Psalm 61:2 (ESV) … “from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I …”
There was an urgency in David’s cry because he was overwhelmed by what was happening and fainting under the pressure. (See Ps. 142.) He was obviously not at “the ends of the earth,” but he felt that way, for he was away from home and away from the sanctuary of God. He was describing “spiritual geography” and his need to know the presence of God in what was going on.
The image of the Lord as “rock” is a familiar one in David’s writings (18:2, 31, 46; 62:2, 6, 7; etc.). David was unable to “climb” higher by himself; he needed the Lord to help him and sustain him (see 62:2, 6, 7). We are never so far away that we can’t pray to God, or, as in the case of Jonah, so far down (Jonah 2). David looked back at his life and was encouraged to remember that God had never failed him in any crisis (v. 3), and He would not fail him now.
To David, God’s home was the tabernacle, the place where His glory dwelt; and David longed to be back in Jerusalem to worship and adore his Lord (v. 4). “Wings” probably refers to the cherubim on the mercy seat that covered the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies (36:7–8; 57:1; 63:2, 7). David was not a priest, so he couldn’t enter the Holy of Holies, but he could abide in the Lord and find refuge in Him (46:1; 90:1).