Imagine you are in a land where all the crops have died, where there is no flowing water and you are starving and thirsty. Maybe that is too much for us in countries like America, Canada, and Great Britain. Most of us have never been as hungry or thirst as an orphan in a third world country. But try to imagine yourself at your hungriest and thirstiest, you empty stomach growling and your tongue and throat so dry you can’t speak. How badly would you want a glass of clean pure water to relieve your parched throat? How intensely would you want a piece of fresh warm bread to satisfy your growling stomach?
It that the way you yearn for God? Is that the way you long for The Lord? Do you pursue Him the same way you would search for water to alleviate your thirst? We have it so easy today. God is easy to find. I don’t know how accurate the research was but the statistic I found seems likely, the average American household has 4.7 Bibles. We have access to know God. Maybe because it is so easy for us, we don’t seek Him with the intense desperation of people in other countries. In some countries people must sneak in a Bible and worship God secretly in basements because if they are caught they will be tortured, imprisoned, or killed. But who is better off? Should we develop the desperation for God that Christians in China or India have? I think so.
David, the King of Israel who could enter the tabernacle and worship God anytime he liked had the deep desire to know God more. Verses 1-4 read,
“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.”
Even though David knew God well, he understood there was so much more of the Lord to know and experience. He didn’t take his access to the throne of God for granted. Perhaps because he was a king who understood what it meant to be royalty in a land of commoners, he understood the privilege.
When we desire God so profoundly, we act on it. We do not lay on our beds wishing we could know God more. A thirsty man doesn’t just sit feet from a spring wishing he could drink. He goes to the spring and drinks. We pray, we listen we consider all He has done, and all He has promised. We read His Word. We contemplate His love. And we praise and worship Him.
When we seek God, His kingdom, and His nature. He satisfies us. Though we yearn desperately, He gratifies completely, more than completely. David compare it to the man desperate for a crust of bread receiving a banquet fit for a king, rich flavorful fatty and nourishing foods. God does that for us. Verses 5-8 read,
“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.”
It is easy for the privileged, like those of us in nations where our poorest are richer than the rich of third world countries to forget to be grateful. We consider privileges to be our rights. We forget how actually blessed we are. David showed his thankfulness and appreciation to God by meditating on Him, by considering and contemplating the awesomeness of The Lord, his Provider, his Sovereign, his Redeemer, and his Almighty and Sufficient God.
David praised God for His unwavering love and His consistent ever-present help. He sang for joy in the shadow of God’s wings. The shadow of His wings refers to the wings of the cherubim on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant. The shadow of his wings is God’s mercy and grace to us, our salvation. We rest in the shadow of His wings since we cannot earn His love which is freely given. We cannot warrant His favor since He is just. We cannot merit Salvation since Jesus died and rose for us before we took our first breath and while we were still lost. (Romans 5:6-9). The word for mercy seat means propitiation, the satisfaction of our debt to God. Propitiation is the gaining of favor, to appease and wipe away wrath. Jesus is our propitiation, He is our mercy seat. 1 John 2:1-6 reads,
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
David clung to The Lord. To cling is to latch on, hold tightly like a baby latches on to the mother’s breast for life sustaining milk. But it was not only David who held tightly to God, God held David upright. God David’s Savior made it possible for him to be upright. The right hand of God, Jesus Christ our savior upholds us. Acts 5:29-32 reads,
“But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Jesus saves those who call on His name for salvation. But to the enemy, his minions, and his prisoners of war, Jesus will defeat them and send them to the eternal fires of the pit of Hell. Verses 9-11 read,
“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.”
The Lord promised this in His Word that Jesus, the Word of God would Judge and anyone not covered by His righteousness would go to the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20). It is by the Word, the Sword of God, the living will of God that people will be judged. John 1:1-5 tells us Jesus is the Word, the living manifestation of God’s will. We will all be judged by the Word of God. Either we are covered by His righteousness or we are not. Those who reject Christ choose to be judge by the Law. And no one but Jesus was able to live up to the Law.
Hebrews 4:11-13 tells us that Scripture, the Word of God is a discerning judge.
“Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
And Revelation 19:11-16 describes Jesus,
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
Is your soul desperate for the Lord? Do you desire Him the way a man trekking through the desert longs for water? Is Jesus your oasis, your Living Water satisfying your thirst forever? (John 4:7-14). Jesus promises to satisfy our souls’ longing for Him. John 7:37-39 reads,
“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”