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Psalms 63:1-11 is a psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah. Now, from Jerusalem west lies the coastal plains, fertile valleys, beautiful lush orange groves, and apricot and pear and peach orchards, and all. From Jerusalem east lies the Judean wilderness, just outside of Jerusalem. Just beyond Bethany you begin to drop down into that great African rift to the area of the Dead Sea 1,200 feet below sea level at its surface. And that area from Jerusalem east gets very little rain. Maybe about an inch a year, and so it is quite a wilderness area. And it is known as the Judean wilderness. David spent quite a bit of time in the Judean wilderness fleeing from Saul.
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee ( Psalms 63:1 )
And I'll tell you, you can get thirsty down in that Judean wilderness. Actually, Bishop Pike died of thirst there in the Judean wilderness in his quest for the historic Christ. Too bad he wasn't looking for the living Christ, he probably would still be around.
my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and a thirsty land, where no water is; [I desire] to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary ( Psalms 63:1-2 ).
So David is using the bareness of the wilderness to speak actually of the bareness of his own soul. And there are times it seems when our souls become very barren and very parched, where we long again to feel the presence of God. To see and to feel that power of God working in us once more. "I desire to see Thy power and Thy glory as I have seen in the sanctuary."
Because thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: and I will lift up my hands in thy name ( Psalms 63:3-4 ).
And so David lifted up his hands in the name of the Lord, to worship God and to praise Him.
Now we, it seems, become very stilted in our worship and we oftentimes become so formal. Some of you have maybe never just lifted up your hands in the name of the Lord to worship the Lord or to praise Him. And there are exhortations in scripture, "Lifting up holy hands," and all. And one thing about the Jewish people that is really beautiful is that they are very uninhibited in their worship and in their praise. Even there at the Western Wall today it's always fascinating to go and to watch them as they are in their prayers and in their worship and they are uninhibited in their worship and in their praises. They, I don't know, have sort of a traditional kind of a bowing of the head, and all. And we have noticed it even with the little boys, that they'll have their prayer book, and as they're reading their prayers, even the little kids, will start rocking with the prayer books as they are reading the prayers to the Lord. And some of the rabbis down there at the wall, they really get into it. I mean, they really almost dance, just getting going back and forth, you know, as they are reading their prayers. And they get loud and it is a very interesting thing to watch these people in their uninhibited worship. But we want to be proper. And yet, David said, "I will lift up my hands in Thy name."
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate upon thee in the night watches ( Psalms 63:5-6 ).
If you have problem with insomnia, use it as an advantage to just meditate on the Lord on the night watches.
For thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go down into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped ( Psalms 63:7-11 ). "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 63". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany