“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63:6-8).
Do you ever feel far away from God? I know many times in my own life I have become so wrapped up in the daily affairs of my physical life that it seems to crowd out my ability to think about my relationship with God and the needs of my spiritual life. When this happens, I feel distant from God.
As I study the life of David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), I am amazed at his ability to continue to remain closely connected with God even in the midst of tremendous trials. In the title of Psalm 63, we read “A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah”. David probably wrote this psalm either during the period when King Saul was pursuing his life and David had fled to the wilderness of Judah to escape (1 Samuel 23:14-15) or possibly during the rebellion of his son Absalom when he had fled to the wilderness to escape (2 Samuel 15:23). Be that as it may, in this psalm David mentions his pursuers: “But those who seek my life, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals” (Psalm 63:9-10). In this psalm, David calls upon God to help in the midst of this storm in which he finds himself.
Even though he is running for his life, as David calls upon God he says, “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory” (Psalm 68:1-2). David’s greatest longing was not for deliverance from his enemies. His greatest longing was seeking after God. David’s heart dwelt upon God’s wonderful attributes, such as His lovingkindness, instead of focusing on the hatred of his enemies: “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You” (Psalm 68:3).
David desire to pursue after God was greater than his enemies’ determination to pursue after him. As a result of his relentless pursuit of God, David would find a satisfaction that few in life find when facing such adversity as what confronted him: “Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips” (Psalm 68:4-5).
As the opening verses above show, David describes how he pursued God. He meditated upon God day and night. This involved studying God’s Word, praying, focusing his thoughts upon positive attributes of God, and recalling how God had already worked in his life. In spite of the dangers confronting him, David took time to think on God because he realized this was essential for his soul.
If you are like me, too often we let the “rat race” of life distract us. We become weighed down with the cares of the world and our souls feel starved. We allow the daily trials of life to fill our hearts and minds which results in each of us saying something like, “I have no time to study God’s Word or to pray”. Today, I will follow the example of David and pursue God as a man who is thirsty in a desert pursues water. Because I want my soul to be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, I will study God’s Word, take time to pray, and meditate on God and how He has worked in my life. My soul will follow close behind God this day!
“My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved” (Psalm 62:5-6).