Upon awaking this morning my mind began to scan the Psalms for the day and immediately after considering Psalm 3 and 33 this next Psalm for today came to my brain: "O God, thou art my God, early will I seek Thee, my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." The situation of David's writing is told in the title notes, he was in the wilderness of Judah, and this certainly fits my present circumstances.
The Lord has much to say about spending time in the wilderness, whether it be physical of spiritual, for He Himself was one of the many different Bible characters who were led into the place of solitude, barrenness and great difficulty. It was also the place of the great temptation for the Lord Jesus Christ as Satan assaulted him with full force right at the beginning of His ministry.
Moses was led into the wilderness, and Elijah too spent time there as did his spiritual protege John the Baptist. Although the lessons we can learn from their experiences are manifold, especially in the Lord Jesus Christ's wilderness experience recorded in Matthew 4 and Luke 4, this Psalm also provides us with some valuable personal instruction to help us as we go through our own 'wilderness' in this life which Job rightly labeled 'the days of my struggle' (Job 14:14).
While I am contending with my own difficulties, I have asked the Lord to show me His will and way out of these trying circumstances He has arranged for me to experience. David too was going through a time of solitude and certain difficulty, but his example provides us with the invaluable direction we need to encourage us to go on in the midst of it all.
The first thing that David did was confirm to himself and to God that God was truly his God and because He was, he was gong to earnestly seek Him early on in the day. This in itself will put us in the right perspective to face the coming events of each day.
He then shows his souls desire: "My soul thirsteth for Thee" demonstrating the condition necessary according to the Lord Jesus Christ for the filling of the Spirit: "They which do hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6) and in another passage He said: "If any many thirst let him come unto Me and drink" (John 7:37) which agrees with David's cry to God here a full millennium earlier!
David's continued plea says: "My flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is". Here the flesh is not what we think of in New Testament terms as the enemy of the Spirit, but David is merely showing the entire involvement of his being in this statement describing his earnest and intense desire.
He focuses on God and His 'power and...glory.' in (v.2) demonstrating his certain longing for personal revival as he had so experienced previously'‘in the sanctuary' referring here to the place David met with God in the tabernacle or tent of meeting as the temple was not yet built.
David recalls his past experience of God's personal presence and now longs to have Him manifest Himself in the same way even though he is not in the formal place of worship as before, but now he is isolated in the wilderness without any of the comforts or aids of the designated place of worship.
In (v.3) his attention is fixed upon the 'lovingkindness' of the Lord, which emphasizes His mercy the very lifeblood of every believer. God's great mercy which was wrought by the Cross of Christ through God’s grace is David's source of hope knowing that it is 'new every morning' (Lamentations3:23) and positively 'endures forever'! (Psalm 136:1-26)
This'‘lovingkindness' is cause for great praise from the lips of David and this praise overflows in (v.3-5) when David blesses the Lord and lifts up his hands to His name in this marvelous demonstration of personal and private worship.
His soul is ‘'atisfied with marrow and fatness' using physical illustrations of plenty and prosperity, 'joyful lips' shows his state of mind even though he is in the wilderness, a place of seeming lack and desolation physically. David's spirit soars spiritually as he is alone with his God.
"When I remember Thee upon my bed and meditate upon Thee in the night watches" tells of the places of worship emphasizing his day and night devotion to remembrance and meditation on the Lord
Now in (v.7) David tells the reason for his devotion: "Because Thou hast been my help. Therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice." In this desert experience, he knows that regardless of the circumstances he can count on the Lord and the security of the Lord's covering protection. Truly this is great cause for rejoicing!
"My soul followeth hard after Thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me" (v.8) records the full effort David gave in seeking his God, he knew that the Lord would support him and undergird him in his wilderness situation regardless of the enemies onslaught and their subsequent peril mentioned in (v.9,10)
He was confident in the outcome, regardless on the present situation as he proclaims in (v.11) "But the king shall rejoice in God; everyone that sweareth by Him shall glory; but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped."
His pledge to rejoice regardless along with those of like precious faith is contrasted sharply with the sudden but deserved silencing of the liars. Although David"s confidence in God was based upon His future working in his wilderness experience, it supplies us with the faith-building substance we need as we look to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word for the promised victory when we pass through similar 'wilderness' experiences, rejoicing regardless, first of all, because our names are written down in heaven, and secondly, because all things work together for good to them that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!
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