Psalm Saturday: Psalm 63 Praise God!

Psalm 63 is one of my personal favorites. I recently completed a devotional study involving Psalm 63 with a friend of mine. We were both blown away by the richness of this psalm written by David while he found himself in the desert wilderness of Judah.

When Sweet T and I were in Israel back in 2012, we learned that the wilderness of Judah isn’t what we typically envision in our mind’s eye when our ears hear the word “wilderness.” To be sure, it is certainly a vast area out in the wild. But instead of a treasure trove of trees, the Judean wilderness is a sea of sand sprinkled with ancient caves.

David found himself hiding here, on the run from his son, Absalom, who wanted to kill him. Absalom was the third son of David, the King of Israel, with his wife Maacah, daughter of Talmai, King of Geshur. The story of Absalom is primarily told in the six chapters found in 2 Samuel 13-19.

In a story of misguided good intentions gone bad, Absalom’s life goes from avenging the rape of his sister Tamar by their half-brother Ammon to leading a conspiracy to overthrow his own father, King David. David’s family life certainly demonstrates the gamut of emotions, relationships, and challenges involved in preserving the family bloodline. Families can be complicated.

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David found himself hiding in the wilderness of Judah multiple times throughout his life. In a way, his time-out in the desert serve as a metaphor describing the spiritual deserts we find ourselves in from time to time.

When we first come to know God and receive salvation through His son Jesus Christ, are souls are on fire, overflowing with joy and spiritual fervency. As we continue along on our faith journey, we find ourselves meandering through spiritual dry places, akin to the deserts of Judah. While it may seem like a time to rely on our own wits and set aside our worship, the exact opposite is true. Our wilderness moments are times for us to rely on God more and to focus our hearts on worshipping Him.

God is for You

Just as David did, we find relief as we praise God. Our spiritual thirst and hunger grow satisfied the more satisfied we become in Him. When we recall God’s supernatural ability to meet our every need, our spirits are lifted, and we are refreshed and invigorated, ready to return to civilization and turn our challenges into opportunities.

We experience this phenomenon when we take our minds off our trouble and express gratitude for our blessings. When we experience difficulties in our life, it can be easy to focus on the negative, rather than looking at the positive. It’s easy to pick out what’s wrong rather than recognize what’s right. Before we know it, we’re on our pity pot, wailing about our woes. This trap leads us nowhere.

In Psalm 63, David reminds us that through praise and worship we have the power to overcome whatever ails us. As spiritual beings, our souls long for God. It is a God-sized hole that is only satisfied when we meet the Lord through His son, Jesus. In Him, through Him, and by Him, we have everything our soul and heart desires.

Troubled? Praise God.

Peace go with you.

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Psalm 63

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
6 when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
they shall be a portion for jackals.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

 

Finding Joy Worshipping in the Presence of the Lord

As we continue to look at prayer in the Book of Psalms, we turn to Psalm 84.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty blessed is the one who trusts in you.

Psalm 84:10-12

Psalm 84 is a well-known psalm in which we hear the psalmist expressing the desire to be in God’s presence in the Jerusalem temple because the Lord is the protector of his people. The psalmist recognizes the Lord’s sovereignty and yearns to be in the safe rest of His sanctuary. It is recognized as a song sung by the Israelites as they traveled to the Temple to worship the Lord, our God. It is believed that the Sons of Korah arranged the song and that it was played during worship, similar to how we sing songs of praise in worship today.

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Setting our sights on God leads to blessing. As we draw closer and nearer to God, we become stronger and stronger. When we anticipate and look forward to joyfully worshipping the Lord, we rind spiritual refreshment, even in the direst circumstances

Genuine joy comes through a deep intimacy with God. Worship should draw us nearer to the throne, not keep us at bay, or push us away. We can choose to walk closely with God or keep our distance. If we lack belief, then we fall short of having any relationship with God at all. In our unbelief, we miss out on the blessings offered by the Lord, our God.

We experience the true definition of joy when we remain fully committed to worshipping God and are totally satisfied simply being in His presence. There is no safer place, no better day, than experiencing the presence of God.

God delights in us. He wants us to walk in joy with Him. Will you walk with Him today?

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Psalm 84

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! 2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.

3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 6 As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.

8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah 9 Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed!

10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. 12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!

What We Believe About God Matters

An accurate understanding of God is necessary if we are going to have a closer personal relationship with Him. Oftentimes we try to make God conform to our image of Him, rather than worshiping God in the fullness of His glory with the fullness of our joy. Many popular or practical concepts of God distort the true essence of all that God is. When we fall into the trap of these miniature concepts of God, we try to force a great big God into a small, limited box.

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“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”  A.W. Tozer

These false perceptions have to be corrected if we are going to experience spiritual lives of any real depth and significance. Failing to have a correct view of God creates a ministry that leaves stumbling blocks in the path of others. Distorted thinking about God twist the roles of God and man and our philosophy of life. Wrong doctrine leads to wrong thinking. In order to think clearly and enunciate carefully a right understanding of God, we must begin with right doctrine. Right doctrine leads to right thinking about God.

After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. Job 42:7 (NIV)

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