|Desert in the Middle East (Image: ejaugsburg/Pixabay.com)|
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 63:1-11
TO CHEW ON: "My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water…
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips." Psalm 63:1,5
Do you notice how David goes from being spiritually hungry and thirsty to satisfied and full in the space of four verses? Let's delve into this psalm for a bit to see how he does it.
Notice the occasion and setting of the writing: "A psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah." No wonder he's thinking "dry," "thirst," "no water"! He is on the run from King Saul and hiding out in an arid place of caves and only parched vegetation. The opening of this psalm reflects his nasty circumstances.
How does he turn himself around? These are some things he does:
1. "So I have looked for You in the sanctuary…" - Psalm 63:2:
I see the word "sanctuary and I think "church" or other sacred building. But David is far from the Tabernacle. What "sanctuary" could he be referring to?
[The Hebrew word translated "sanctuary" is qodesh . It means apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness of God, of places and of things.]
Since David couldn't make the trek to the actual sanctuary I would imagine he entered the God's sacred presence much like we do when we meet with God in our daily devotions at home—using his imagination, directing his thoughts to God's "power and glory" and all His attributes, getting distracted from his worries and complaints by soaking in God's presence.
2. "My lips shall praise You…" - Psalm 63:3
David speaks praise out loud, with his mouth.
3. "I will lift up my hands in Your name…" - Psalm 63:4:
David continues praising with even more expressiveness. Lifting hands can mean many things—surrender, trust, pleading, adoration, or loyalty (as in a type of salute).
4. "I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches" - Psalm 63:6:
David's attitude turnaround affects even how he spends the hours he can't sleep or the time he's trying to stay awake through the night watch of guard duty. Instead of worrying, he meditates on God, recalls God's help and presence, and rejoices in God's protection ("Your wings") instead of worrying.
Next time circumstances overwhelm us with how poor and needy we are, let's try out some of David's techniques to return ourselves to the place of plenty:
- Enter the sanctuary of God's presence.
- Praise with our lips and bodies.
- Rein in our thoughts and focus on Him instead of worrying, especially during the trying times of night.
PRAYER: Dear Father, please help me to make a habit of turning my thoughts to You in difficult circumstances and, like David did, to praise You, worship You and trust in Your ability to see me through. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.