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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Psalms 63

Verse 1

Evidently David’s thirst for water in the wilderness led him to express his soul’s thirst for God. "Earnestly" is literally "early." As soon as David arose in the morning, he became aware of his need for God-just as he needed water shortly after waking up. He was speaking of his sense of dependence on God.

Verses 1-2

1. David’s thirst for God 63:1-2

Verses 1-11

Psalms 63

King David wrote this individual lament psalm when he was in the wilderness of Judah away from the ark and the place of formal worship (2 Samuel 15:25). This could have been when he was fleeing from Saul (1 Samuel 23) or from Absalom (2 Samuel 15:13-30). [Note: Kirkpatrick, pp. 352-53.]

The theme of trust, which Psalms 61, 62 emphasize, reaches a climax in Psalms 63. Even though David was miles away from the ark, he still worshipped God.

"There may be other psalms that equal this outpouring of devotion; few if any that surpass it." [Note: Kidner, p. 224.]

Verse 2

The king had come to realize his need for God earlier as a result of what he had learned about God in the tabernacle. There he had become sure of God’s great power and glory.

"What life does to us depends on what life finds in us . . ." [Note: Wiersbe, The . . . Wisdom . . ., p. 206.]

Verses 3-4

David’s thirst for God found relief as he praised Him. He considered the Lord’s loyal love even better than life itself. God’s love nourished and refreshed David more than the water he needed. Lifting up the hands toward God was a gesture of prayer (cf. Psalms 28:2; Lamentations 2:19) or respect (cf. Psalms 119:48).

Verses 3-8

2. David’s satisfaction with God 63:3-8

Verses 5-6

Thinking about God’s ability to satisfy his every need brought a sense of fullness into David’s life. He compared this to the feeling of a stomach filled with the richest food. David’s meditation on God overflowed in praise.

Verses 7-8

God’s support and provision of safety were the immediate causes of David’s meditation and praise. Again David pictured himself as a bird under the wing of its mother and as a dependent infant held by its parent.

Verses 9-10

Reflecting on his God bolstered the king’s confidence that the Lord would preserve him in his present situation. David knew God would deliver him because God had elected him and had blessed him for his submission to the Lord’s will.

"Foxes" (Psalms 63:10) should probably be "jackals" here, since jackals are the ultimate scavengers and eat the remains of a kill that the larger predators reject. [Note: G. S. Cansdale, Animals of Bible Lands, pp. 124-26.] The same Hebrew word describes both animals.

Verses 9-11

3. David’s confidence in God 63:9-11

Verse 11

Instead of anticipating destruction as the Lord’s enemies could, David confidently rejoiced. Everyone who sides with God, as David did, can do the same. Glorying is the equivalent of rejoicing.

Meditation on the person and works of God can bring refreshment and invigoration to any believer. Meditation on God fills a basic need in the heart of every person, as basic a need as food and drink. It not only satisfies the believer but overflows in praise, making him or her a blessing to others.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 63". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-63.html. 2012.