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.
Psalm 63:1 (KJV)
Recent news featured individuals who were lost in the wilderness. One story told of a young boy who became separated from his family when he left them in search of mushrooms. In another story, a hiker who left her team experienced a dangerous fall resulting in a badly broken leg. In both stories, their separation from others resulted in fear and despair until they were rescued from their dire situation.
The same is true of man when he is separated from His beloved Creator. Without God, man is left to live desperately seeking what only God can provide. To try to do so, can only results in fear and despair. Therefore the logical way to end this desperate dilemma is to seek God. In Psalm 63 David shares his despair as he finds himself separated from God. It is here that we find David desperately seeking God.
The historical context for this psalm can be found in 2 Samuel 15. David’s despair is the result of his son Absalom’s conspiracy to steal the kingdom from his father. Fearful of the potential shift in power, David vacates his throne in Jerusalem and heads to the wilderness of Judah. While David was in fact, in a physical wilderness, the wilderness he speaks of in this psalm describes metaphorically his desperate longing for God. It provides a powerful outline of how to find God.
First, David spiritually reconnected with God. David’s desire for God became the first thing he sought when he rose in the morning. His soul—his mind, will and emotions—thirsted for God. His flesh responded to this insatiable thirst in a strong longing to be with God. Do you thirst for God? How do you connect with God? Are you intentional in your making “quality time” for Him or does He only get a quick bible verse reading when you have time?
Next, David recounted His previous experiences with God. Though David had never seen God physically, he had personally experienced God’s power and glory through nature and His attributes. He knew God’s love and mercy as he tended to his father’s sheep as a young boy (Ps. 23). David was witness to God’s protection as he faced the giant Goliath (1 Sam. 17:49-51). David knew the source of his success in battle against Israel’s enemies (1 Sam. 18:5, 7). David knew the power of God’s presence.
Finally, David relinquished His will to God. Though a mighty king, David humbled himself to God knowing that the only way to reverse his situation was to totally trust and depend on God for all his needs. Christian pastor and author, A.W. Tozer, identified the root cause of man’s dissatisfaction resulting in his continual search for that which he “cannot have”.
“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us. ”
In today’s society people are desperately seeking relief for their spiritual thirst. They are searching for life options they feel will satisfy their needs through hedonistic pursuits, spiritual experimentation, and material gain. These efforts unfortunately never satisfy and often result in further despair and darkness.
Because David desperately sought God first, he was able to experience a confident assurance that would have been impossible through human seeking or striving. God our Father and Creator knows and possesses what is needed for spiritual and emotional “dryness”. Only God can truly satisfy. It was in seeking God that David found spiritual relief for his thirst.
During the last day of the Feast of the Tabernacle, Jesus offered Himself as the source of relief for the thirsty soul: “Jesus stood and cried, saying, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water’ ” (John 7:37-38). Jesus still calls today—offering living water to the world—a “thirsty land where no water is.”