(This post is part of a new, short series. I am part of group that meets regularly to study God’s word, and our study of Psalms has been interrupted by the world’s pandemic. I am thankful for technology, and through it hope to inspire common “meeting” and discussion-virtual as it may be-over God’s word. )
Psalm 63 The author of this psalm is David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah, while he was king, and quite likely when he was being chased down by Absalom his son.
Charles Spurgeon put it so well: “David did not leave off singing because he was in the wilderness, neither did he in slovenly idleness go on repeating Psalms intended for other occasions; but he carefully made his worship suitable to his circumstances, and presented to his God a wilderness hymn when he was in the wilderness. There was no desert in his heart, though there was a desert around him. We too may expect to be cast into rough places ere we go hence. In such seasons, may the Eternal Comforter abide with us, and cause us to bless the Lord at all times, making even the solitary place to become a temple for Jehovah.” (Spurgeon, Treasury of David commentary, accessed at biblegateway.com)
In verse 1, translations phrase the praise of David’s heart differently. My soul THIRSTS for Thee (RSV)…EARNESTLY I seek You (NIV)…EARLY will I seek Thee (KJV). The Hebrew word is SHACHAR, which means to seek early or earnestly.
I love Spurgeon’s comment about carefully making worship match our circumstances. Our situations can be desert-like but our souls never have to wander in barrenness with unmet thirst.
Because of his desert circumstances, David makes a choice. Look at the progression of these first few verses: He states his position (You are my God!). He takes a reading on his soul (finding himself thirsty and earnestly seeking to satisfy this thirst, early in the day). Then he chooses where to start: (Here we are again, as in other psalms we’ve studied!) He focuses on God’s power, glory, and position.
Consider your place in the current “desert”– removed from the greater fellowship, usual ministries, expected activities, and connections. How are you doing SHACAH?
How does God speak to you in these first two verses?
If your usual “water” is no longer accessible, how are you satisfying your thirst?What about the thirst of others?
Be blessed today as you earnestly seek to have your souls satisfied.
I play Praise and Harmony’s Only a Holy God about 6 times a day. Well, not really, that’s what I did when I first heard it. But I do still play it and sing along often, as well as play many other worship songs, new and old. Many old hymns now have greater meaning and I sing with more reverence.