overshadowed the Ark of the Covenant. We might ask, "How can you abide in the tabernacle, David, when you're out there in the wilderness? You're running away." He would say, "My God is always with me. As long as I abide in Him, I am abiding in His tabernacle." David realized he didn't need city walls for protection. God was his Rock. He didn't need the tabernacle for his worship. God was his Tabernacle.
David was rejoicing. "So I will sing praise to Your name forever, that I may daily perform my vows" (v.8). When you bring your requests to the Lord and rely on Him, you discover you can rejoice in Him. "For You, O God, have heard my vows.... You will prolong the king's life" (v. 5). God answered David's prayer.
What is God to you? Is He your Rock, your Shelter, your Strong Tower, your Tabernacle? Are you trusting Him to meet your specific needs today?
God never intended that His people "throw in the towel." Remember these truths. He is always listening to your cry. He is always with you and will never forsake you, whatever your circumstances. You can always rejoice in God's protection. Apply the truths of this psalm to your situation today.