Psalm 63: Thirsty for God

Peter Barnes: Psalm 63

(4 March 2018)


David wrote quite a number of his Psalms when he was in the desert, fleeing from either Saul or Absalom. It fits the revolt of Absalom (63:11; 2 Sam.15:23). John Chrysostom is quoted as saying that the early Fathers used to sing it every day.
1. Thirsting for in unpromising circumstances.

– 63:1. See Ps.42:1; 143:6. In verse 1 the ESV has ‘earnestly’ but the NKJV has ‘early’. If it is ‘early’, the Psalm could be referring to seeking after God both morning and night (see v.6).

– John 7:37. Only the thirsty come to Christ.

– David draws on his past experiences – 63:2; 2 Sam.15:24-25. Remembering the past can revitalise the present.
2. Being satisfied in God.

– 63:3-4. There is a story about a man who wanted to be a follower of Socrates. Socrates grabbed him and plunged his face into water for so long that he nearly passed out. Then Socrates pulled his head out, and told him: ‘When you desire truth as much as you desired air, then you can follow me.’ Spurgeon: ‘Life is dear, but God’s love is dearer.’ Augustine’s Confessions: ‘Do not hide Your face away from me, for I would gladly meet my death to see it, since not to see it would be death indeed.’ That is what makes sense of what martyrs do – Acts 20:24.

– always full and satisfied, and yet always hungry and thirsty for more – 63:5-8. What do you do at night when sleep escapes you?
3. Rejoicing in God’s victory.

– 63:9-11. There is praise in v.3; praise again in v.4a; prayer in verse 4b; praise in v.5; singing for joy in v.7.

– The enemies of David and of God want the throne but they will end out with the jackals.