The vast majority of Americans, myself included, have no idea what it really means to be thirsty. We are fortunate enough that even in public places, we have access to water fountains. It is hard for me to imagine true thirst. I have experienced times when I needed a drink of water, and even gotten to the point where that need becomes the all-consuming—when your tongue feels like sandpaper and it’s hard to swallow. Even still, I have have never been far away from a source of drinkable water; and my thirst, as extreme as it ever may be, was only temporary.
As I consider thirst, I ask myself, have I every longed for the presence of God the way David describes in verse 1 of Psalm 63? David may have literally been in a desert region with no access to water when writing this, but as he literally thirsts for water, his deeper craving is for the Lord. He writes, “I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you…” If he were talking about water, we could all recount times in our lives of extreme thirst. However, he is speaking of his desire to enter the presence of the Lord, to which less of us could probably relate.
What has caused such a deep longing for David? In verse 2, David has witnessed the Lord’s power and glory, leading him to the conclusion that “your love is better than life” (NIV). The word “love” (lovingkindness, NASB; steadfast love, ESV) is the word hesed. This is God’s special love to his covenant people. It is a love based on God’s irrevocable promises. Promises such as “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6, ESV). All that to say, because David has experienced the Lord’s presence, and felt Lord’s life-giving love, he then longed to return to the presence of the only One who can satisfy.
In addition, David had many trials in life for which the Lord was his help (7). As a hen draws her chicks into the comforting protection of her wings, so David rested in the provision of the Lord. He was upheld in weakness and strengthed when confronted with enemies.
How would you describe your relationship with the Lord right now? Although the world seeks to quench it’s thirst for God with many things, if anyone is in Christ he or she is never far away from the source of living water (John 4:10). If we have truly experienced the Lord’s presence and provision through Jesus Christ, then let us drink deeply and not wait until we are spiritually parched.
In the comments, share from your experience a time of extreme thirst. What was it like and how did you feel when you were finally able to get water?
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate