LINK: Psalm 63 & 64
This may have been written during the time of Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 15). While in the dry, hot Desert of Judah, far from the Ark and tabernacle of God, David thirsted for the Lord. What a word picture! He was probably lonely and desired nothing but God's presence, provision, and protection.
This psalm also could have been written during Absalom's rebellion, but it could have also been while David served in Saul's court (1 Samuel 18-20). He knew that Saul was his enemy and wanted to kill him. Eventually, he had to flee and hide in the wilderness. This Psalm helps us to turn to God in the real battles that we face against Satan and his hosts (Ephesians 6:10ff).
REFLECTION (written in 2008)
When I was going over goals for the year with one of the women I am discipling, she said that she wanted to "hunger and thirst for God" much like David is talking about in Psalm 63. What a great goal! But as a discipler, I came away with the question: How can I help create hunger and thirst in her?
Over the last three years, I have helped her to meditate in, pray through, and study the Scriptures. We have spent many hours together praying and seeking God. I have seen tremendous growth too. She is spending regular time with God and prays conversationally throughout the day. She is giving her life to other women in discipleship and investing deeply in her adorable daughter as she teachers her to pray conversationally (so cute!). She is also establishing family traditions in her young family that will foster growth, and she is passing that on to other young moms by teaching a class on it. TODAY, she is hosting an event where twenty moms are making a Jesse Tree and ornaments to use with their families during Christmas! How fun! If you want to know more about that see my post HERE.
All that said, she wants to hunger and thirst more for God. I know there is nothing I can do but pray for her and opportunities that create thirst in her.
I just had a flashback to the mid-seventies when my family was riding dune buggies out in the middle of the California desert, and I got this "great" idea to walk all the way back to our campsite (about five miles). I bid my dad good-bye and set out on my adventure only to realize that I had forgotten to pack water for my trip! I was hot and thirsty (not to mention stupid - what was I thinking?). Then, I got scared, seeing animals and snakes at every turn. I did a lot of crying out in that California desert. It turned out to be a horrible experience.
By the time I reached the campsite, I was pretty desperate for the protection and presence of my family and the provision of water for my dehydrated body! (Somehow I remember my mom being pretty upset with my dad for letting me do it. What was HE thinking!?) I certainly put myself in a situation where I learned hunger and thirst!
Maybe we just do not put ourselves in enough desperate situations to really "need" God anymore. We rely on our money and jobs and things and friends and family instead of God who is the only One who truly satisfies (63:5). In light of current events, maybe this economic downturn is the best thing that could happen to us?
All I know is that I want to hunger and thirst for Him too. How about you?
Here are some application questions my Pastor Steve asked after he taught on this psalm:
Do I long for the same intensity of relationship that David had? Do I desire the same level of experience that he had with God?
Do you earnestly seek God as though you were dying of thirst?
Have you seen His power and glory in worship?
Do you sincerely believe His love is better than life?
Are you free enough in worship to lift your hands to Him?
Does God satisfy your soul?
Do you sing to God? Not just follow the order of worship, but really sing to Him?
When you wake in the night are your thoughts of Him?
Do you cling to Him as though life would not be worth living without Him?
Lord, I hesitate to pray that You would create hunger and thirst in me and others because it may be the result of real pain and hardship. I do not like pain, but it would be worth it to have more of You. Lord, create in us hunger and thirst for You. Help us to desire You more than our favorite dessert! We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.