Longing dependence ∙
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. – Psalms 63:1
1 A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. 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.
2 Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.
3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life; My lips will praise You.
4 So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches,
7 For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.
When you think desert or wilderness, you think dry, hot, and arid. Average temperatures range from 110F to 120F. In 2005, a temperature of just over 159F was recorded in Iran’s Lut Desert. Death Valley reached 134F in 1913, and the Sahara recorded 136.4F.
What makes the desert a desert is the lack of water, not the heat. The Antarctic is a cold desert; it receives about 2 inches of rain per year, which is less than the Sahara Desert gets, while parts of the Atacama Desert in Chile have never recorded rainfall at all.
The Judean desert is an arid, empty waste place, almost totally lacking in water and vegetable life. It is rugged, barren, desolate, and dangerous. The desert is a parched and scorched environment hostile to life. The lack of moisture creates extreme thirst. Thirst is an excellent metaphor for the intense longing for the Father.
In this time of loss and separation, David did not focus on his personal failures and regrets, nor did he complain about the discomforts and dangers of the wilderness. Instead, David looked to the Father and reaffirmed his faith and love. Rather than being discouraged, David was excited about his love relationship with the Father. David longed for close intimacy with the Father he loved. He had complete confidence that his Father God would guide him through yet another difficult time in his life.
REFLECT & PRAY
Without doubt, we too frequently come to the end of ourselves. We hit a wall and lose it. We struggle with outward circumstances, inward frustration, and even anger.
Father encourage us to be like David. He was able to recall to mind Your delightful warmth and lovingkindness. What was within his heart had been cultivated through a lifetime, and it came out in times of need. Simply stated, he deeply loved You, his Father God.
The Hebrew verb translated as seek, earnestly seek is shachar. Shachar means to look or search diligently for. Shachar is derived from the Hebrew noun that is spelled the same way in English, shachar. Shachar, as a noun, means dawn. Hence it has been translated as “early I will seek You” (NKJV). It suggests eagerness to seek time with Him early in the morning (Psalms 130:6).
Today we might say, “it is at the top of my priority list,” or “I will do it first thing tomorrow.”
For David seeking the Father and spending time in fellowship with Him was his number one priority.
Spending time with the Father early in the day often sets the tone and prepares us for whatever He has in store for us that day. During our early morning time with the Father, He often prepares us for whatever divine appointments or complications we may face. Only God knows everything that will happen before it occurs. Further, He has an itinerary of what is to come for each child of the King every day of their lives.
Pause for a moment and visualize the Father as a spiritual concierge. But instead of asking Him how to do what we want for the day, we ask Him what He wants us to do for the day.
Many people referred to this as their “quiet time” or “personal worship time.”
David’s attitude and spiritual appetite were remarkable. He acquired this by repeated and frequent worship. How did David worship the Father? If you attempted to outline many of his Psalms, you would begin to see a pattern emerge. David praises the Father for Who He is, for what He does, and most importantly, for what the Father has done and is doing in David’s life right now. “It is regular worship and dependence that prepares us for the crisis experiences of life” (Wiersbe).
“What life does to us depends on what life finds in us” (Wiersbe). David’s heart was filled with a deep love for the Father and a desire to please only Him. David had seen the Father’s power and glory previously. What He had done before, He would do again. David had great faith that he would be able to see the Father’s power and glory in the wilderness as well!
David had no religious artifacts with him in the wilderness. David looked beyond material objects and saw spiritual realities. He had only his longing heart, and uplifted hands, and worshipful spirit. Rather than being sorrowful, worried, and filled with complaints, David sang praises to the Lord.
“The longing of these verses is not the groping of a stranger, feeling his way towards God, but the eagerness of a friend, almost of a lover, to be in touch with the one he holds dear. The simplicity and boldness of Thou art my God is the secret of all that follows . . .” (Kidner).
© Dr. H 2022