Psalms 63

Psalm 63

My Soul Thirsts for You

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

63   O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
  my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
  So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.
  Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
  So I will bless you as long as I live;
    in your name I will lift up my hands.
  My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
    and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
  when I remember you upon my bed,
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
  for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
  My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.
  But those who seek to destroy my life
    shall go down into the depths of the earth;
  they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
    they shall be a portion for jackals.
  But the king shall rejoice in God;
    all who swear by him shall exult,
    for the mouths of liars will be stopped.


Psalm 63 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

David is on the run from his son Absolam who has organized a revolt against him. King David fled east out of Jerusalem through the Judean Desert. It was most likely at the end of the summer when the land was extremely dry. In fact, the Judean Desert can be deadly. Archeology researcher and Bible teacher Gordon Franz describes what it was like for him to trek through this difficult region.

“I have the utmost respect for the sun and dry heat in the Judean Desert in the summer. The air is so dry that your perspiration evaporates almost instantaneously, which means that one may be unaware that he is dehydrating. Therefore, it is very dangerous to be in the Wilderness of Judah without adequate water.

The first summer I was in Israel, I experienced what David describes. Several fellow students and I walked the approximate 14 kilometers (8 ½ miles) down the Wadi Qelt from Ma’aleh Adumim to Jericho on Shabbat (the Sabbath). Each of us had brought one canteen of water. In the blazing summer heat, it was not enough. By the time we got to the oasis of Jericho, each of us had a headache and was very thirsty. I’ll tell you, freshly squeezed orange juice never tasted so good!”

Gordon Franz

So, just consider the practicals of what David was facing. Not only was his life threatened by his own son, but he was now traveling through a land where only the strong would survive. The parallels are obvious. Physically, the dry conditions mirrored the spiritual condition of his heart. He longed for God just like he longed for a drop of water. He wished to return to Jerusalem and worship God in the sanctuary, but instead, he finds himself fleeing from those who want him dead.

It’s during this moment when he comes back to the steadfast covenant of the Lord. He emphatically states that his relationship with God is better than life itself. The threat on his life from men could not compare to the joy and comfort of his relationship with God. The threat on his life from the scorching heat of the desert paled in comparison to the faithfulness of his Father.

David trusted the Lord in the most grueling circumstances. For those of us who now face similar struggles, it is an encouragement to know that God protected David and answered his prayers. He never left him or abandoned him. The same is true for us.

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