Hunger for God (Psalm 63)

Date: 2/28/2016
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Desire
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

 A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. 1 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. 9 But those who seek my life to destroy it, Will go into the depths of the earth. 10 They will be delivered over to the power of the sword; They will be a prey for foxes. 11 But the king will rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him will glory, For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped. Psalm 63

Last week was saw the need to overcome fears through worship in the presence of God (Psalm 27). This week we will consider Psalm 63 which points us toward our need to maintain a hunger for God. This Psalm, like much of the poetry of Scripture, breaks down into a parallel structure (a chiasm):

A. Hungering for the Lord (v1)
    B. A Vision of God’s Covenant Love (vv2-3)
        C. Results in Praise (vv4-5)
A’. Hungering for the Lord (vv6-8)
    B’. A Vision of God’s Covenant Deliverance (vv9-10)
        C’. Results in Praise (v11)

We will hunger for the Lord if we know His Covenant Love (vv1-5) - David expresses his hunger for God. He “seeks”  earnestly and his “soul thirsts” for the Lord. His flesh “yearns” for the Lord (1). He sees literally and metaphorically (in the desert) that everything else is dry and weary (Ps. 73:25).  David hungers for the Lord because he has seen God in the sanctuary (i.e., the Tabernacle of the Ark on Mt. Zion). Specifically, he has seen God’s  power and glory (2). Seeing God as He is has led him to see that the covenant love (hesed) of the Lord is “better than life.” The result is that the Lord is to be “blessed” and worshiped. For us, we should know the experience of authentic worship brings this truth, “My soul is satisfied” as with “fat food” (deshen).  Whoever you are, with your intimate personal characteristics, you fit into God and find true fulfillment in and into Him. Our great problem is that we settle for many unfulfilling appetites.

We will hunger for the Lord if we trust His Covenant Deliverance (vv6-11) - David seeks God even in his rest, “on my bed.” In rest or the restlessness of troubled times, he contemplates (meditates) on the Lord’s salvation/deliverance. God has been his help, his cover, and his strength (7-8). While David hungers for God, he knows that his enemies hunger to destroy him.  But he is confident that such enemies will be “delivered over” to His Covenant Protector. Their mouths will be stopped. Those who would prey upon him will become prey because David prays. The result of hungering for the Lord is to glimpse His glory. Now David exhorts us, “Everyone who swears by Him will glory” (11). God will triumph over falsehood for all who trust in Him (11). In Practicing the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence wrote,  “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more