Devotional, Psalms

Thirsting For God

Psalm 42

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

I’m sure you have heard the chorus.

As the deer pants for the water so my soul Longs after you.  You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship you. You alone are my strength and my shield to you alone may my spirit yield. You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship you.

The chorus was written by a young man who was distraught in his life and just sat down at the piano and it came out. David puts a beautiful illustration in Psalm 42 about how we should search for God. I can just see a deer running through the fields in Israel while David tends his flock. The deer runs around for a while and you can see it’s getting tired and it settles down next to the brook and starts drinking. What it finds there is a soothing sip of water.

I need to learn to come to God when I’m tired, when I’m weary, when I’m sick, when I’m lonely and when things don’t seem to go the way I’d like them to. He is always there to refresh me with the Living Water. He says that if I will drink of the water that He gives I will never thirst again (John 4:14). I want those Springs of Living Water springing up from within my soul.

He goes on to say that his soul thirsts for the Living God. We must remember in those days there were a lot of people who served false, dead gods. God’s that really couldn’t accomplish anything.  But David serve the Living God and so do we!  He looked forward to the day that he would come before God but until then his soul would thirst for God. Do you?  I know I do!

My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

David says his tears have been his meat. He has not had the living water from God and he’s been crying because people are questioning why his God isn’t coming to his rescue. That’s why he was longing and thirsting for God but instead he drank his tears.

It’s good to see that David went with the multitude to the house of God. And they rejoice and praise the Lord together on that holy day. But it seems to indicate that he didn’t get alone with God. It is good for us to be in a congregation somewhere worshiping God together. But we must take time on our own to seek God so that we can quench that thirst in our souls.  Both elements of our devotion are necessary.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

Here David is talking to himself and trying to encourage himself. He asks his own soul “Why are you cast down and disquieted”. Obviously he was troubled by something. Have you ever talked yourself out of a bad mood or out of a sorry state? Sometimes self-talk is good and can bring you out of the depths of despair. He tells God that his soul is cast down and he says I’ll remember you Lord. I remember you from these different areas where we have victory. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself questions about your spiritual state.  God will give you an answer.  And when you are down remember the times that God has been with you, and remember that He is faithful!

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

David could be referring to the Mediterranean Sea. It’s kind of a side note in the middle of this Psalm but to me it signifies that God is calling out from deep within his belly.  David has an overwhelming urge to be with God and he says he thirsts after him. He says that the Lord commands his own loving kindness. We can only ask God to look down on us, we cannot demand it. He is in control and always will be.  I need to get used to that fact. If I can’t wait for his loving-kindness to show up on my doorstep I’m going to be in trouble.

And perhaps a night song comes to you as it does to me. I love it when God wakes me up with a song – it happens quite often.  If you hear a song in the night, what do you do about it?  I write it down right away, or I’ll lose it.  If you are waking up and hearing words from God, make sure you write them down, or put them in your phone, or something.

I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

10 As with a sword in my bon-es, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

David thinks that God has forgotten him. He knows that God is his Rock but at this time he is also mourning because of the enemy that is oppressing him.  They keep asking him where is your god?  Why aren’t you being delivered? I’ve been fortunate that nobody said that to me yet as I go through this cancer. Nobody’s asked why God hasn’t healed me. I have!  I have asked God several times to bring His healing power and His deliverance from these other ailments that I have..  I have not gotten to the point where I think God has forgotten me yet. I known He loves me and only has good things planned for me. 

Then David repeats his words from verse 5. Even though he is cast down and troubled, he tells himself to hope in God, and he says he will praise him anyway. We can learn from this attitude that great things can come our way. When we can praise Him and hope in Him, even when we’re downcast, our enemies can’t possibly hurt us. Let’s continue to thirst after God.

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