Note: If you have been with us since May 1st, we are two-thirds through this 31 Day challenge! Good job! If you are just joining us, please continue and we will post the previous days after May 31st. Remember, keep journaling, keep praying the Psalm, and keep singing. Sometimes you may have to do the devotional silently, but I encourage you to try to sing audibly whenever possible. Make a joyful noise.
I. Read Psalm 63.
A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
4 So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
7 For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.
9 But those who seek my life to destroy it,
Will go into the depths of the earth.
10They will be delivered over to the power of the sword;
They will be a prey for foxes.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him will glory,
For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped. (NASB)
Introduction – This psalm is structured in two main parallels around thirsting for God:
A. Thirsting for the Lord (v.1)
…B. Knowing God’s Covenant Love (vv.2-3)
…..C. Results in Praise (vv.4-5)
A’. Thirsting for the Lord (vv.6-8)
…B’. Knowing God’s Covenant Deliverance (vv.9-10)
……C’. Results in Praise (v.11)
1) We will thirst for the Lord if we know His Covenant Love (vv.1-5). David, in a time of trial, “seeks” earnestly and his “soul thirsts” for the Lord. His flesh “yearns” for the Lord (v.1). He sees literally and metaphorically (in the desert) that everything else is dry and weary. David thirsts for the Lord because he has seen God in the sanctuary. He has seen God’s power and glory (v. 2). Seeing God as He is has led him to see that the covenant love (hesed) of the Lord is “better than life.” The result is that the Lord is to be “blessed” and worshiped. The experience of authentic worship brings the realization that “My soul is satisfied” as with literally “fat food.”
2) We will thirst for the Lord if we trust His Covenant Deliverance (vv.6-11). David seeks God in his “down time” (“on my bed”). In the restlessness of troubled times he contemplates (meditates) the Lord’s salvation/deliverance. God has been his help, his cover, and his strength (v.7-8). David knows that the enemies that hunger to destroy him will be “delivered over” to His Covenant Protector. Their mouths will be stopped. Those who would prey upon him will become prey because David prays. The result of hungering for the Lord is to glimpse His glory. “Everyone who swears by Him will glory” (v.11).
Reflect on this psalm by answering these questions.
- Why does David begin this psalm with the image of thirsting?
- Remember God’s kindnesses and covenant love for you. Name a few of them.
- Do you have any enemies, those that may be seeking to do you harm? How did David view his enemies in this psalm? (vv9ff) Why so? (vv6-8)
- If our thirst increases as we trust in His deliverance (vv. 6-11) – what are several ways can you show a desire for the presence of God in your daily life?
II. Pray the Psalm. Write a prayer from Psalm 63 that expresses your heart to God.
III. Sing Psalm 63. Sing this psalm using a famous melody written by Thomas Tallis, also used in the music to the film, “Master and Commander.”