We have skipped to Psalm 63! Doesn’t this feel like we have made a huge dent in the book of Psalms? I noticed that a lot, or most of the psalms have the same themes. They are variations on a theme if you will. I don’t know why I am just figuring this out. I stopped on this one because it reminded me of my favorite part of Psalm 42. Psalm 42 was not written by David. It was written by the Sons of Korah who were temple musicians and assistants. 63 was written before 42. I have no idea why the order is what it is. I don’t make the rules.
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[6:46] David wrote 63 around the time of 1 Samuel 24. Saul was after David. He had been told that David was in the Judean desert. That is in the southeastern part of Israel, the inheritance of Judah. There is not much out there, just mountains with caves. This is where David had his stronghold and this is where David was when Saul stopped into a cave to relieve himself. David was in the cave. Just quietly watching Saul teetee where he slept. Except David took the opportunity to sneak behind him and cut a corner off his cloak. As Saul walks away David comes out and says hey, I could have killed you just now, but I didn’t because you are God’s anointed king of Israel. Please stop trying to kill me. Saul feels bad and says ok and goes on his merry way. (We know that Saul forgets/ignores this later and keeps on trying to get rid of David.) David feels pretty pleased and safe and writes this psalm. David is not lamenting one bit in this psalm. He is feeling good.
1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you; (NET: I long for you)
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you
in a dry and weary (parched) land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory. (David is saying that he has experienced…he has tasted and seen like Psalm 34 that God is good. God is reliable.)
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands. (lifting of hands usually means prayer)
5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
(Passion: I overflow with praise when I come before you, for the anointing of your presence satisfies me like nothing else. You are such a banquet of pleasure to my soul. This is saying that praising God satisfies your soul. It’s a banquet. It’s like an all you can eat buffet. You are never turned away, never told you have had too much.)
6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night. (I say my prayers at night. I am meditating on you.)
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings. (I love this picture of protection, snug under the feathery, downy wings.)
8 My soul clings (NET: pursue with determination, pressed hard after…or as I like to say, in hot pursuit) to you;
your right hand upholds me. (Passion: with passion I pursue and cling to you because I feel your grip on my life, I keep my soul close to your heart.)
*** I don’t know about yall, but I need to live in this truth. He has a grip on my life. He is in charge. He has my best interest in mind and in his heart. I must pursue him…like a giddy schoolgirl.
9 They who seek my life will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
10 They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals. (David is confident here. See how good he was feeling? He knew that God was going to do this. He is not asking. This is a statement.)
11 But the king (David) will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God’s name will praise him,
while mouths of liars will be silenced. (The word silenced is closed. It is the same word used in Genesis 8:2 when God closes the waters of the deep. That is a definitive statement. This closed, is CLOSED.)
[20:04] Now, here is Psalm 42:1-2
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go meet with God?
Sounds like pursuit. I just love this picture. I also think about my dogs. When they are thirsty and we are around water, they get in the water to drink. Sometimes they even lay down in the water. They look so happy.
Passion translates 42:1 like this:
I long to drink of you, O God, drinking deeply from the streams of pleasure flowing from your presence. My longings overwhelm me for more of you.
Jesus says it this way in Matthew 5:6: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
You will be satisfied. It is the only way. I wonder how much of unhappiness/fear/anxiety/desperation/anger/bitterness comes from trying to quench your thirst with something else?
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