Read Psalm 63
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
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.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
9 Those who want to kill me 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.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God will glory in him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.
Psalm 63 takes place in the wilderness of Judah as David is fleeing from either Absalom or Saul. This wilderness is hot, dry, and desolate – a fitting image for longing. David describes his seeking after God as thirsting for water in the midst of the desert. This was a feeling he was well acquainted with, to be sure. His soul longs for the Lord, his God, because he knows that God is the only one who can satisfy his longing–much like water is all that can satisfy our thirst. In the midst of physical desperation, David earnestly seeks after God and worships Him for who He is.
Water is necessary for life. But David confesses that there’s something much more necessary than water, and greater than life itself. The steadfast love of the Lord is the focus of David’s attention. Because his mind is fixed on God’s love, he is able to honestly and confidently pen these words.
Because your love is better than life:
- My lips will glorify you
- I will praise you as long as I live
- I will be fully satisfied
- With singing lips, my mouth will praise you
David never sees himself outside of the love and protection of God. His perspective is what allows him to praise. He continues to remind himself of God’s character and it brings forth singing.
Because you are my help:
- I sing in the shadow of your wings (a place of protection)
- I cling to you
- Your right hand upholds me
- Those who seek my life will be destroyed
Our perspective enables our actions. David’s perspective of who God is and how He cares for him allows him to praise God in the midst of the desert and in the midst of being pursued by his enemies. In Acts 16 when Paul and Silas are unjustly thrown into prison, they also sing hymns to God. No matter the situation we are in, we can choose to praise God for who He is and how He cares for us, knowing that His love is better than life.
- One definition of faith is believing that God can and God cares. What would it look like to act in faith today based on that definition.
- What do you find yourself longing for most? Who/what are you looking to for the satisfaction of your deepest desires?
- Does your current perspective cause you to praise? What would need to change for that to be the case?