Thirsty in a waterless land

The deep thirst of the soul is satisfied only in the holiness and majesty of God.

Psalm 63:1 – “A Psalm by David, when he was in the desert of Judah.
God, you are my God. I will earnestly seek you. My soul thirsts for you.
My flesh longs for you, in a dry and weary land, where there is no water.”

This title attributed to this psalm says it was written by David while he was in the wilderness or desert of Judah. The metaphor of thirsting after God in a dry land where there is no water becomes a powerful reality in the context of actually experiencing a parched desert experience.

Alexander MacLaren expands on this idea:

“…there is no more appalling desert than that in which he wandered as an exile. It is a land of arid mountains without a blade of verdure, blazing in their ghastly whiteness under the fierce sunshine, and with gaunt ravines in which there are no pools or streams, and therefore no sweet sound of running waters, no shadow, no songs of birds, but all is hot, dusty, glaring, pitiless; and men and beasts faint, and loll out their tongues, and die for want of water. And, says the Psalmist, such is life, if due regard be had to the deepest wants of a soul, notwithstanding all the abundant supplies which are spread in such rich and loving luxuriance around us-we are thirsty men in a waterless land.”

As I live in the American culture today, I can attest that what is available for our consumption indeed points to this as a waterless land. All that which seeks to influence us is nothing but briers and thorns, brambles of contention and doubt. And yet we thirst; we crave for that which David describes as the sanctuary or the holiness of God.

Psalm 63:2-5 – So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory. My lips will glorify you because your faithful love is better than life. So I will bless you as long as I live; at your name, I will lift up my hands. You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise you with joyful lips.

Regardless of his physical condition and circumstances, David relates that contemplating the faithful love of God is like rich food, and this provision causes spontaneous praise.

This is the place where believers demonstrate their integrity and love for God. When all around seems lifeless and barren, we are sustained by our hope in the God who provides for all of our needs. Yeshua constructed his famous beatitude upon this very principle:

Matthew 5:6 – ” Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

The life of integrity is one that craves for God’s will to become evident. It seeks to exhibit thanksgiving when there seems to be nothing to be thankful for, and in so doing, the blessing of the soul’s provision arrives. That which is truly nourishing is lavished upon those who strive for God’s honor. The example of David and the encouragement of Yeshua can give us strength for each day as we seek to exemplify God’s righteousness in our lives.

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