In the midst of the many hot summer days we all experience this time of year, there is nothing quite so refreshing as a simple, giant, ice-cold glass of clear, fresh water. Not only do we understand medically how beneficial water is for us and how important it is to stay properly hydrated, but we also understand experientially how soothing water is when we are hot, dry, and thirsty. Our bodies not only need water, but we all know what it is to crave water when we are parched.
It is this biological reality that David uses metaphorically in Ps. 63 to speak of the longing of his soul after God. He begins the Psalm with these passionate, desperate words:
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water (Ps. 63:1).
Part of what makes David’s earnest thirst after God so significant is that we know from other statements in the Psalms he is being hotly pursued by his enemies. He is in trouble. He knows that no help can be found in this world (“…in a dry and weary land where there is no water”), but only in God alone. So David’s refuge is completely in Him, and this Psalm reflects his joyful resolve to seek God alone for the quenching of His thirsty soul.
Many of us at RCG have embraced the encouragement this summer to memorize this powerful Psalm. If you are not already doing so, it is not too late to start. This Psalm, and the entire Old Testament, has been given by God for our instruction, encouragement, perseverance, and hope (Rom. 15:4). Like David, every believer is involved in a very real battle, with very real enemies (see Eph. 6:10-18). Like David, we need to learn to thirst and seek for God alone, no matter what circumstances we may be facing.
We’ve not taken time to fully study through this Psalm together, but if you are interested in doing so let me offer a few resources:
• C.H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David, exhaustive commentary on the entire book of Psalms.
• Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Psalm 63.
• Sermon from John Piper on Psalm 63
Perhaps the most obvious questions of application that this Psalm confronts us with are: where do you and I go to find relief for the thirsting of our souls? Do we seek God earnestly – implying being in His Word and in prayer? Do we look to Him alone for help in days of trouble? Do we know the joy that springs from such tenacious and exclusive trust in Him?
May God be pleased to cultivate this thirst ever more deeply in our souls, and help us to cry out to Him all the more for His supply! May we ever more fully rejoice in the One who so abundantly supplies all that we need!
Thirsting with you,