Weds 6 December - Psalm 63
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.
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Meditation on Psalm 63
Spurgeon comments on this psalm: “Chrysostom tells us that among the primitive Christians it was decreed and ordained that no day should pass without the public singing of this psalm.”
It is a psalm of praise, based on confidence in God whom David had come to trust in every situation, even in the psalms where he is really struggling.
There is ongoing thinking as to the actual period in David’s life when he penned this psalm. Some refer to the time when he was on the run from King Saul, even though he knew that he was destined to become the King of Israel.
Others refer to the time when, as King, he was in exile from his son Absalom.
We’ll leave the commentators to their ongoing conversations!
Did you miss singing during the pandemic when the churches were closed? How good it has been to be able to come back to church and sing, to be together to sing songs which speak of God.
- MY GOD Verses 1-2
This was the promise that God gave to Abraham. Genesis 17:8c has the promise from God, “I will be their God.”
The writer to the Hebrews confirms that covenant to Abraham but he also reminds us that such a covenant is the New Testament covenant which Jesus brought in through His death and resurrection.
‘I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.’
David has no doubts as he pens this psalm and he repeats his confidence to reinforce his faith and commitment.
“You, God, are my God.”
Pause a while and contemplate what that means for each of us.
The Creator of the heavens and the earth is ‘my God’.
Here is a personal relationship which we enter into when we commit ourselves to trusting Him and accepting His Son, Jesus, as our Saviour.
The God of the Bible is ‘my God’.
The God of the prophets is ‘my God’.
The God who came into the world as Jesus, are part of the ever-increasing family of God who is ‘my God’.
Whether we are in the ‘good times’ or the ‘tough times’, let’s keep reminding ourselves that God is ‘my God.’
And David longed to know more and more of God.
The literal translation (so I have read!) of the word ‘earnestly’ in verse 1 is ‘early’, ‘at dawn’, ‘in the morning’.
Spurgeon comments: “The word ‘early’ has not only the sense of early in the morning, but that of eagerness, immediateness. He who truly longs for God longs for him now.”
David longed for his relationship with God to be paramount in the morning, in the evening, as well as through the day and through the night.
He was ‘thirsty’ for God.
His ‘whole being’ longs for God.
“Good morning, Lord” – do we greet Him as we greet a new day? We can talk with God as friend to friend.
Remember that Abraham was called ‘the friend of God’. 2 Chronicles 20:7 records Jehoshaphat’s prayer … “did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend”.
Isaiah 41:8 records God’s words to His people … “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, who I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend.”
James confirms this when he writes, ‘Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness and he was called God’s friend.’ James 2:28
The desert is the setting for this psalm. As Spurgeon says, ‘there was no desert in his heart, though there was a desert around him.’
David longs for that ‘living water’ to quench his thirst. Remember the woman who met with Jesus at the well. Jesus promised her ‘living water’ when He said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:8-9
That living water is available to us today.
David recounts past experiences when, in the sanctuary, he ‘beheld your power and your glory.’
Our prayer is that when we meet in the sanctuary – church – we, too will experience the power and the glory of God – ‘my God’.
- THE LOVE OF GOD Verses 3-5
How many times do we read of the love of God through the psalms?
David values his life but, compared to the love of God, his life is second best.
The love of God becomes the theme of ongoing praise.
it’s akin to the ‘richest of foods.’
Again, a quote from Spurgeon: ‘“There is in the love of God a richness, a sumptuousness, a fulness of soul-filling joy, comparable to the richest food with which the body can be nourished.”
Frederick Lehman wrote this song about the love of God in 1923. It’s a great song to learn and sing in the night watches when sleep doesn’t come.
The love of God is greater, far, than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled and pardoned from his sin.
Could we with ink the ocean fill; or were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above, would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
O love of God, how rich and pure, how measureless and strong,
It shall from age to age endure, the saints and angels’ song.
My God loves me!
I will praise Him.
I will lift up my hands in worship.
I will be satisfied.
I will sing.
- MY TESTIMONY Verses 6-8
Even through the night, David’s relationship with God is strong and purposeful.
God fills his thoughts.
This reminds me of a lovely Christian lady in our church in Purley. We went to see her when she was unable to get out. She showed us several pieces of paper with names on them – some crossed out, others added recently. As we scanned the papers, we found our names on one of the sheets. “When I can’t sleep”, she told us, “I get out these pieces of paper and talk to God about the names on the different sheets.”
Her relationship with God was so strong and beautiful.
Her testimony was like David’s. They each could say of God …
- You are my help – always have ben and always will be
- You are my protector – ‘I sing in the shadow of your wings’.
- You are my strength – ‘your right hand holds me up.’
What a special relationship with God.
Each of us has a relationship with God.
Can I say …
- ‘I remember you’
- ‘I think of you’
- ‘I sing’
- ‘I cling to you’
This is MY God.
- MY TRUST Verses 9-11
In the midst of all this, David knew that His enemies were out to get him. There are those who want to kill him. There are those who are prepared to lie about him.
He doesn’t ask God to zap them as he does in other psalms.
He has confidence in God who will one day end all opposition to Him and His people.
Remember the battles that Job faced. When Satan joined the group of angels who came to present themselves before the LORD, he was asked by the LORD, “where have you come from”.
“From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
He wanted to destroy Job but the LORD made it very clear that he could go so far but no further.
The devil wants to destroy the people of God but there is coming a day when he will be finally and completely defeated.
Knowing that, we can rejoice in God – MY God.
We can glory in Him, knowing that we are on the victory side and one day we will be in His presence for all eternity.
Let us rejoice as we affirm, “You, God, are my God”.