Reflections of the Psalms – Psalm 63

Posted on: November 18th, 2018

The first two verses of Psalm 63 contain a truly magnificent description of the intense desire of a person who loves God. If there is trait that Christians should have, it is the real motivation to come to know God better. David pictured this when he wrote,

“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land

Where there is no water.

So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,

To see Your power and Your glory.

Possibly, as described in the sub-title, David was in the Desert of Judah when he wrote the psalm. However, the sense of searching for the Lord should be felt anytime and anywhere.

Unlike David, Christians have even a greater motivation to seek God, because Christians have the hope and promise contained in the “Good News” of the New Testament. When a person BECOMES a Christian, that person MUST grow in spiritual maturity. Every Christian is expected to grow in knowledge and understanding. It is a wonderful decision to believe, decide to change, and be buried in baptism. But once that step is made, then there responsibilities that go along with the blessings.

This involves the study of God’s word to expand the understanding of God’s will. It involves, experiencing that life by APPLYING the principles in the New Testament to the Christian’s life. That experience involves the willingness to change and keep learning. A person may have “book learning”, but without knowing how to apply it, the information is useless. It would be like reading about swimming without trying to do it. David had known the Lord his entire life, yet the desire – the willingness – to learn never faded.

In verse 3 David wrote, “Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.” This is the kind of attitude that a full grown, mature Christian must have. The love of God IS better than life itself. Through the centuries, faithful followers of Christ understood that, and stood by their faith in spite of the opposition they faced. They knew what was important.

Today, it is very easy to get everything turned around. The problems of daily living – the pressures of the job, marriage, family begin to take priority. God and His Word are shoved into the corner until the crisis is over, or until things get so bad that the Lord and His word are used like some magical trinket that will quickly resolve everything. But Psalm 63 very clearly shows where the priorities need to be. God’s love is better than life, and all Christians would do well to remember that point. Now is the time to turn the priorities around.

Verse 6 is very warm and personal. “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.” When a person lies down in bed, there is usually a period of time before sleep finally occurs. That time is often a time of reflection.

During the night there may be times when a person may awaken, and then there is a short time of quiet reflection before sleep once again covers the person. The subjects for such times of reflection may vary; but for a true lover of God, that time can be used to think on the Lord. It can be a time of thankfulness for the Lord’s help, or it may be a time of asking for God’s assistance in resolving a particular problem. If a person is too “keyed up” to sleep, it can also involve a prayer asking for peace to sleep well during the night.

David knew the value of such times, and his thoughts would turn to his God. Because his focus was always on the Lord, David was able to face the problems of the day. He wrote, “Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.”

Yes, David’s constant, dependence upon the Lord gave him the confidence to face the day-to-day issues of life. What a lesson for us today!

<Jim Shelburn>