David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 6)

“As with fat and the choicest cuts of meat, my soul will be satisfied.

My lips will exult; my mouth will exclaim hallelujah!”

(Psalm 63:6 {Psalm 63:5 in English versions})

 

Now, in a culture that is as health conscious as ours is, we somewhat lose the impact of the initial metaphor.  We usually think of fatty food as something bad and to be avoided because it is just simply not good for you (or at least, in a society that is as sedentary as ours is, it is not good for you).  Yet, one thing that must never be forgotten is that typically, when you are dealing with meats, the fattiest cuts are also the tastiest cuts.  As a child, before I became aware of this and that health concern and when I was active enough that I could eat whatever I wanted and never gain a pound, one my favorite things about when Dad made steaks on the grill, was eating the fat on the outside of the cut.  And that is exactly what David is communicating.  Take all of your health issues and set them to the side and think simply of the wonderful taste that comes with fat, and recognize that David is saying that his soul enjoys his God in the same way as his taste buds enjoys the fatty cuts of meat. 

We, as humans, respond to food.  This is not a cultural thing, but it is tied to our very being—we like to eat and we like to eat well.  We have made an art out of fine cooking, and almost everything we do on a social level is done around food.  Different cultures may have different styles of food that is popular with their palates, but there is food, none-the-less.  And what David is seeking to communicate to us through the ages is that as satisfying as the best meal may be—and when we have an exceptional meal prepared for us, it is not uncommon for us to think of that meal for days if not weeks—and crave it again—so too, David says, his soul enjoys God.  The question that needs to be asked, then, is does your soul crave God in the same way your mouth craves a favorite food.  Do you look forward all day to your morning or evening prayer time in the same way that you look forward all day to a special meal that is being prepared?  Do you savor your time in prayer as you do a good meal or do you see it as just one more thing to do?

Beloved, I think that we are all guilty of falling short of the mark that David sets for us, but he continues his metaphor in the second line of the psalm.  Just as your lips and mouth do not remain silent, but instead rejoice, in a good meal, so too, his lips and mouth cannot remain silent at the presence of God in his life.  And, indeed, David’s mouth did not remain silent, but from his mouth came the many sweet psalms of the first part of the book of Psalms.  Loved ones, does your heart sing, do your lips exult, does your voice refuse to remain silent at the wonders of God?  If so, then praise God, but if not, I pray that these words of David will spur you on and help nurture within you a heart of praise. 

I will sing of my Redeemer, and his wondrous love to me:

On the cruel cross he suffered, from the curse to set me free.

Sing, O sing of my Redeemer!  With his blood he purchased me;

On the cross he sealed my pardon, paid the debit and made me free.

-Philip Bliss

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