Meditating upon the Love of God Psalm 63

Dr. Jerry A. Collins

 

We cannot control the circumstances of life. They come and go as they please. We are left to deal with them. This Psalm teaches us that we can find satisfaction and cause for great praise in our difficulties by meditating upon the loyal love of God. Understanding our crisis in the light of Gods lovingkindness, frames our situation from Godís point of view, not just our own.

 

PHYSICAL NEEDS REMIND DEVOUT BELIEVERS OF THEIR SPIRITUAL NEEDS

1 O God, you are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Observation: Due to his personal relationship with God, he has an all-consuming passion for God who alone can meet him in his bleak circumstances.

Interpretation: The use of O God is his turning to God in some dire situation. The description my God reveals the personal nature of the request. This is not just Ďthe big man upstairsí. The relationship is such that he seek[s] you [God] earnestly with a longing desire while physically in the wilderness a dry and weary land where there is no water. He applies this to his spiritual conditionóhe needs God my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You.

Application: When we are adversely threatened we can rely on the simple truth that the living God is our God, and we are his people. ††††

 

2 Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.

Observation: What he witnessed in the sanctuary he now longs to see in the wilderness, namely, Godís powerful and glorious presence.

Interpretation: He remembers his spiritual needs met in the past when I have seen You in the sanctuary. This would have been in the Temple in Jerusalem where he had worshipped God. Praise was offered there for the powerful and glorious things that God did to see Your power and Your glory. It is Your power and Your glory he yearns to see evidence of in the wilderness where its demonstration can save his life.

Application: Remembering our spiritual needs God has met in the past, encourages us to seek evidence of Godís faithfulness to us in our present need.

 

MEDITATING UPON GODS LOYAL LOVE INSPIRES JOYFUL PRAISE AND OBEDIENCE

3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You.

Observation: Compared to lifeís upís and downís, he can praise God for His loyal love.

Interpretation: Godís lovingkindness is a benefit that never changes due to circumstances, and can never be manipulated by them. In fact, Godís loyal love is better than life in the sense that it enriches life even with its unavoidable troubles. The loyal love of God is constant and true while our lives are daily interrupted by difficulty. The loyal love of God is the reason that my lips will praise You even in the wilderness.

Application: We can count upon the loyal love of God to give us what serves our best interests in any life situation we face.

 

4 So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.

Observation: The writer proclaims he will enrich Godís name with accompanying praise throughout his lifetime.

Interpretation: To say I will bless You is to announce Godís favor. He adds I will lift up my hands which is a gesture of praise. So he will praise the favor of God in Your [Godís} name. The name of God refers to Godís reputation. With the blessing and lifting up my hands he vows to enhance Godís reputation in all the land. This he plans to do throughout his whole life.

Application: Proclaiming the intrinsic value of our God should become the preoccupation of our lives.

 

5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

Observation: Thinking about Godís ability to satisfy his every need brought a sense of fullness into His life.

Interpretation: He compares the satisfaction of his spiritual desires my soul is satisfied, with feasting upon the richest foods with marrow and fatness. And when he is satisfied, he will sing praises my mouth offers praises. He will sing praises with joyful lips that shout for joy or break out into joyful singing. This would be an enthusiastic response to Godís abundant provision of the desires of his heart.

Application: Our joyful praise of God is conditioned upon our capability to realize the benefits of the love of God for us. ††

 

6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.

Observation: He ponders God at night recollecting the things God has said and done.

Interpretation: After eating, he now mentions his meditation of God in bed at night. I remember You emphasizes pondering what is called to mind. I meditate on You is to consider the things of God. The two thoughts convey that he thinking about what he is remembering about God. He meditates, utters words under his breath, prays about these and exhorts himself to action.

Application: We should meditate upon the Word of God at night as we prepare to sleep, and resolve to respond to that meditation in some tangible way.

 

7 For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.

Observation: Under Godís watch care, He will certainly praise joyfully.

Interpretation: His pondering at night included God who has been my help. This is one significant benefit of the loyal love of God. God is a helper par excellence! While parched at night in the wilderness, He ponders Godís ability to do for him what he cannot do for himself. Without this divine help he would be left to wither away in that barrenness. He compares Gods protecting love as being in the shadow of Your wings. The imagery includes warmth, protection, and provision.

Application: It is when desperate that we can most appreciate Godís divine ability to help.

 

8 My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

Observation: He is confident that as he grasps God, God grasps him.

Interpretation: He restates the close relationship he has with God my soul clings to You as if glued to something. He is expressing his loyalty to God. No matter his distress and deprivation in life, he still holds fast to his God. Even in the wilderness, with no access to the sanctuary, he is firmly united to God with the strongest affection. Conversely, Your right hand upholds me. Godís power preserves his relationship with the living God.

Application: The distress your life situations create should never interfere with your confident faith in Godís loyal love.

 

SATISFACTION FROM GODS LOYAL LOVE ENCOURAGES HOPE OF VICTORY

9 But those who seek my life to destroy it, will go into the depths of the earth. 10 They will be delivered over to the power of the sword; they will be a prey for foxes.

Observation: His life is threatened by enemies determined to destroy him who themselves will be annihilated.

Interpretation: With this dramatic change, the implication is that the Psalmist was in the wilderness due to those who seek my life to destroy it. But in reality they will only bring destruction upon themselves for they will go into the depths of the earth. Their death is certain. Their destruction will come by the power of the sword. Not only will the enemy die in battle, they will not even have a decent burial they will be a prey for foxes. Scavengers would devour them. What the enemy had hoped for this one in the wilderness, will actually be their end.

Application: Our meditation upon the loyal love of God assures us of Godís ability to perform His will no matter the threatening circumstances we face.

 

11 But the king will rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him will glory, For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.

Observation: After his deliverance he will lead a procession of praise to God.

Interpretation: When the Lord silences his enemies, the people will return to the sanctuary and celebrate their mighty deliverance everyone who swears by Him will glory. The praise will be led by the king [who] will rejoice in God. And the reason for this procession of praise is that the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped. Silencing them is the effect of their being killed. So here is the difference between the mouth that praises God, and the mouth that forges lies and deceit or falsehood. The first will never be silenced but shall sing forever. The second shall be rendered speechless at the judgment of God.

Application: Praise to God is always the appropriate response when God either delivers us from or through our distressing trouble.

 

Conclusion

The life that we have is due to the fact that God loved us and freed us from sin, and made us a kingdom of priests. So, all glory and praise is to be given to Him alone. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father-to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen (Revelation 1:5b-6).