David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 2)

“O God, you are my God; again and again I seek you.

My soul thirsts for you;

My flesh yearns for you—

In a land that is dry and exhausted without water.”

(Psalm 63:2 {Psalm 63:1 in English Bibles})


The wilderness around David is a visible metaphor for the spiritual state of the land of Israel at this point in history.  He looks around him as he flees into the wilderness and recognizes that the dryness of the land around him is much like the dryness of the hearts of those who seek his death—who seek to rule the kingdom of Israel not for the glory of God, but for their own gain and prosperity.

How quickly we forget, as we go through life, that riches are not found in the things of this world, but they are found in the things of God and in his righteousness.  Jesus says one of the marks of a true Christian, though, is that they hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6).  And as I have said many times before—hungering and thirsting is not a casual wondering what you will have from the buffet line tonight, but it is a deep hungering that recognizes that if the need is not met, you will die.

The illustration that we are given here is of being in a dry and barren land—the wilderness of Judea—in a time of drought.  We must remember that one of the most common judgments against God’s people when they entered into idolatry was just that—drought.  Yet, in the midst of judgment and fleeing for his life, David seeks to find his strength in prayer.  And David’s model that is one of constant prayer—seeking God’s face over and over again.  The verb for “to seek,” which is the verb rx;v’ (shachar), is found in the Piel stem, which simply means that it reflects continued, repeated action.  Thus, again and again, David is presenting himself before the Lord, seeking his face in prayer.

Oh, how we need to keep this principle before us as we go through our daily lives.  No, we may never be forced to flee into the wilderness because someone is seeking our life.  Yet, there are trials and struggles enough in this life that should force us to our knees.  And, beloved, it is on our knees that the man or woman of God finds their strength.  Friends, do not take this privilege for granted, but instead dedicate your life to continually seeking God’s face in prayer, and even in the midst of a dry and dusty land, God will provide you with an ever-flowing stream of soul-quenching water through his Holy Spirit.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,

Cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior, still our refuge—

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;

Thou wilt find a solace there.

-Joseph Scriven

About preacherwin

A pastor, teacher, and a theologian concerned about the confused state of the church in America and elsewhere...Writing because the Christian should think Biblically.

Posted on June 16, 2008, in Expositions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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